Dance in the Liturgy

Priest launches book on Indian classical dance styles of India

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1. Priest launches book on Indian classical dance styles of India June 9, 2008 Translated

June 19 (Thursday) in Curitiba Park Shopping Bookstores Barigüi the national launch of the book "Indian Dance - History - Evolution - Style," written by Catholic priest and professor of classical Indian dance Joachim Andrade. A native of Mangalore (city of Karnataka state in southern India), Joachim Andrade holds a degree in classical dance style Bharata Natyam by Gyan Ashram Institute of Performing Arts in Mumbai, one of the most prestigious schools in India. In his book - produced from the PhD thesis in Science of Religion who defended the PUC-SP in 2007 - Andrade is to present classical Indian dance in depth, to reclaim the religious elements, aesthetic and body that make up this ancient form of artistic expression. "How was based on academic information and experience of dance in India and Brazil, the work can be very useful for dancers and teachers. Even people who do not know the dance, but they have interesting information about Indian culture by reading the book," says Joachim. Practiced by millions of people in India and increasingly popular in countries like USA, UK, Canada and Brazil, the Indian classical dance ritual began as part of Hinduism. Influenced by Islamic culture from the Mongol invasion (XVI), come to our days as a national treasure of India. During the book launch, the public will enjoy choreography of classical Indian dance Bharata Natyam students presented by Joachim Andrade. The event will be attended by the Consul General of India in Sao Paulo, Mr. Sivaraman Swaminathan.

Technical Data:
Launch of book "Indian Classical Dance - History - Evolution - Style" by Joachim Andrade (168 pages, suggested retail price of $ 42.00) Date: 19/06/2008 (Thursday) Time: 19:30 Location: Curitiba Books Barigüi Park Mall (Store 169)
The dance performances with the students of Ravi Santosh Performing Arts occur at 19.45 and 20.45.
2. Festival da cultura Indiana do Recife August 26, 2008 Translated

Padre Joachim Andrade dança na abertura do festival [Father Joachim Andrade dance at the opening of the festival]

Joachim Andrade (Mangalore, 1962), is a Catholic priest of the Congregation of the Divine Word. Graduated in Philosophy and Theology from Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune (India), graduated in English from the University of Mysore and a specialist in Bharata Natyam dance by Ashram Gyan Institute of Performing Arts, Mumbai. Living in Brazil since 1992, a Masters in Social Anthropology at the Federal University of Parana and Doctor of Religious Sciences at the Catholic University of São Paulo. Currently, besides the priesthood - Joachim Andrade is provincial of the Congregation of the Divine Word for the Southern Region of Brazil - coordinates its own school of Indian dance, Ravi Santosh Performing Arts, located in Curitiba.

There is loads of yoga at this 'Festival of Indian culture' at which Fr. Joachim Andrade SVD performs the Hindu dance, Bharatanatyam, centre photograph above.

The priest studied at the Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth/Papal Seminary, Pune.

Read about what many of the seminary’s theologians teach, at NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 02-THE PAPAL SEMINARY, PUNE, INDIAN THEOLOGIANS, AND THE CATHOLIC ASHRAMS
3. Dá-me a palavra certa November 25, 2009

On YouTube, watch Fr. Joachim Andrade SVD performing a Bharatanatyam recital in church, before the altar. See the picture on the extreme right, above. 43.

South Indian sambar goes to samba land - Brazil

4. Spreading Indian Flavor in Samba Land – Brazil by Florine Roche, Mangalore April 7, 2008

See the picture on the extreme left, on page 43, Fr. Joachim Andrade SVD, performing before an idol of Nataraja [Shiva] and again below left. Below right, Fr. Joachim Andrade SVD dances before the tabernacle and what appears to be an upside-down cross. Art? Now why am I not surprised?

The South American country of Brazil is no doubt famous for its soccer, beaches, coffee, volleyball, carnival and those hot women who sashay the international modeling scene with aplomb. This former Portuguese colony no doubt boasts of a unique and flamboyant culture of its own as its carnival festivities are famous across the world attracting thousands of people. Despite the distance that separates But Indian dance, yoga, art and culture is finding its flavour in Brazil thanks to the efforts of a few Indian missionaries and other smitten Brazilians who have been instrumental in spreading Indian flavour in this coffee land. 

