Thursday, September 28, 2006

International Kathak Festival, Day 1: post-intermission

The headliners were awesome - especially the two Mishra brothers Mata Prasad and Ravi Shankar Mishra. They jumped on the stage (one of the guys headed in the direction of the tabalchi and in 3 tihai leaps ended almost on top of the tabla), showed many other cool tricks and succeeded all around. They had double the number of bells as anyone else on their legs. When they focused on their footwork, their tummies shook vigorously. :) Their tabla accompanist - Gopal Mishra - did a strong little solo too.

Krishna Mohan Mishra was amazing. His wife Vashwati Sen was a bit slow and out-of-shape. Krishna Mohan - son of the legendary Shambhu Maharaj - danced 'cleanly' and beautifully as advertised.

The Kathak Kendra gang - Krishna Mohan, Vashwati and Aditi - are a tad bit over-choreographed. The Benares Mishra brothers (Mata Prasad and Ravi Shankar) are rawer and way cooler.

Krishna Mohan also did an awesome jugalbandhi (sawaal-jawaab) with the tabla player. I hope Charlotte was watching. A simpler but more fun nonk-jhonk it was....

Very good day of kathak indeed. The brothers were the most exciting, followed by Krishna Mohan and Charlotte. Aditi Mangaldas would come after them. Jaiwanti and Vashwati were not quite in the same league. Saswati Sen later asked the audience if speed was all they cared about. My answer would be obviously not - but anything other than speed require the dancers to make an emotional connection with me and no one even got anywhere close to that.

Tomorrow - Birju Maharaj...


International Kathak Festival : Day 1

The Kathak Festival has started and it's intermission for the Day 1 evening performances. Jaiwanti from Chhandam was okay, but Charlotte Moraga was awesome! She's quite a treat to watch and has a unique stage presence. Her jugalbandhi with Salar Nader, the tabalchi, was a bit strange tho'. They weren't really doing the same thing, were they? Most of the people in the audience couldn't tell what was going on. Charlotte and Salar ought to simplify their piece. Other than that, her performance was great. I like Roopak taal - and she really seems to like it too.

Aditi Mangaldas, disciple of Kumudini Lakhia, started off well. All modern dance-y and everything. But the piece was a bit flat compared to Charlotte's virtuosity, physical strength and variety.

The headliners of the day follow: Mata Prasad, Ravi Shankar, Krishna Mohan and Vashwati - all Mishras... Hope this will be 'special' as the announcer promises. :)


Is Darrell Hair a good umpire or not?

It's hard to make sense out of all the cricket jargon. The chap ruined a test-match, but still behaves like a rock star. Either he's a damn good umpire or the ICC is really really messed up. Which one is it?


Radio transcripts from the 1989 Bay Area earthquake

These radio communication transcripts from the 1989 Bay Area earthquake make for interesting reading.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Xinha Here! Firefox plugin

Testing Xinha Here! Firefox plugin. Something funky about this plugin - no wonder it's 0.8 and not quite 1.0 yet. But the concept is great!


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Michael Lewis is back

Seems like Michael Lewis has written a book on American football. A chapter out of this book.


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