ARPANA DANCE COMPANY
NEWS & REVIEWS
'Don't you also be another dance teacher in
these words of my teacher 22 years ago, ring
like new in my ears.
been my commitment to be a complete artiste - a dancer, teacher, producer,
presenter and choreographer all rolled up in one. I am grateful to my
family for sharing my dream!!
indebted to my gurus, numerous friends and colleagues without whose
assistance and support none of this would be possible. The many senior
students, who still attend classes, participate in the programs and share
their joy of these experiences, make it all worthwhile!!
you all. Look forward to another exciting and fruitful year!!
Wishes for the New Year!!!
started with a presentation of 'Nithyakalyani' varnam in the hometown of
Goddess Nithyakalyani - Kadayam, India. Ramya Harishankar and Anusha
Kedhar were the dancers.
'Disney Artist' in the Orange County Performing Arts Center's 'From the
Center' roster, Ramya Harishankar along with percussionist, Rusti Gillette
reached nearly 5000 children in Orange County schools.
"Perfect! The kids loved it. I have 3 of my own here, and they
talked about it at dinner. And they are boys…you must have been
Teacher, Raymond Temple Elementary, Placentia, CA.
Classes/Lecdems included the bi-annual presentations for the Center for
World Music at San Diego State University for the 9th year in a row,
Chapman University and Art Express, a summer camp by Pacific
California Arts Council/Traditional Folk Arts Program for the
year in a row awarded a grant to Ramya for a project entitled
Varnam - preserving the traditional color.
received a Creativity grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for a
project 'Life as a River'.
is one of 4 'pioneer' artists featured in an oral history project,
'Shaping California - immigrant dancers and their voices' by Sankalpa
School of Dance, Fremont, CA. The California Community Foundation has
funded this project.
along with Usha Sampath, a teacher in the LA Unified school district
received a joint grant from ACTA to develop a new program for
elementary/middle school presentations
Performances by Arpana Dance Company
Hondo College, Whittier, CA.
Conexant Corp. Newport Beach, CA
Children's Art Day, Stanton, CA
Asian Arts Day, Laguna Beach, CA
Baha'i Multicultural Festival,
Lake Forest, CA.
Lakewood, CA Harvest Festival, Westpark Elementary, Irvine, CA
Buddhist Temple, Hollywood, CA
Yoga Asana, Laguna Beach,
Arts OC, a
county arts agency awarded Ramya the "Outstanding
Individual Artist Award at their annual banquet at Sutton Place,
Newport Beach, CA.
International Dance Festival, Praha, Czeck Republic|
April took ADC members
to a sightseeing/dance tour of Austria and the Czech Republic. Aditi Nath,
Anita Vaidyanathan, Chitra Balasubramanian, Hemali Lalu & Sejal Patel
danced in Prague at the International Dance Festival. ADC won the II prize
losing to the 50 member strong Kasai Dance group from Japan
Prague National Museum
Women in E'motion
A grant from
the California Arts Council (Traditional Folk Arts Program) facilitated 5
senior dancers, Amita Sheth, Shruti Chandramouli, Anita Vaidyanathan,
Aditi Nath and Maneesha Limaye to receive advanced and intensive lessons
in Abhinaya (interpretive dance). This culminated in Women in E'motion
that was presented in Orange and Venice, CA in February. Geetha Bennett
was the vocalist accompanied by Rusti Gillette (mridangam) and Arun
Ramamurthi (violin). The intimate venues and attentive audiences
contributed to the success of this very unique and first time performance
of pure 'Abhinaya'in California.
Ramya and her
student, Trisha Banerjee received a master-apprentice grant from the
Alliance for California Traditional Arts. After rigorous training for 1½
year, Margam presented in Corona, CA in March raised $6000 for Pratham, a
charity that supports poor children's education in India. Asha Ramesh from
N. California was the singer, the other musicians being, Shubha
Chandramouli (mridangam) and Krishna Kutty (violin). Other programs by
Trisha included the 'Festival of Solos & Duets' Fountain Theatre, and
Spectrum Festival, Hollywood, CA
feather in ADC's cap was this production at the James Armstrong Theater,
Torrance, CA., choreographed by master teacher C.V. Chandrasekhar and his
wife, Jaya. Ten members of ADC, Arthi Varma, Ahila Gulasekaram, Amita
Sheth, Shruti & Shubha Chandramouli, Chitra Balasubramanian, Renuka
Nayani, Shivani Reddy, Nithya Joseph & Anamica Srinivasaraghavan along
with Ramya presented this innovative exploration of the five essential
elements of nature, an abstract theme using the Bharata Natyam vocabulary
in a contemporary mode.
the experimental mode this year, Ramya chose to present a folk and
classical dance program using popular film songs from yester years -
Celluloid Classics. Presented at the lovely Barclay, Irvine, CA to a
sold out audience in June, it was innovative and creative. With a live
orchestra of 10 musicians, over 14 dancers including Ramya (producer)
and Radhika Shurajit (choreographer) this program brought the celluloid
songs to life on stage. The dancers were Ahila Gulasekaram, Purnima
Raghunathan, Amita Sheth, Dhivyah & Preethi Ramnath, Vidya Murthy,
Avni Patel, Hemali Lalu, Aditi Nath, Anita Vaidyanathan, Maneesha
Limaye, Sejal & Jemini Patel and Avni Shah. Elements of stage and
screen presentation were taken into consideration and with relevant
commentary and film excerpts, the program was interestingly strung
As one of the founding members and the artistic
director/curator of the recently renamed, Arpana Foundation, Ramya has
been instrumental in bringing over
35 diverse Indian dance talents to
the Southland in the last 14 years. This year's presentations included
Dominique Delorme (Shiva Karanas & a week long workshop), Pandit
Birju Maharaj with Ustad Zakir Hussain, Padma Bhushan Kalanidhi
Narayanan (master classes & workshop) and Shobana (From Myth to
Ramya & Harish with
annual recital 'Samarpan' by the students of the Arpana School of Dance
was held in June at The Barclay, Irvine CA. Musical accompaniment was
provided by the young students of Dr. Gopal Marathe, who rendered
compositions by Surdas, Tulsidas, Meera, Gyandev, Tagore and others in the
Hindusthani style. These songs were choreographed for the aspiring
dancers. Kalanidhi Narayanan, Ramya's guru was present to bless the
children. This was in continuation of our commitment to support young
talent in all the Indian arts. Last year's Samarpan had an ensemble of
young Indo-American Carnatic musicians.|
Srinivasaraghavan had her Arangetram (solo debut) in August at the William
Bristol Civic Auditorium, Bellflower, CA|
Search For Talent
Nath, Maneesha Limaye & Anita Vaidyanathan participated in the Search
for Talent Competition hosted by the Sunrise Exchange Club winning the
First Prize both in the city (Irvine) and the Regional (Orange County)
contests. At the state level in San Jose, they placed
auspicious occasion, the students of Arpana, past & present and
members of the ADC contributed over $1200 to Akshara Educational Trust,
Udhandi, Tamilnadu, India.|
Harish Murthy - Producer
Usha Sampath - Artistic
Collaborator | Geetha Nath - Financial Consultant | Shubha Bansod - Graphic
Arpana Staff: Shruti Chandramouli, Anjali Ravuri & Saru