'Ganga-Life as a River'
a thematic production by Ramya Harishankar and the Arpana Dance Company


Combining post-modern choreographic structures and classical Indian dance vocabularies, "Ganga...Life as a River" stunningly illustrates how experimentation can be rooted in and flow organically out of so-called "traditional" dance. The highly accomplished dancing was presented in a way that managed to be both accessible and engaging to a Western audience while resisting the frames of the "authentic," the "ethnic," and the "exotic."
Anthea Kraut, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Dept. of Dance, U of California, Riverside, CA

For the non-Indian audience members it was "my favorite production, more accessible because there was room for interpretation."
Alison Paige Student, UCLA Business School, Los Angeles, CA

Thank you for the marvelous concert. We enjoyed it immensely. The Bhimpalas Tarana at the end has long been one of my favorites and it was wonderful to see what you have done with it.
Dr. Robert Garfias, Dept. of Anthropology, U of California, Irvine. CA

"I really enjoyed it (esp. the first and last piece). It's interesting because much of it felt like I was watching modern dance even though I could recognize Bharata Natyam movements. I like the last one because I never knew where to look. It was so chaotic with everyone doing their own thing until it all converged at the end."
V Prasad, Film Director, Los Angeles, CA

Ganga was poignant, soulful, universal, heartbreaking and magnificent. You are truly wonderful to treat the audience to timeless revelations in such an elegant manner with sumptuous lighting. Wishing you many more performances,
Amy Ellison, Arts Program coordinator, San Bernardino School District

The choreography and costumes gave me a feeling of liberation. Let Ganga flow and thrive.
Rajam Ramamurthy, Doctor/Dance lover, San Antonio, TX

My husband and I would like to congratulate you on your experiment with the traditional art form of Bharata Natyam. We thought you succeeded in presenting the ancient and revered river Ganga as a metaphor for the birth, growth, evolution and ultimate liberation of a woman.
Aruna and Venkatesh Adivi, San Antonio, TX

When I think of the culture of India, I think of a very long history deeply rooted in the arts, the sciences, languages... - very intellectual AND spiritual. I feel GANGA portrayed that beautifully. The thoughtfulness, the intricacy and the detail that went into the concert - WOW... just obvious and amazing. The piece that really related to my life now was the dancers chanting through their daily activities.  I call it "being on a hamster wheel".  You get so busy that you don't know if you are coming or going. I found myself BOTH laughing & was so true to my life! The river is a perfect metaphor for life!
Brigid Kelly, Las Vegas, NV

Being a modern and contemporary dancer and choreographer, I've always loved to explore and be exposed to many forms of dance for my inspiration. Many aspects of nurturing, discovery, flowing, finding strength within, questioning, bringing peace to our everyday lives transitioned through the pieces. All the themes related to my life at the different stages I've lived. The river felt to me as the safe place to go where one is heard, understood, loved and accepted for who one is as a woman and what we each collectively bring to this planet through our gifts, loves and talents. Ganga also represented replenishment, watering one's face to rejuvenate, wash away, cleanse to move forward and start anew, refreshed, regenerated, supported. I loved the choreographed progression, starting with the early years of a child and through progression of womanhood. Gave the continuum of life and Ganga insight from it's core.
Lisa A. Spencer, Visionary Cultivator, Las Vegas, NV

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