Two articles written by Janaki Patrik have been published in NARTANAM Journal.

A Quarterly Journal of Indian Dance

Founder Publisher: G M Sarma, Kuchipudi Kala Kendra, Mumbai

Founder Editor: M. Nagabhushana Sarma

Chief Editor: Madhavi Puranam

Published by: Sahrdaya Arts Trust, Hyderabad

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Volume XI, No. 3, July – September 2011

Indian dance scholar Dr. Sunil Kothari suggested my name to NARTANAM’s Editor-in-Chief Madhavi Puranam, when she decided to survey Kathak beyond the borders of its Indian homeland.  I declined twice, principally because the subject is so vast and I am still an active dancer, teacher and choreographer.  However, Dr. Kothari and Editor-in-Chief Puranam persisted, and I was eventually enticed by the thought that “we have to start somewhere”.

I invite all American Kathak dancers who read this article to contribute to its revision and expansion by sending me information about their work, and to add comments about the particular challenges Kathak faces in its American homeland and in the 21st Century.  I concluded the original article: “The story continues…..”  Please add your story.



Volume XIV, No. 1, January – March 2014

Beate Gordon at Asia Society, Alan Pally at New York Public Library of the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, Robert & Helene Browning at World Music Institute.

The passing of Beate Sirota Gordon on 30 December 2012 focused my thoughts on three major New York City cultural institutions, whose artistic and programming directors played leading roles in American cultural life during the latter decades of the 20th Century and opening decade of the 21st Century.   The work of Beate Sirota Gordon at Asia Society, Alan Pally at the New York Public Library of the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, and Robert and Helene Browning at World Music Institute fueled a crucial shift in cultural programming, reorienting it from a predominantly Euro-centric focus to a global perspective.  Fourteen years into the 21st Century, it is evident that these presenters were ahead of their times in showcasing the rich cultural diversity of the world community, setting the course for programming in three major and highly-visible American institutions.  Of particular interest is the contrast of policies and funding as implemented in three different institutional paradigms – a large, privately-founded and privately-funded arts and education organization, a programming department within New York City’s public library system, and an individually-founded organization focused exclusively on presenting world music and dance.

Asia Society, The New York Public Library of the Performing Arts and World Music Institute appear frequently in the itineraries of India’s eminent artists.  This article gives NARTANAM readers a perspective on these major institutions, and on the programming directors who have shaped their curatorial decisions.  Moreover, events during the forty years encompassing the artistic directorships of Beate Gordon, Alan Pally and the Brownings provide examples of the seismic shifts in promotion, funding and information technology during the latter 20th and early 21st Centuries.  Details from the lives and work of these individuals also show the important role of American philanthropy, entrepreneurial ingenuity and individual initiative in presenting the performing arts.

Though this article does not focus exclusively on Indian dance (and its inextricable companion, music), programming of Indian arts played a central role in the work of all three directorships, and examples of their work in this area were given wherever possible.