“All that has a beginning by necessity must have an end. In destruction, truly nothing is destroyed but the illusion of individuality. Thus the power of destruction associated with Lord Shiva has great purifying power, both on a more personal level when problems make us see reality more clearly, as on a more universal level. Destruction opens the path for a new creation of the universe, a new opportunity for the beauty and drama of universal illusion to unfold. As Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram or Truth, Goodness and Beauty, Shiva represents the most essential goodness.”
Bani means tradition. It’s the dance technique and style specific to the guru/school. These are named according to the village of the guru (with the exception of a couple banis).
Here’s a breakdown:
Pandanallur (for the sake of brevity, I’m grouping Pandanallur and Thanjavur styles together). This style stems from the Thanjavur Quartet, four brothers who worked in the early 19th century Thanjavur Royal Court as musicians and dance composers. This style mainly draws from their repertoire, maintaining some of the oldest compositions in dance. Pure dance movements are linear and geometric, and abhinaya is more classically stylized rather than realistic. They’re also responsible for creating the current structure of the Margam.
Alarmel Valli - Learned from the doyen guru of Pandanallur, Chokalingam Pillai (who descended from the Thanjavur Quartet) and his son Subbarayya Pillai. She’s a little more fluid with her movements, owing to her training in Odissi.
T. Balasaraswati - The famous Balasaraswati was a student of Kandappa Pillai (also a descendant of the Thanjavur Quartet). Her style is renowned for it’s exquisite abhinaya, though the nritta is not as polished as the other styles. In my estimation it’s what I would imagine the Devadasis used to dance like. Beautiful abhinaya, but unrefined nritta.
Students of Kalakshetra and Rukmini Devi - Rukmini learned from Pandanallur Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai (father in law of Chokalingam Pillai), and made several changes to the Pandanallur bani, creating the Kalakshetra style. It’s even more linear and geometric, and certain moves are exaggerated (like the torso bending in the arudi here). Abhinaya is also very stylized and unrealistic, and there is less emphasis on overly sringara based items.
Vazhuvoor - Created by Vazhuvoor Ramiah Pillai, this style is more feminine, emphasizing laasya over tandavam. Most traditional performances begin with a Thodaya Mangalam in praise of Gnana Sabesa, the reigning deity of Vazhuvoor town.
Chitra Visweswaran - Chitra learned from Ramiah Pillai the doyen guru of Vazhuvoor. Very fluid and feminine, with realistic abhinaya. Lots of poses as well.
Padma Subramaniam - Also a student of Vazhuvoor Ramiah Pillai. Here you can definitely see the realistic abhinaya. Her nritta is a little different with more emphasis on poses and karanas and she developed a different style later on, calling it BharataNrityam.
Kamala Lakshmanan - Star disciple of Vazhuvoor Ramiah Pillai, she also performed dances for Tamil Cinema, many of which were choreographed by her guru.
Sumitra Nitin & Sunanda Narayan and Rhadha - Radha is Kamala’s sister and also learned from Vazhuvoor Ramiah Pillai. As you can see there’s little more linearity and precision. Also note how the knees are bent in the dith-ith thei’s instead of extended out.
Priyadarsini Govind - Student of Rajaratnam Pillai, who was a disciple of Vazhuvoor Ramiah. To contrast her with Chitra Visweswaran, you can see she’s very precise with linear movements. Malavika Sarukkai, another student of Rajaratnam, is also similar.
Mellatur - Created by Mangudi Dorairaja Iyer, who revived Shudda Nritta and Perani (dancing on clay pots). His style eschews items praising living patrons (thus most of the Thanjavur Quartet repertoire) and encourages dancers to stamp the floor softly, focusing on the sound created by the salangai.
This article is not animation related per se, but the tips and advice in the article is pretty extraordinary, and can be related to your animation goals and career.
Here is a brief take from the article, and you can read it when you have time:
1. What You Do Every Night is Important. Will you spend more time watching tv/videos/video games? Will you take time to working towards your future position/job? Take time to practice what you want to do for a lifetime.
2. Do More Reading. Take time to read (offline if possible). Read about science, history, technology, things that you are intrigued to know, but have yet to venture in. Then, transfer your new knowledge into your work and group.
3. Do Some Projects. Do not wait for someone to give you a chance to work on a project. Create one yourself, and apply the knowledge you just learned or currently learning. Create deadlines for those projects, to keep your activity sharp.
4. Build Your Network. Connect with those in the area(s) you want to be in, and build your network. You cannot achieve your dreams/goals alone.
5. Start Making the Change Tonight. Begin finding at least 30 minutes to an hour of your time to focus on what you want to improve on and change.
I do hope this inspires you and motivate you to continue practicing and achieving your goals in animation. Don’t give up, there’s just one more frame that can take you to the next level!
The term ‘yoga’, for many, means physical postures, and that too twisted, impossible ones. But that’s not the rendition of yoga I am referring to here.
Yoga simultaneously means to be in perfect tune. Your body, mind, spirit and existence are in absolute harmony. When you fine-tune yourself to such a point where everything functions beautifully within you, the best of your abilities will just flow out of you.
When you’re happy, your energies always function better. In fact, when you’re happy, you have ceaseless energy. Even if you don’t eat or sleep, it doesn’t matter; you can go on and on. So just knowing a little happiness liberates you from your normal limitations of energy and capability.
Yoga is the science of activating your inner energies in such a way that your body, mind and emotions function at their highest peak.
When your body and mind function in a completely different state of relaxation and a certain level of bliss, you can be released from most suffering. You come to your office, and you have a nagging headache.
Modern science tells you that the whole of existence is just energy manifesting itself in different ways. Though all of us are made of the same energy, we don’t function at the same level of capability. What you call capability, talent, ability or creativity, these are just a particular way in which your energy functions.
The same energy, in one plant, creates rose flowers; in another, it creates jasmine. By gaining a bit of mastery over your own energies, you will see things that you never imagined possible, you will do them simply and naturally.
The same mud with which we construct huge buildings, is also used to build little huts. What you call a computer is dug out of the earth. We thought we could only dig mud and make pots or bricks out of it. Now we dig the earth and make computers, cars, and even spacecraft out of it. It’s the same energy; we have just started using it for higher possibilities. Our inner energies, too, are like that.
There is a whole technology of applying this energy for higher possibilities. Each one of us must explore and know this. Otherwise, life becomes limited and accidental; you get to do only what you’re exposed to. Once you start activating your inner energies, your capabilities happen in a different sphere altogether. Yoga is a tool to find ultimate expression to life.