Today about 5 million Brazilians are practicing regular yoga and several dance and art schools have mushroomed all over Brazil, says Fr Joachim Andrade, a Mangalorean SVD priest who has been working in Brazil for the last 17 years.

"Major Hindu influence began in Brazil to be exact was in 1953, when yoga was taken by a French man, who took the Indian name as Shivananda, who started a yoga academy in one of the towns of Brazil. Later, many other forms have entered such as Hare Krishna Movement, Vedanta Philosophy, Indian classical music and finally Indian classical dance. The Brazilians got hooked to Indian music, vegetarianism, food and culture and there has been no stopping its popularity", Fr Andrade declares.  

Indian way of live has penetrated deeply among the people and some of the Brazilians have great admiration towards Indian culture. Many have ventured out to take a trip to India visiting several ashrams and gurus. They have taken back to Brazil a kind of Indian culture which has created a deep rooted impact among Brazilians. 

This receptiveness among Brazilians prompted Fr Andrade to make a deeper study on the phenomenon of the diffusion of Hinduism in Brazil. Born in Vamada Padavu in Bantwal taluk, he joined seminary and was initiated to Bharathanatyam during his college days in Mysore.   Fr Andrade gave a public stage entrance in Pune in 1991 in Bharatanatyam and left for Brazil in 1992 after his ordination.  He continued his passion in Brazil and did his masters in Anthropology choosing the topic “Dance as a ritual: a case study of Indian Dance” for his dissertation. For his doctorate he chose the topic of “diffusion of Hinduism in Brazil and used Bharatanatyam as the medium for diffusion

As Fr Andrade worked in southern part of Brazil where the church activity is mostly pastoral and was compelled to make a slight shift in his missionary work and concentrate on ecumenical as well as inter-religious dialogue activity. Because of his close involvement in inter-religious dialogue activities, he has been appointed as the coordinator of the Ecumenical and Inter-religious dialogue dimension of the arch diocese of Curitiba.
Responding to public enthusiasm Fr Andrade has opened an academy of dance in Brazil recently where Brazilians learn the Indian dance and propagate it to the Brazilian people. “My motive behind this is to utilize the art form to diffuse Christian themes and combine the art and spirituality to the Brazilian culture” he says modestly.

Recently his pupil Ivanilda Maria Moreira Da Silva, a yoga teacher for the last 20 year hailing from Curitiba in Brazil was in Mangalore to add perfection to her Bharatanatyam dance which she has been learning in Brazil from Fr Andrade for the last four yearsIvanilda spent two months at Sandesha College of Fine Arts fine-tuning her skills in Bharathanatyam and left back for Brazil with a promise to come back against next year with her 13 year old daughter Yane to learn more about Indian dance. “I learnt the techniques and perfection of the movements of the Indian classical dance.  I am greatly impressed by the visuals, the grace, the music and the expressions of Bharathanatyam.  Having stayed here for two months and learning dance I feel dance comes from within and it is very satisfying to make the movements, articulations and gestures.  It is made me what I am”, Ivanilda confesses.   44.
Ivanilda came to be associated with yoga just by fluke.  Her husband wanted to learn martial arts and yoga formed a part of martial arts.  She had accompanied her husband to the university and when her husband got specialized in Martial arts Ivanilda got a tryst with yoga and since then as the cliché goes there has been no looking back for Ivanilda. A few years back she was exposed to Indian dance and got enamored by it prompting her to join the academy as Fr Andrade’s student… 

It only goes to prove that art and spirituality makes a great combo to make a striking impact.  

Daijiworld readers’ comments on the above piece by Florine Roche:

Excellent article by Florine Roche and congratulations to Fr. Joaquim SVD and his efforts to spread the indian culture and values. Good luck! Clifford D’Souza SVD, Taccode/Montreal/Canada April 07, 2008

Congratulations to Fr. Joachim. For nearly 16 years we were companions in the seminary formation and he is known for his hard work and love for the art which he has kept till today. Wish you good luck in your task of spreading the Gospel values through the Indian dance in Brazil. Fr. John Stephen Roche, SVD, Fajir/México April 08, 2008

Great work Fr. Joachim, god bless in your sincere efforts. If i remember correctly we were studying together in SVD kirem in 1976. All the best to you. C. Hillary D’Silva, niddodi/mira road, mumbai April 08, 2008

Hi, I had read articles on Father Joachim being a Bharat Natyam dancing SVD priest before, I envision him as the only rightfully ordained RC priest to dance Bharat Natyam himself for daily mass. Can anyone enlighten me more about it? God bless nigamaa, church universal June 02, 2008

Two commenters are SVD priests, the third is either a priest or a person who left the SVD seminary before ordination, and they all congratulate their confrere on his spreading “Indian dance” in Brazil.

