Pseudo Bharatanatyam “dancer” Prasanna Kasthuri moving from St.Louis to Afganistan to teach Bharatnatyam classes there.

Prasanna Kasthuri,

Prasanna Kasthuri
promoting classical Indian music

an Americanised Kathak dancer, was stupid enough to write a lot of nonsense in his article on Narthaki. I sent a response to him and to Lalitha Venkat who – to my immense surprise – eventually published it, along with Prasanna’s reply.

Below is the improved and richly illustrated version, and more of our conversations! Enjoy! :)

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Prasanna Kasthuri’s article raises some important questions.

1. If indeed his “main goal (of moving to the USA) was to spread the traditional art” why didn’t he open a Bharatanatyam school in Lahore or in Kinshasa – instead of in St.Louis where “most of the dance teachers still continue living on meager income” funded by grants from Regional Arts Commission of Greater St. Louis and Missouri Arts Council? Were most medieval devadasis looking to become millionaires?

2. Considering that 15.8 million Americans spend $5.7 billion a year on yoga-related activities,  how successful economically was his “workshop dealing with hatha yoga, breathing and meditation combined with dance movements“?


His Holiness guru Prasanna teaching a rich American vanara how to offer a puja to Lord Nataraja

3. If the NRI doctors, business analysts and engineers are required to have a proof of their professional qualifications before they move to the USA, are the Hindu priests and Bharatanatyam dancers too? Are the Bharatanatyam dancers required to be qualified for dancing just as the former devadasis were required a pass in 64 subjects? Does getting a rank in Vidwath exam imply one can handle the 22 sruti system?

4. Has Prasanna Kasthuri tried to convince any Iranian person that the traditional dance of Kathak is traditional Indian dance?  If Japanese could be proud of Kabuki and Chinese can be proud of their classical music, why are the Indians not having the same enthusiasm exploring the ashtottara sata talam system?

5. How exactly are the traditional saxophone and the Italian violin concerts related to a goal to spread the traditional (Persian?) art? Why should the Indians be so enthusiastic promoting the Iranian or Italian culture?
6. How essential was “a meeting of Kathak and Tap”  for “upholding the spiritual values of great Indian traditions“?

7. Is any art sacred, and any artiste a saint? What is the difference between religious values and spiritual values?

8. If “our” (whose??) “dance forms” failed to “get more limelight than what it had previously“, why do some Bharatanatyam videos on YouTube get 1000 views a day, while others only 1 view a day? Are the times of Swarnamukhi’s popularity over as the classical dancers can’t sit in aramandi, control their eye-lashes or perform  Gangaavatarana?

9. As for the “onslaught of heavy media works such as television and movies“, don’t you think the film directors would be bankrupt if their actors were as unprofessional (e.g. in satvika and vachika abhinaya) and had as captivating figures and as fascinating faces as the majority of “professional” Bharatanatyam dancers most of whom can’t even apply make-up properly?

10. What is the purpose of dancing Bharatanatyam 24 or even 60 hours non-stop? Would you trade one good banana for 50 rotten apples?

Prasanna Kasthuri
Padre Prasanna at a mess asking for State funding

11. Are “the classical dances fading slowly” because currently 2 out of 5 NRI girls in the USA undergo some training in classical Indian dance? How can we stop them from attempting to learn Bharatanatyam?

12. Are some NRI dancers’ careers “fading slowly” because their “traditional” dance themes focus on praising the maharajas and merchants of the 18th century?

13. If Prasanna Kasthuri has less knowledge of philosophical and spiritual interpretations of the dance themes, is he planning to expand his knowledge by studying the Vedas in the original and achieving some spiritual qualification and siddhis?

14. If “most working class youngsters are seen spending time in front of television channels, rather than going out and enjoying a live classical performance“, is it partly for the reasons outlined by Mukundagiri Sadagopan ? Or is it because – according to the Kollywood film directors as well as Bharata Muni – the youngsters are attracted to Sringara which was eliminated in Bharatanatyam by Rukmini Devi? Or do Lakshmi Vishwanathan’s reasons apply?

