In keeping with our commitment to make a difference, the Arpana Dance Company (ADC) and I began the year with participation in the Orissa cyclone relief program presented by the Jagannath Society of S. California.
In March, we received a very flattering review of 'Nritya Saram - the essence of dance', which we presented to the Bay area audiences under the auspices of the Abhinaya Dance Company of San Jose.

The Getty seems to have made the ADC a permanent fixture at their Family Day and this year, we were also invited to perform at the Santa Monica Festival 2000 to present the collaborative dance piece with Kinnara Taiko. Featured for the first time at the Nations of San Diego, a 5-day multi cultural festival, the ADC not only adds the Indian flavor to these events but also gains the valuable experience of presenting to new and diverse audiences.

The curiosity and enthusiasm of young children is a great motivation and I had the opportunity to experience it in the presentations for over 5000 children in schools from Pismo Beach to San Diego. This was again evident in the 65 students of the Arpana School who presented Samarpan 2000 (April 15th), homage to Indian poets from 1600 AD to the present. I am thankful to all the children and their families who joined in the annual Arpana effort and raised over $9500 for 5 charities in India! Preparing 7 students for their Arangetrams this year also challenged my creative energies.

Late April, Ahila Gulasekaram, Anusha Kedhar and I attended the International Dance Festival in Prague, Czech Republic where we had the opportunity to see the work of over 600 dancers and their diverse dance forms from the world over. The icing on the cake was the II prize in our category.

New Beginnings

Ramya Harishankar, Ahila Gulasekaram, Neeta Puthanveetil, Supreeta Sampath and Arathi Varma

Inspired by my work with various choreographers including Prof. Chandrasekhar in India over the summer, I presented ' beginnings…'recently. A unique feature of the program was the works by different choreographers. My senior students, Ahila Gulasekaram, Neeta Puthanveetil, Supreeta Sampath and Arathi Varma danced to excerpts from Kalidasa's Ritu Samhara.

Observing truly great artistes in action is like a shot in the arm for me and I had many such opportunities this year. My guru, Smt. Kalanidhi Narayanan made a rare visit in May, spending 2 weeks sharing her expertise and talent in abhinaya with a few 'lucky' students.
This Fall, we were honored to bring Padma Vibhushan Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, the pioneering Odissi dancer to S. California audiences under the auspices of the Arpana Foundation.