ABC Guide

Published on 28 October 2014

COMPILED BY PAMELA HO

Bharatanatyam

Bharatanatyam is a form of classical Indian dance that hails from Tamil Nadu in South India. It was originally performed in temples by devadasis (temple dancers) before the local kings invited them to dance in the courts.

There are three distinct elements to Bharatanatyam: Nritta, which is pure dance without any emotion or expression; Natya, which is the dramatic aspect, using mime or spoken dialogue; and Nritya, which is interpretive dance, using facial expressions, hand gestures and body movements to express emotions and themes.

Bharatanatyam is usually a solo dance, performed by a female dancer. But it can also feature male dancers or groups.

Dancers wear temple jewellery that includes anklets with bells. The more advanced dancers wear more rows of bells, but they are deemed more talented if the anklet bells ring less when they dance!

 (Photo Temple of Fine Arts)

Bohemian

The concept of Bohemian is believed to have birthed from 1850s Paris as a reaction to the bourgeois life. It is often characterised by a rejection of materialism, pursuit of wealth and moral values as defined by society.

This often-marginalised community comprises like-minded individuals with artistic and intellectual tendencies. It often includes painters, writers, musicians and journalists who live in voluntary poverty.

The Montmartre area of Paris played home to many famous Bohemians, from painter Vincent Van Gogh to French poet Charles Baudelaire. In pop culture, the 2001 movie Moulin Rouge provides a glimpse into the Bohemian lifestyle of that era.

 (Illustration Jimmy Lee)

Other stage productions include Puccini’s famous opera, La Bohème (1896) and Jonathan Larson’s musical Rent, which revolves around a modern-day Bohemian enclave in New York City.

Buck, Pearl S.

Best known for her novel The Good Earth written in 1931, the late Pearl Sydenstricker Buck (1892 – 1973) was an American author who won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1932 (for her rich and truly epic description of peasant life in China), and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1938, making her the first American woman to do so.

Her parents were Presbyterian missionaries and she spent most of her life before 1934 in Huai’an and Zhenjiang. Between 1914 and 1933, she too served as a missionary and later taught English Literature at the University of Nanking.

Buck was also known for her humanitarian efforts, in particular the adoption of mixed-race children, and addressing poverty and discrimination faced by children in Asia.

Her tombstone bears the characters of her Chinese name, Sai Zhenzhu. She has over 100 works to her credit.

Scroll Up
X