15. If there is “less exposure of classical dance forms in these mass media in India and USA“, isn’t it a sign that now it is high time the dancers should stop promoting themselves (or their associates) and start promoting the dance?

16. If they “avoid any classical performances” because “it is not a crowd puller“, isn’t a proof that Bharatanatyam is meant for small audiences when the rasikas can see the dancers mukhaja abhinaya?
17. How do the “local dance teachers work very hard to bring in the professionalism in the community” ? What kind of “professionalism“? Why don’t they learn a bit of Bharatanatyam themselves first?

18. If “most teachers struggle to create awareness of their relationship with a performing art such Bharatanatyam“, doesn’t it mean that people find it hard to understand which “traditional” Bharatanatyam style these teachers teach after learning the Mysore style from Dr. K. Venkatalakshamma and Smt. Lalita Srinivasan,  the Pandanallur style from guru Narmada, and after the Gurukula workshops of Chitra Vishweswaran, T. Mahalingam Pillai, Adyar K. Lakshmanan and Pandanallur Gopala Krishna?

19. Is “teaching dance to an NRI kid is very hard” partly because the classes are an hour a week?

20. If “the coverage for performing arts either in an American newspaper or on any television or in a National dance festival such as American Dance Festival is too less”, does it mean it is time to bring to the USA some really talented dancers from India?

Hindu temples must fund garba and salsa festivals

21. If “the barrier of culture and race still hogs these areas“, doesn’t it mean that the desi forms are limited, and the dancers should finally think of exploring the margi?

22. If “there are no international art critics in major newspapers across American cities“, isn’t it a proof that Bharatanatyam is not an international dance form but an Indian art?

23. If “the entertainment section of newspapers such as Times of India filled with American icons“, is it because there are too few professional photographers in India?

24. Is it indeed Gurukula when you just visit your teacher’s house for a class twice a week?

25. Do “most of the dance teachers still continue living on meager income, just because of the “bhakti”” or because they are unwilling or incapable to go and get a proper full time job at a factory or on a farm?

26. If there are “so many artists in our area, who can do marvelous productions“, who else – apart from these artists – thinks so too?

27. If “our music and dance, whether it is north or south, are driven by bhakti “, why has Lord Almighty been so unwilling to notice the marvelous productions in the USA and support the dancers financially?

28. If “one cannot see a… Kathak performance without a Hindu deity being prayed to“, is it the proof that the Hindu deities came to like the Persian folk dances and Arab music, as well as Michael Jackson’s performances?

29. Why would the Hindu temples in the USA arrange for Kathak dance festivals and works of famous poets such as William Shakespeare, W B Yeats, Maya Angelou, William Wordsworth and John Keats” if it contradicts the Hindu tradition, according to which only margi dance should be performed in the temple premises?

Finally…

Performing Bharathanatyam with Cymbols … the new trend which Guru Prasanna used in this Kuchipudi-Bharathanatyam fusion dancing“.

with CDs and beautiful pre-recorded music, we can perform really well with very low cost. So, if we can setup a network of performances… If you are coming to St. Louis, MO , please send me your details. Meanwhile, remember, I will be seeking the same help from you. This way we can build a network” With the value of Prasanna’s currency dropping to a near-zero level, nobody wants to arrange for his performances by joining his network. Such a pity: his group has only 10 messages, the last one posted half a year ago has an intriguing heading: “I want to meet you. Give me a chance!” What desperate people are there in the USA!

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37 thoughts on “Pseudo Bharatanatyam “dancer” Prasanna Kasthuri moving from St.Louis to Afganistan to teach Bharatnatyam classes there.

  1. I am very happy that my article made Ashwini think this much. My job is done. But Ashwini’s understand of reality is very bleak.

    What I have written is the story of many people like me. By looking at the responses of Ashwini Shankar, I am concluding she has no idea what happens in the real life in USA.

