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    Anita Ratnam brings back Purush, a five-day conference on men in the dance industry


    Anita Ratnam

    Eighteen years ago, Anita Ratnam organised the first two-day conference called Purush, which explored the space for the male dancer in India. This year she is back with its second edition—spread over five days and held at several venues. The event will have panel discussions, lectures and performances, and will attempt to examine what it means to be a man in the world of dance. “I think men haven’t got enough credit. Even the songs are from the point of view of either Radha or Parvathy. But men have a lot of power in this field, too,” Ratnam insists.

    Bringing this power to the fore are big names like C V Chandrasekhar, V P Dhananjayan, Udupi Laxminarayan and Ramli Ibrahim, who will  explore the social, cultural, historical and anthropological impact of a dancer.

    Ratnam adds that the conference—which will have about 100 artists taking part and 12 male performers being honoured for their work—will also have classical performances, contemporary productions, academic discussions, theatre, music and dance. “I think the crowd in Chennai has come of age and they are ready—and I am sure I will get  a good response for good work,” Ratnam says. The highlights of the event will be Vinay Kumar’s dance performance, The Tenth Head, and Birju Maharaj’s closing act, Baithak Bhav. “This is my most cultural project ever, where I am presenting both academics and performances,” concludes Ratnam.

    At Alliance Francaise from December 18 till 23, from 7.30 pm onwards. Free entry. Details: 24952695

    — Mrinalini Sundar


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