Updated: Apr 30 2004, 05:30am hrs
Likely to be in New York between today and Sunday, May 2 You might want to pop into the legendary Merce Cunningham Studio at 55, Bethune Street in NewYork City. Trinayan Collective, the Odissi group, will perform there three evenings in a row at 8 pm, in a show titled Neel: The Eternal Blue.

Its billed as a 90-minute evocation of the multi-layered concept of blue as Divinity in Indian culture, from darkest Mata Kali to Neelkanth, Blue-throated Shiva. Tickets are $15 apiece and can be reserved in advance by emailing or calling 212-598-9085. You can pick up tickets as late as 15 minutes before showtime.

You may wonder why an Indian should bother catching Odissi abroad but sometimes, for very busy people, its easier to catch a show away from the daily grind of home. And its a peculiar pleasure to see how the outside world reacts to our stuff out there on their turf!

Trinayan Collective will perform three evenings in a row in New York City
Incidentally, Merce Cunningham danced in India in the first India International Dance Festival back in 1991.

Corporate sponsors and lovers of theatre, a felicitous discovery awaits if you make it to the 64th Bhagavata Mela Nataka Mahotsav in Melattur, Tamil Nadu, between May 17 and 26. Its a temple art/theatre tradition that has been in vogue in the nadu (desh) since the last 450 years, a Telugu Bhakti heritage nurtured in Tamil country. The venue is the Sri Varadaraja Perumal Sannidhi, Melattur, as part of Sri Narasimha Jayanti celebrations, in Thanjavur District (Melattur is 32 km from Tanjore).

The sponsors this year, besides Sangeet Natak Akademi, are City Union Bank Ltd, Indian Overseas Bank, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Sri Sarvaraya Sugars Ltd (Chennai), Indo-National Ltd, PS Telugu University, Nalli Kuppuswami Chetty, Hiro D Vassanani and a host of others. Bravo, India Inc, for helping to keep a lovely bit of our soul alive.

Now, how about sponsoring select extracts to be performed in other parts of India, ideally at a temple to sustain the meaningful context: but invite all communities to share this intense theatrical experience as common national heritage

Janmashtami seems the ideal time and Delhis Birla Mandir might be the perfect venue, just as Arab ki Sarai was perfect for Jahan-e-Khusrau.

Meanwhile out in Mumbai, Delhi-based installation artist Nitasha Jainee strikes again with a provocative arrangement of thoughts at the Jehangir Art Gallery between April 29 and May 5, 11 am to 7 pm. This time shes raging at the urban man for being all outward show except when it comes to emotion.

Pune has a quiet week, the biggest buzz is a Ganesha painting show by Pancham Lunavat till April 30 at Balgandharva art gallery!