    Just to let you know, when it comes to understanding of traditional art forms, we still have work just like we need to work in Lahore or Kinshasa, except that we live in a free country, where we can exercise our rights. Just to let you know, I did come as a qualified person to USA and not on the back of a truck. I do have a Vidwath rank. Most of my Bharathanatyam education was done by two great teachers – Lalitha Srinivasan and Narmada. My Kathak was taught by Dr. Mayarao. I respect them forever. Ashwini has such a discontent with learning. Pretty embarrassing for any progressive student.

    The main point of my article was to suggest temples should extend their patronage to traditional dance forms, apart from routine religious works. This has to be done atleast for the religious aspect of traditional dances.

    Tradition will be built by innovation. In our times, we are doing what others did previously. We have been exposed to so many varieties of dance. Hence all the collaboration. I am very happy I am doing this. This is where everyone will be headed if there is no openings for traditional base. This means, as a classical dancer, we will have less opportunity to perform any dances related to Hindu religion.

    It appears that Ashwini has a good knowledge of dancing, but unfortunately she does not care about other artist’s ability and achievement. Pretty sad. This is the exact nature of good hearted dancers, which has led to depreciate other’s dance, in turn the art itself.

    This is my message for her.

    Get real.

    Please do come to St. Louis and join Soorya Performing Arts as a member. It is an open Public organization. We are looking for brave people like Ashwini to come and do some volunteer work without getting paid (like I do, as I work close to 30 – 35 hours a week, with no compensation).

    Prasanna Kasthuri

  2. If you write you “live in a free country, where we can exercise our rights“, why had you written “We have no such pleasure in USA, as each housing subdivision has its own rule to avoid such “commercial” activities. Many of dance teachers are given county warnings for conducting dance lessons in our homes.

  3. read kasthuri’s article.. he is so desparate.. then why be in the US? He can very well run one more school on madras among those hundreds.. hehe he thinks bharatanatyam is only for temples and hopes temples would feed him, after a decade of existance in the US… pathetic… it is like he is crying pathetically for people to take notice of HIS plight lol
    hey hahaha you are intelligent. I like it.
    this is hilarious ain’t it?? lol
    With hundreds of temples in USA today, they can carve a great influence on the general public with a support to dancers, musicians. One hopes for that day, when Navarathri and Shivarathri can be celebrated with more dances of Durga and Shiva with deep bhakti.
    guydecember: hahahaha
    guydecember: he doesn’t know what Hinduism is and he talks about true Hindusim lol…
    guydecember: By providing a sincere encouragement to the professional artists in USA, Indian temples could promote a true Hinduism with allied art forms such as dance.

  4. He knows that the US temples are rich. What he cannot get at all is how any good Bharatanatyam or Kuchipudi or Odissi dancers who dance in the temples (and they do it very often) can easily get $200-1000 per performance as donation from the spectators there. Apparently they don’t give him more than $3 for his Kathak Bharatanatyam, so he enjoys promoting sax concerts.

    As for the deep Bhakti, the NRI children are hard to teach because they grow up with Mickey Mouse in their head, not Durga or Shiva.

  5. it is so true that its so difficult to teach the nris. one of the reasons might be the above one. the others are for eg, the mothers are constantly watching their kids in the class, so the teacher wont be her/himself, if they are too hard, mom will get angry and he will lose a student. then the classes are only once a week. after 2 such months every one wants a solo on the stage. its so strange and real that one is 8yrs old with out knowing how lord krishna looks like??!!! iam so happy to get rid of such a student. and then these kids are doing too many things- school, karate, music, swimming, bharatanatyam, ballet, bhajan, indian language learning, some sport, etc etc etc. i think such change shud come from the mothers- who are universally responsible for the development of a society. by the time such kids grow up, they are nothing of the above, or all of the above, but they forget to be the most imp thing in life- to be human, they become such selfish money making machines. god you shud see some kids of indian parents here, u will be scared that u r kid plays with them.

  6. I went through all your articles in other places. It looks like you have never taken positive information from any article or anyone’s comment. I feel you are very dissatisfied with the world, acting like a 7 year old disturbed kid. No wonder you are looking frustration in others.

    I am not here to win any argument. I am disclosing a scenario. You may find it stupid. But it is true. Because, truth has many facets, I have looked in one way, ofcourse, you have looked in a different way, although in a pretty crude way.

