Manochhaya

Trained since her early childhood in Japanese martial arts by her father and his master, S. Kasé, Manochhaya was initiated into the Bharata-Natyam by Amala Devi, the last in an unbroken line of direct transmission of the teaching of Ram Gopal , disciple of Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai. Manochhaya has enjoyed the extraordinary privilege of dancing beside K. Swarnamukhi, official dancer of the state of Tamil Nadu, in all the major temples and religious festivals of South India, and to receive her direct transmission of the 108 Karanas. Since 1985, her Karnataka Master, K. Muralidhar Rao, has composed several repertoires for her, founded on ancient rituals such as the Dashavatars the Navagrahas, the Purandaradasa devaranamas. She has also studied the Mysore tradition with Venkatalakshamma, dancer at the Maharaja's court, renowned for her dances of the astapatis of the Gita-Govinda.

 

 
Invited to perform the official closing spectacle of France's India Year at the Palais de Chaillot in 1996, Manochhaya now enjoys an international career. She has danced at the Music Academy of Madras, the Staat Museum of Berlin and at major theatres in Luxembourg, Brussels, Geneva, Lucerne and Vienna. Her fifth appearance on stage at the UNESCO Palais was in 1997, at the International Astrophysicians Congress, where she was invited to perform her Dance of the Planets. This was during her European tour celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Independence of India, under the patronage of the Indian embassy Under her French name, Katia Légeret, Manochhaya leads a parallel academic career which began at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Philosophy. In 1998, she received a title awarded that of Director of Research in the Aesthetic of Dance at the Sorbonne University.

She continues her career as a lecturer at the University of Paris 8 while at the same time participating in the creation of the European network Diversités Culturelles (cultural diversities) and performing at International festivals like M.I.M, in the form of symposiums, workshops, books and articles. Manochhaya is bringing together new alternatives to safeguard this traditional Indian culture and the complete art, which brings together simultaneously on stage dance, theatre, music, poetry, sculpture and architecture. In Morocco, in 2001, 2002 & 2003 Manochhaya has given performances and conferences at the Rencontres de Fès, within the framework of the World Festival of Sacred Music. In this international symposium whose subject was "to give a soul to globalisation", she developed the question of the oral transmission in traditional Indian art and the survival of this memory in education. At Chicago, Manochhaya was one of the honorary guests of Columbia College and Natya Dance Theatre, at the international symposium "Bharata-natyam in the Diaspora" September 2001 As a researcher at the Maison des Sciences Humaines de Paris-Nord she has taken part in the creation of "espaces sonores virtuels" using Indian percussion one of her dance compositions - Danse-Poème electronique - has been presented at the Pavillon sonore at the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie (September 2002). Her researches on astronomy and Indian dance have been presented on the main stage of UNESCO in the SSQ project at Berkeley University and with the UIP of Paris (April 2002). The symposium "Science and Spiritual Quest" assembled more than a hundred scientists from all over the world.

 

The Mysore Ensemble

Sacred temple music and Carnatic music. Born in Mysore, from their earliest childhood these musicians were brought up and formed in the Carnatic music of South India, in a family of great musicians. In the 1930's the father of the flutist was the most respected violinist in all India (Ganakala Ratna). In between their tours in other countries, they perform at Karnataka festivals, in theatres and in temples, keeping alive and creative the vigorous transmission of this sacred art. For over thirty years they have been composing the music for the dance compositions of master K. Muralidhar Rao. Only very rarely do they accompany dance, for they require an extremely high level of musical ability on the part of the dancer to be able to improvise together on stage.

A.V.PRAKASH disciple of the celebrated flutist Dr. N. Ramani, he enjoys international renown. Hailed as the greatest flutist in Madras in 1987, the Karnataka government has made him their ambassador to other states of India, at Mumbai, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Rajastan and in Bengal. He also directed the musicians sent by the Indian government to Moscow in 1988.

 

A.P. SRINIVAS : A.V. Prakash's son, as a young man and very talented violonist, he has already given many recitals in India and in South-East of Asia. He is actually the manager of the Karnataka's Shankari Digital Recording. N. SRINATH AND L.RAMASESHA : These Brahmin singers have dedicated their life to the thousand year old Karnataka culture and set to music many mystic poems and sacred texts. They have already been invited to perform in U.S.A. (N. Srinath) and in Europe (L.Ramasesha).


M.A. KRISHNAMURTHY mridamgist, tablist and ghatam virtuoso, as a percussionist he has been the regular artist of All India Radio for the last 20 years, accompanying all the great artists at Bangalore whose concerts are transmitted on radio and television. Having received the honorary titles of Asthan Vidwan, Kalarantana Sri Award and the Karnataka Kala Sri Award, raising him to the rank of master of his art, he has already participated in several international tours sponsored by the Indian government (I.C.C.R) in Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Australia, the United States and in France


HARSHA SAMAGA.M : Hails from a family of Yakshagana artists and musicians (Karnataka), this young artist is well known as a Yakshagana actor, as a professional mridamgist and nattuvanar, he also plays chande and khanjira. First prize in senior level Mridangam, he has already performed in Europe and in Malaisya.