And “nigamaa” actually states that the priest dances Bharatanatyam at daily Mass!
5. More examples of SVD religious promoting Bharatanatyam/performing dance during the Liturgy of the Mass: first, one in Tizza, Ghana, then another in Holy Spirit church, Eichstatt, Germany.

1. Ghana Province SVD Newsletter August – November 2008 EXTRACT

Immediately after the Holy Communion there was a cultural dance inside the Church. This dance is called bawaa. Xylophones and drums are normally used to produce the bawaa music. Usually, the dancers dance around the players of the instruments with the male and female dancers intertwined. Some of the con-celebrating ministers joint the dancers to exhibit their dancing capabilities. That made the celebration a very colorful one.

(The writer himself participated. He danced so well that he earned about GH 11.00 cedis for the official dancers. Let us not forget our roots!).- Fr. Martin K. Ninnang SVD

The group also was at Mass for Pastoral workers in Eichstatt and performed using local drums from Ghana which moved all to dance. A song composed by Rev. Bro Stephen Domelevo, SVD entitled "Walking Together: we are all to walk together" became the most popular song for the youth and old in all the parishes.- Stephen Domelevo, SVD
Many SVD centres in India are dedicated to the promotion of Bharatanatyam. It is no wonder then that so many of their priests are taking to this Hindu dance. More on the SVDs in dance on page 87

2. Communications / Media

1. Sat Prakashan Sanchar Kendra in Indore (Madhya Pradesh)

2. Ishvani Communications in Pune (Maharastra) [Ishvani Kendra]

3. St. Arnold Vikas Sanchar in Jharsuguda (Orissa) [the communication center for Orissa Bishops’ Council]

4. Sangeet Abhinay Academy, Mumbai (Maharastra)

The above [SVD] media centres in India are involved in promoting various cultural aspects of Indian society: e.g. Hindustani & Tribal music, Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Tribal dances and folk arts.
The former President of SIGNIS INDIA and spokesperson Communication Information
Bureau, Delhi Catholic Archdiocese, Fr. Dominic Emmanuel SVD, produces a Bharatanatyam video

3. Catholic Radio and Television Network (CRTN)

Star over Bethlehem is the story of the birth of Jesus rendered in the beautiful Indian classical dance form called Bharatnatyam. Producer: Fr. Dominic Emmanuel SVD;;

Date of Production: 2006 Duration: 8 [minutes]

"It does take time to develop a sense of equanimity. It can be achieved to some extent after long discipline and self-catechesis," Rev Dr Dominic Emmanuel SVD, director and spokesperson of Delhi Catholic Archdiocese, declares. Finding most comfort from Jesus’ teachings, he adds, "The principle of yin and yang or even the middle path taught by Gautama the Buddha, have also been of help to me in maintaining equanimity."

Life Positive is India’s leading New Age publication. That’s why the “yin and yang” passes muster.


6. SANDESHA LALITKALA MAHAVIDYALAYA, Premnagar, Bajjodi, Mangalore, Karnataka.

Catholics have enquired with me about Sandesha, a Mangalore diocesan enterprise, for years

From: Austine J. Crasta To: prabhu Sent: Thursday, April 27, 2006 9:21 AM Subject: Re: THANK YOU

I can only try to fit it in the schedule of my next trip to Mangalore which will depend upon an appointment to be given to me by Fr. Francis Lewis. I may not be able to visit Sandesha until Fr. Francis takes over on May 10th. Till then, you can take a printout of contents on their website and it may be treated as official/"in print" matter. When you do so, please don't copy and paste it to another location and print. That will not count. You must print it directly off Internet Explorer so that it automatically carries the webpage address.