    My projects are meant for different purposes. You have mixed up the issues and my projects in a distorted way. I have putforth my thoughts, anyone is most welcome to critique and comment. Insulting a good artist like “Vaanara” only reflects only your own inner soul.

    I loved, wondered and laughed at all your sharp comments. Yet, I am surprised see, lack of understanding of the reality of certain dancers by persons like you.

    For example – When we are trying to reach with simple stuff like 8 beats and aditala – you are expecting us to disclose
    ashtottara sata talam system to Indians.

    Well, this is not Chennai. It is a different challenge.

    As Saint Purandara dasa says – “Vishavikkidavanigu shadrasavanu unisalu beku… mosa maadidavana hesara maganige idalu beku….”. You are not as bad as them.

    With this response, I will end my participation of this debate. You may most welcome to continue writing more on “How I wrote” this response, “how un-intelligent” is “Prasanna, and how he is wasting his time and effort”.

    God bless you.

  7. Oh, even you loved, wondered and laughed at all my sharp comments! :-) I am shocked you were unable to address any of the 29 points I raised. Perhaps life in America has debilitating effects. How else can one have the cheek to ask for the Hindu temples’ funding of his Tap “innovations“, being happy with his garba “collaborations”, perfectly happy that he “will have less opportunity to perform any dances related to Hindu religion“? Have you already asked your local Catholic church for funding your projects? Or some mosque?

    Aren’t you a classical fraud “dancer”? If I don’t see your “ability and achievement“, what to do if I see in your videos no dancing ability and no achievement whatsoever?


    I laughed when I imagined myself accepting your offer and coming to St.Louis to support promoting your Carnatic sax concerts, the Tap dancing, garba and crappy Kathak as my “volunteer work without getting paid“! :-) Gee! I wouldn’t do it even if I was paid millions! I would rather go to Kongo volunteering to cook gorillas (that’s what the negros eat there) on a full-time basis. As for the Vaanara, it was perhaps a bit too extreme to call your buffalo “networking partner” a gorilla. What to do, I am not a zoo keeper. I don’t need this kind of “exposure”.

    Amen. :)

  8. I stumbled upon your blog..(curse my fate!)
    You have no grasp on NRI lives in US. Somehow, you think they are all fake. Nothing good can ever come from US.
    According to you, almost all dancers in India are BAD.
    You are also pretty mean (advising a concerned brother of a male dancer to commit suicide) bitter (why, sour grapes? no titles,?), insensitive (cheri expressions??? Negro??? which century are you in?)

    FYI – being ‘frank’ is another word for being ‘rude’

  9. I was right: the shallow and hasty NRI’s like you are prone to jump to conclusions – after reading a single post of mine you made sweeping generalisations. :)
    If you bothered to read more than 1 post of mine, you would find at least 2 NRI dancers that got very positive reviews from me. But yes, these are rather exceptional. And if you read all of my posts, you would see that I think that many dancers in India are VERY GOOD!

  10. ashwini your blog is vulgar, you probably write all this non sense to make up for your bad dancing why dont you post a video of your dancing so we could judge how amazing you are? then we can all see how bharatanatyam showld be done “the right way”.

    I want to see a new post with a video clip of you or i’ll assume that your to afraid and coward.

    good day.
    ashwini shankar (if thats even your real name.)

  11. I did go thru several of your posts. The reference to “cheri” as a derogative term appears several times. It is one thing to criticize (not even critique) somebody’s performance. But to start attacking the dancers, teachers on a personal level is plain non-professional.. But then, I am under the assumption that your intent of the blog is to critique performances, educate about nuances etc.

    If your intent of the blog is to get a visceral response – you are doing a great job!

    It sounds like you are a dancer yourself. If it has not elevated your thinking above what you would call “Cheri”, you have failed.

    Another thing – your posts are bad on a different level too. There is no flow of thought. You mix metaphors freely resulting in nonsense.
    Rant, drivel are two words that come to my mind. Another word “kuzha adi sandai ”

    I guess I will search elsewhere on the web to educate myself about dance from people who have constructive and useful things to say.

