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World Sanskrit Conference


The 12th world Sanskrit conference organized by the International association of Sanskrit Studies and The University of Helsinki (Institute of Asian and African Studies) was held in Helsinki (Finland) from July 14-18, 2003.  The conference was attended by 270 delegates from all over the world. Amongst them 50 were from different parts of India. The paper presentations were scheduled in fourteen sections viz. (1) Veda, (2) Epics, (3) Puranas, (4) agamas and Tantras, (5) Vyakarana, (6) Lingustics, (7) Poetry, drama and Aesthetics, (8) Scientific Literature, (9) Buddhist Studies, (10) Jaina Studies, (11) Philosophy, (12) History and Epigraphy, (13) Law and Society, and (14) Art and Archeology. some 220 delegates presented their papers under these 14 sections. Four sections were conducted simultaneously each day.

Dr. Advaitavadini Kaul from the IGNCA, was deputed to participate in the conference by the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan (under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India), and IGNCA.  Dr. Kaul presented her paper in the Agama and Tantra section on July 14th, 2003.  The title of her presentation was "Svacchandabhairava: Blissful Spontaneous will of Siva".  In her presentation she discussed the concept of the central deity i.e. Svacchandabhairava conceived in the Kashmir Saiva tradition.  She gave explanation to the form of the deity along with its various attributes based on a hundred year old beautiful miniature painting that her family possesses.

There are several such paintings which are in the possession of many Kashmiri Pandit families because the tradition of meditation and worship of the deity prevailed amongst Kashmiri Pandits till very recent times.  Dr. Kaul's presentation attracted the attention of many scholars who sought to get explanation to various other deities mostly representing Buddhist Tantric forms.

Among the eminent scholars present during Dr. Advaitavadini Kaul's presentation were: Prof. Burno Dagens from Paris as Chairperson of the section; Prof Kameshwar Mishra from Sarnath, India, as Chairperson of the session; and Prof. Ramamurti Sharma, ex-vice chancellor, Sampurnanda Visvavidhyalaya, Varanasi; Prof. K.D. Tripathi, retd. from BHU, Varanasi; Prof. Bettina Baumer, former Director, Alice Boner Foundation, Varanasi; Prof. Mislav Jezic from Crocia, Prof. Shashiprabha Kumar, Chairperson, Centre for Sanskrit Studies, JNU, New Delhi; and Prof. Gudrun Buhnemann, University of Wisconsin, Medison, USA.


Dance Archaerology and Architecture

The 9th century complex of Prambanan in Central Java is known for its narrative reliefs and for its dance panels, located around the outer balustrade of the main temple, Candi Siwa.

In recent years the dance reliefs have received much attention and efforts have been directed at studying the dance movements captured by the sculptors of these panels, with a view to reconstituting this obsolete dance vocabulary.  This in turn had led to choreographic experimentation. 

Dr. Alessandra Lopez Y Royo in a lecture (Aug 18) focused on the process of reconstitution of the dance vocabulary of the Prambanan temple complex and the recent work that has been done on it using animation and motion capture technology.

The work did not occur in isolation; indeed the whole complex has been the focus of collaborative research involving architects, dancers and archaeologists, exploring the dance/temple connection and mapping the diverse contextual meanings the Prambanan dance sequences have in performance, in architecture and as iconography.

Dr. Royo specializes in the performing arts, cultural history, material, culture and visual arts of South and South-east Asia, especially India and Indonesia.  She holds a doctorate in Art and Archaeology.  She has contributed several papers on these topics to a number of international journals.


Children performing

SOS Camp

The Children's Programme division of IGNCA aims to develop interest and awareness among school-going children about Indian art and culture.  Film shows and workshops for children are routinely held from time to time in schools.  Some of the schools which have been contacted by IGNCA are Amity International School, St. Columba's School, Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, Queen Mary's School and Bal Bhawan.

This year, IGNCA organized a workshop entitled `HOP-SCOTCH' - a combination of dance, painting and sculpture.  This workshop was conducted by Ms. Ratna Bali Kant, an eminent artiste trained in performing and Visual art.  About 50 children from different age groups (10 to 16 years) participated in the six day workshop from 7th to 14th July, at SOS Children's Village of India (Greenfields, Faridabad).

During the workshop, the children were taught how to combine sculpture, dance, painting and theatre in a playful and simple manner where they composed the whole production in the five day workshop and staged it on the 6th day.


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