This is to guard in case if website contents change later. URL: Austine, Bangalore
From: Dominic Dixon To: prabhu Sent: Monday, November 27, 2006 8:26 PM Subject: Re: YOGA

Dear Mike, Thanks a ton for the article. Please visit this site and let me know if these guys are ok. I had given a presentation at the Bishops house today and met the directors of this place. Blessings Dom, Bangalore

1a. Odissi Dance Workshop at Sandesha - Mangalorean Catholics digest no. 667 dated March 5, 2007

Posted by: "Francis Lewis" Sat Mar 3, 2007 6:16 am (PST) EXTRACT

Sandesha Lalitkala Mahavidyalaya is delighted to inform that a Karnataka State level workshop on Odissi dance will be conducted at Sandesha from Sunday 4th of March to 10th of March 2007. St Mary’s College Shirva in collaboration with Sandesha Lalitkala Mahavidyalaya opens a new avenue in Odissi dance.
This workshop sponsored by the University Grants Commission will be conducted by the eminent Odissi dance exponent Smt Itishree Devi (Disciple of Padmavibhushan Gurushree Kelucharan Mohapatra)
The inaugural function of the workshop will be held on Sunday the 4th of March at 5.30 pm at the Sandesha Kalabhhavan,
Any undergraduate student from the colleges can participate in this workshop. There are no fees payable. The workshop will be from 11.30 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 5 pm from Monday March 5, to Saturday March 11.
Rev Fr John Barboza, Principal , St Mary’s College Shirva.
Smt Vani Rajgopal, Principal, Sandesha Lalitkala Mahavidyalaya
Fr Francis Lewis*, Director, Sandesha
1b. Report of Odissi Workshop - Mangalorean Catholics digest no. 669 dated March 8, 2007

Posted by: "Francis Lewis" Wed Mar 7, 2007 5:54 am (PST) EXTRACT

Mangalore: I am happy to be here in this temple of art and culture and look forward to the experience of meeting so many youngsters at the workshop on Odissi dances said Smt Itishree Devi, here at Sandesha on 4th March…
The eminent exponent of Bharatanatyam, Karnataka Kala Tilaka Sri Ullal Mohan Kumar was the Guest of Honour stressed the need to preserve the great art and classical dances of India and he also said that we welcome whatever that is good in other cultures without sacrificing our own.
Fr John Barboza, Principal of St Mary’s College, also stressed the need of preserving the rich cultural heritage of India and called upon the participants of the workshop to fine tune their knowledge and technique of art by making the best use of the workshop… The college day celebrations were also conducted along with this function with a display of the talents and techniques acquired by the students during their study at Sandesha. There were presentation of Carnatic Music, Western Music, Baila and Bharatanatyam dances, music and songs.
*I wrote to the Director of Sandesha, Fr. Francis Lewis, see below, with no response
From: nn To: Sent: Saturday, March 10, 2007 8:09 PM Subject: MANGALOREAN CATHOLICS

Dear Fr. Francis Lewis,

With regard to your recent report on Odissi Workshop at Sandesha in MangaloreanCatholics, I have seen this old UCAN report** which I am reproducing below. Since both the Reverend Fathers are from Mangalore, could you please tell me how I can contact Fr. Jerry D'Souza and Fr. Francis Barboza because I am very interested in this subject of Odissi and Bharatanatyam? Regards, Yours sincerely,

**I refer here to the 1994 UCAN report which I have copied on page 21.

I will write about Odissi dance and Mohini Attam [see below] in my article Bharatanatyam-II.

Sandesha was born on November 26, 1991 with the main goal of fostering a value- based society by promoting universal values of love and harmony among people of different faiths, customs and traditions.

Sandesha’s home page has a quotation from Annie Besant, a leading theosophist. The Vatican Document on New Age says that Theosophy is one of the pillars of the New Age paradigm.
3. Sandesha Lalithkala Mahavidyalaya EXTRACT



The Sandesha Lalitkala Mahavidyalaya aims primarily at promoting the rich cultural heritage of India for a greater inter-cultural dialogue leading to better national integration.

The Institution prepares students for the B.A. Degree in Bharathanatyam, Carnatic Music... The institution is affiliated to Mangalore University and recognized by the Government of Karnataka…

Sandesha has an aesthetically designed prayer room located at the centre of the Sandesha building. It is the heart, the power house, a veritable GUDI of divine presence, prayer and peace…

Board of Management
Rt. Rev. Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza [Bishop of Mangalore]
Most Rev. Dr Bernard Moras [Archbishop of Bangalore]
Fr. Francis Lewis [Director
. The previous directors were Fr. Denis Alexander D’Sa and Fr. Valerian Mendonca]
Sri. P. M. Castelino
Sri. Galdin D’Souza

Fr. Jayanathan
Smt. Merlyn Rasquinha
Sri. Roy Castelino
Sri. Marcel Monteiro

Also see

4. Sandesha photo gallery

Sandesha’s slide show in the photo gallery contains public performances of yoga.