  12. Karthik, the Natya Shastra speaks of 3 human types. Moreover, the lowest, uncultured ones are called “murkha” (the most vulgar type that is verging on the “Vaanara”). Since not many people would understand what is murkha, I use the term “cheri” (I know, it’s not very accurate, but what substitute you would suggest?).

    By the way, what type are you? :)

    There is no flow of thought.

    I agree that most posts are just raw drafts. I don’t have a lot of time for editing. If you can help me edit them, I will post your versions.

  13. Hey Sharanya, yes, this is me!!!! LOL
    I think I dance a bit better :)

    I am sure you will show us some original, true Bharatanatyam one day after going to the gym for a while! :)
    I am not sure Padmaja Suresh will quality as original dancer. :(
    How’s teaching in Caxias do Sul ?

  14. you even trashed kathak as an iranian folk dance! LOL!

    Sadly, I cant shut you up on kathak, like I did on Kuchipudi.. :)

    Personally, even though I feel the abhinaya in Kathak is really great, its too “whirly – whirly” for my taste.. I mean, after all, whats the point of whirling around so much?!

  15. Namaskar Ashwini,
    Glad that you got my joke… Hope I didn´t offend you (or the cute chubby dancer), I was only eager to see a vídeo of you dancing, as some people seems to be….
    So you did some research on me, nice… I am very surprised that you didn´t called me Vaanara (I am half-african). Am I a murkha? Do you have a term to describe “foreign dancer”? What do you think about us, of non-indian origin, learning Bharatanatyam?
    I don´t like to go to gym, I am very happy already with my dance and yoga classes, don´t mind being curvy, I think that´s more important to have flexibility and stamina… and can´t show you the pure, tradicional Bharatanatyam, because seems like only you know about that… Do you teach? Where? Who is your guru/teacher? We, readers, urge to know !
    Actually I read your blog very often, and you know, I find many things you write really interesting, when you talk about spirituality in dance, devas, abhinaya, karanas, for example. And discussion is always interesting. I am all for freedom of speech. But you you really need to bash the dancers to get to your points? Like somebody said you could be more respectful, focusing on critique instead of critisizing…Thank you !

  16. Hi, Sharanya :)
    What made you think that I consider all Africans Vaanaras??? First of all, it does not depend on the race. Vaanaras are the crude people that have certain characteristics, such as very heavy jaw, massive nose, protruding eyebrow arches, small forehead (like in gorillas), crude fingers, etc. In other words, the more one looks like a gorilla, the closer the gene type is to the Vaanara. Moreover, there are more variations in the African types than in all other races combined. Intellectually, Vaanaras are very backward, and have no aesthetic faculty.

    If you want to get an objective (genetic) report on how close (it can be any figure from 94% to 98%)you are to an average (what’s “average” is actually yet to be determined) chimpanzee , you can very easily do it. So, within this range, we have anything from Vaanaras (98%) to Homo Sapience (94-97% range) types. Murkhas are a bit higher than vaanaras on the evolutionary scale, but education can change them to some extent. Doing yoga seriously can radically change your genes. They compared identical twins, and found their genes start to diverge more and more with age.

    As for non-Indians learning Bharatanatyam, I think you are learning it for your personal development, and you are pretty well aware of the fact that you cannot really compete on the stage with the dancers in India who have been learning it daily from the age of 5.

    Then, if you go to yoga classes, do you just sleep (“meditate”) there? :) Do you do Chakrasana, Adrha-Matsyendrasana, Vriscikasana? If you do asanas and pranayamas properly, you will never be “curvy”. I would say that anybody who spends 5 minutes a day on Kapalabhati would burn all the fat in the body.

    Do you seriously expect me to tell you where I teach? :)

    As for bashing, this is my puja for Kali. I respect those who deserve respect.

