HIGHLIGHTS OF 2001
2001 'school' year began in a very auspices manner with a visit to the
Iraivan Temple in Kauai and a short performance before the
'Cosmic Dancer' himself, Sri Nataraja. It was a 'yogic' experience and
Bharata Natyam in its purest form. The presentation was physically and
mentally dedicated to a cosmic audience, as it should be!!
Immediately following that I attended
the Bharata Natyam conference in Chicago. It was enlightening in every
way! Artistically, the works of the artistes who performed there inspired
me. But I was also pained by the hypocrisy, politics and 'attitude' of
many present. Thankfully living so far away I don't have to deal with it!
We were privileged to host Prof.
C.V. Chandrasekhar and his wife, Jaya for a week in September.
Physically challenged by his daily 2-hour rigorous training sessions, we
also benefited from it enormously. It was truly a treat!
My presentations at schools and Universities
continue and I enjoy working with Rusti Gillette who is not just a drummer
but also an entertainer!
IThe Dance Company participated in
the Laguna Beach Summer Arts Festival and was once again selected to perform
in the California Choreographers' Festival in Laguna Beach.
Seen in the pic( L-R): Anita
Vaidyanathan, Maneesha Limaye, Aditi Nath, Ramya & Amita Sheth
The Arpana Dance Company is very
proud to have been recognized as a grantee by the CAC, Fund for Folk Culture
and the Alliance for California Traditional Arts.
Master –apprenticeship grant
from Alliance for California Traditional Arts for Trisha (Urmi) Banerjee
to study Bharata Natyam intensively for a year under Harishankar culminating
in a performance.
California Arts Council and
the Fund for Folk Culture have jointly granted Harishankar a grant for
a project called 'Women in E'motion'. Under this project 5 senior students
will undertake focused research, study and mastery of the technique of
abhinaya or interpretive dance for a year.
a gap of 3 years, I took time off to be fully present at the 'season' this
December. It was exciting, invigorating and inspiring! Leela Samson's 'Spanda'
was an answer to the question about the relevance of Bharata Natyam in
modern times. It had the soul and structure of the dance form and yet was
abstract and extremely creative. There wasn't much in the contemporary
dance presentations that was awe-inspiring. What struck me was the constant
refrain by these artistes about their relationship to and inspiration from
the classical tradition be it Bharata Natyam or Kathak. Isn't it funny
that many do not have the discipline or commitment to present classical
traditions in their purest form yet are unable to cut the umbilical cord
I danced at Bharata Kalachar, Chennai
on December 23rd and my students; Ahila Gulasekaram and
Supreeta Sampath presented a few pieces. Mrs. Rashmi Parthasarathy,
the heart and soul of this organization has to be commended for her unanimous
support of all artistes and in particular those resident abroad. I appreciate
the fact that the artistes are treated with due respect.
2002 looks busy with a line-up of
performances at schools, colleges and libraries in the first half. We have
2 evenings of special performances planned for June 30th
("Maya Manusha") and July 6th ("Woman Divine").
As Arpana completes 20 years in S. California, we are working to reach
out to the large S. California community. Please check Upcoming Events
for complete information on these events.