One slide shows the founder of Sandesha, Fr Henry D’Souza, the Executive Secretary of the Social Communications Commission of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India.

Henry D’Souza is presently the Bishop of Bellary and he continues to be very much associated with Sandesha and with Bharatanatyam dance.
5a. April 1, 2008 EXTRACT

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Fr. Henry D'Souza, presently Executive Secretary

of the CBCI’s Social Communications Commission as Bishop of Bellary. Fr. D'Souza was the first Director of Sandesha

Sandesha Foundation, founded in 1991 by Bishop Henry D’Souza

Mangalore: Sandesha’s relentless efforts at preserving and promoting the rich cultural heritage of India Were publicly acknowledged when it was honoured with the Rajyotsava Award (Karnataka State Formation Day Award) on November 1, in Bangalore at a glittering function. Sandesha Foundation for Culture and Education is a registered charitable Trust under the auspices of the Karnataka Regional Catholic Bishops Council and is the regional centre for Social Communications. The Award was presented by the Chief Minister of Karnataka Sri Dharam Singh at the Ravindra Kala Kshetra, Bangalore, in the presence of hundreds of dignitaries, officials and the public… The state level award was received by the Director of Sandesha, Fr Denis D’SaFounded in 1989 by the visionary Fr Henry D’Souza (the present Executive Secretary of the of CBCI Social Communications Commission) and registered in 1991… The subjects offered are Bharatanatyam, Carnatic Vocal…


Mangalore, Feb 9, 2010: The Sandesha Foundation for Culture and Education (under the auspices of the Karnataka Regional Catholic Bishops' Council), organized the Sandesha Awards 2009 presentation Ceremony, on Sunday, 8th February, 2009 at 5.30 p.m. at Sandesha, Premnagar, Bajjodi, Mangalore. 

All the guests and the Awardees were traditionally welcomed with Poornakumbha Swagatha by the students at the entrance of Sandesha and the guests were escorted in a ceremonial procession.

An invocation dance was then performed by the students of Sandesha. All the guests were escorted to the dais by Fr. Valerian Mendonca (Director of Sandesha), introduced to the audience and honoured with floral bouquets. .. After the award ceremony, the Chief Guest, Most Rev. Henry D'Souza (Bishop of Bellary), said that he was extremely happy to be present on the occasion and felt that he was back in his home town. He congratulated Sandesha for completing its 20 years and remembered the early stages of its inception in 1989.

Endorsed by the institutional Church, the poison of Bharatanatyam is spread far and wide

5e. Talent abound - Shaila is a rising star By Violet Pereira, Team Mangalorean – Mangalore July 21, 2009 EXTRACT

Sometimes an accomplished person can be unsung and unknown but it doesn’t take long for talent to get noticed. One such talented young person is Ms. Shaila Saldanha Kamath. This "Natya Vidhushi" in Bharatanatyam, is a unique achiever of the Konkani Community. The unassuming young lady not only holds the high "Vidwat" degree in dance, but also has qualifications in Carnatic Vocal, Western Keyboard, as well as excellent academic laurels adding up to the Masters Degree…

[Her father] admitted Shaila to a dance class in Neermarga, to learn more about dance. After some months, this dance class was closed and all the students were shifted to Sandesha at Bajjodi… "Vidwat" is a final degree in dance (Post graduation)..

Probably she is the first Christian raised to qualified levels in what is generally thought as Hindu culture to the simple thinker, despite art and culture being universal. Ms. Shaila is now dedicated in teaching "Bharathanatyam" and Carnatic Music in many institutions.  With the support and encouragement of her father, she has set up an open school called "Nrityangana" at her residence to encourage and bring out more and more dancers from her area…

More on Shaila Saldanha on pages 149 through 153
The Institute also promotes Yoga; we have already seen that in item no. 4, on the previous page.

5f. Sandesha Foundation for Culture and Education EXTRACT

Production: A ballet in Bharatanatyam Asta Pushpaarchane (offering of eight flowers to God)

Dasara and Summer Courses includes training classes in Bharatanatyam, […] Yoga


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