  17. Thank you very much for the reply!
    Yes I know very well that I can´t compete with the dancers in India, for me dancing is more of an spiritual practice, actually my goal is to have enough merits in this life so that next life I can be born in India to learn dance since childhood… Please give me you blessings !
    Yes I can do all the asanas you said, and more…Of course I can´t do mayurasana, but soon I will… I do pranayama as well (but will ask for my teacher about that 5min. of Kaphalabhati). Many asanas I do better than most slim girls in my class. I believe that some people are meant to be heavier (I meant body tipe, not fat). Yoga is not about being skinny, is about finding the balance. I know some yogins that actually became heavier after beggining the practice ! Of course it´s muscles and not fat. Fat in excess is never good. I admit I can lose more of that. But due to my body type I will never be slim (even when I used to practice 6hrs a day in india I didn´t became slim, but lost a lot of fat and build a lot of muscles). Like I said before, I think that to dance is more important to have stamina, muscle strenght and flexibility.
    Please tell me who deserve respect and those who does not?
    Namaskar Vannakam

  18. If you build a lot of muscles, you eat a lot of protein, and do gymnastics, not yoga.
    You can do a clinical test of your muscle fibers ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscle_fiber )
    Real asana practice produces different fibers than gymnastics does.
    In asanas, you are supposed to relax as many muscles and as much as you can (if you don’t, that’s gymnastics).
    In asanas, the muscles are stretched, so the fibers will be longer.

    As for respect, those deserve it who do not pretend to be what they are not. So, it’s about being humble and honest.
    Accepting or giving bribes in a Bharatanatyam competition will not earn you respect.
    Disobeying God’s will (as in Swarnamukhi’s case) will make people despise you.

  19. so ashwini do you respect me? :P

    “Real asana practice produces different fibers than gymnastics does.”

    can u elaborate on this?

    and btw, anjaneya was a vanara, an incarnation of Rudra, one of the forms of Nataraja, the Lord of Dance..

    Cheers.

  20. Wow! Kudos to you for being who you are! But I gotta tell you, be a critique not one who insults…..big difference.
    You are knowledgable there is no doubt…..but what exudes from your articles is a lot of disrespect for anyone who thinks different from you. Not to mention a lack of maturity. I won’t go into specifics, lest you run your mouth off again.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this,
    Saroni

  21. Hi very interesting debte…
    According to my yoga guru, the more sensible classification of humans with respect to spiritual upliftment is ‘Gunas’ Satva, rajas and tamas. This actually reflects the colour of the mind.

    Essence of description
    Satva – less of personally identified (Egoistic) activities but with fully matured individualism (Does not mean personality which is egoistic)
    Rajas – Personally identified activities with partially developed individualism
    Tamas – Personally identified activities with no individualism (Action driven by internalized collective thinking)

    Generally people in first two categories are quick in spiritual progress but ultimately integrity and dedication matters. One can be in tamasic rajas overlap and acheive it while one with rajas but do force to work upon themselves will not make it.

    Natya is also a way to spirituality though everyone may not get through it and not necessary for everyone too.

    It helps people who are more inclined with shakti aspect of spirituality. It elevates one’s energy from the gross (Physical) to the great emotional plane (It also works wonder in ones understanding of love with partners)

    But ultimate spirituality is even transcending that to fulfilling emptiness.

  22. Significant typo
    One can be in tamasic rajas overlap and acheive it while one with rajas but do ‘not’ force to work upon themselves will not make it.

  23. Sankar, it seems you heard about the gunas only yesterday. Thanks for your fantasies. You obviously have no idea of what you are talking about.

  24. It can be a good topic but serves for nothing now..

    But going through all your postings, the tonality of your expressions seems to be of cathartic nature (Kali puja!!) but I am definitely not making fun of that. This is a distinct kind of intellectual egoistic craving cum gratification and tends to be self deluding and unstoppable. It has to stop only of its own accord by means of energy exhaustion and cannot be helped by external means.

    But even I am some what pushed to play in the same kind of rasa although bit depressing. (I really had a taste for that in my past.)

    I sense a kind forceful indulgence on your part and it cannot be a pleasant mental engagement to you, may be you are considering it as a part of your sadhana.

    It’s because one simply cannot bash another by forcefully convincing oneself to stand for the ultimate justice or reality. It develops a lot of internal friction in the mind.

    The reality of big funda (Spirituality) we speak is some where on a different plane although we are experiencing it all the time. But it is not reflected in the way we speak, here its all to prove one’s point.

    I am resigning from posting to you now because nothing more could be added meaningfully, but would like to make a suggestion to you, a vibrant and an interesting lady. If your passion is to dance you better focus on dancing, leaving what others are up to do.

    If you are a critic, be balanced in your reporting and arguments. Bring objectivity in a detached manner. Believe that only the subject matters and not ‘You’. There is a thin line between communicating one’s ideals and self indulgence.

    And both cannot be done honestly unless you as an entity of personality (idea of what ashwini) is dead.

    Spirituality is not about aptitude, vocabulary or skill but becoming soft inside with awareness.

    All this can be a crap but can stimulate new perspective at some point. You may not publish this because it is genuinely for you and not written others in mind. In any case I don’t feel offended.

    Apologize for ‘Preaching’ I really don’t like to do this.

    Till then keep going.
    Sankar

  25. Maybe instead of wasting time in all this useless discussion and tirade about what is not right, why doesn’t this dancer spend her time in perfecting her art and showing to the world what is right.
    Art unlike other areas of discipline requires one to have both an understanding of theory and the ability to put theory to practice and above all creativity to communicate an idea or thought process.
    Above all inspite of having sound theory, good technique and creativity,dance must and always communicate what he/she is trying to communicate, irrespective of the choice of theme, language or style of dance (classical/contemporary, folk,ballet etc).
    What art definitely does not need is self proclaimed, half baked, stupid , arrogant critics like this.

  26. To Prasanna kasthuri,

    If you claim respect to your teachers from Kathak and Bharatanatyam, you really need to find which Kathak exponent can sit through your Kathak and which Bharatanatyam exponent can say a good word about your Bharatanatyam, or that graceless, flimsy, eyewash of the cocktail that you present.

  27. i read about your thoughts on Vanaraas. You are wrong, sorry to say. You have not read Valmiki Ramayanam, have you?

  28. hi ashwini

    Just came across your blog, and was very surprised to see how many posts actually belong to someone else and have been posted elsewhere originally – and you have posted them as your own with no attribution. I found at least two, and frankly was a little disgusted to see how you re-purpose other people’s posts for your own narcissitic ends. I’ve read plenty of mean blogs, and frankly that has bothered me less that your blatantl plagiarism. Who’s really the “murkha” here?

  29. I have known Prasanna since1997 as a software engineer, working with him in Saint Louis. Even then he did talk a lot about getting involved in starting a Dance Academy, We were all busy thinking of starting consulting companies and also starting trade schools. So to set some things straight, He came to Saint Louis as a software engineer. Got his resident status and pursued his passion in dancing. Where as other computer engineers like me stayed in our profession.

  30. So he realized that selling his “Bharatanatyam” classes to some stupid American students is a better way to make money than to write software or to sell sub-prime mortgages to unsuspecting customers?

  31. wow… this is all so crazy. It sounds to me like this person feels that anything against her own “opinions” is not only wrong, but grounds for utter cruelty. It almost seems as if you have a problem with Americans. My question would be why? From what I’ve read you have no real understanding of Americans, or NRI’s in America

  32. God knows who’s this Ashwini talking about Prasanna whose achievements to promote our arts and culture is huge, even if it’s local to St Louis. Btw no need for all good artists to be huge hit on YouTube or need to have huge following. Btw you can become famous by doing things like what Poonam Pondey does to get promotion. Surely Poonam gets lot of hit but that doesn’t mean that she’s the great artist. People who don’t understand one’s qualifications, efforts, and tireless ethics to promote our arts and culture in any part of the world are useless no matter how they can twist their legs. Looks like this lady learnt twisting tongue more than legs in her training. This is what happens when you learn art without understanding values. May be it helps if this lady learns to practice what Purandara Dasa taught on how not indulge in bad mouthing people.

  33. Ashwini who are you and where are u? I think you have got some of the facts right and have to agree with it but I beg to differ on others. Do u know prasanna kasturi personally?

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