Best wishes for 2009 from Ramya Harishankar & the Arpana Dance Company
(ADC) to you - our well wishers, supporters, patrons and friends.
It is always exciting to expand one's horizons and explore different
avenues of 'expression'. The last few years have been so for Ramya and the Company
Ganga...life as a river
which premiered in 2005 continued its journey in 2008 taking on new
form and shape. The post modern production was fine tuned and made more
provocative. The original project partly funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts
) and the Fund for Folk Culture
) received the LA Treasures
award from the California Traditional Music Society
and the LA Dept. of Cultural Affairs
for four performances at the Unknown Theater
in Hollywood. The 2008 winter/spring tour also included 2 performances at counterPULSE
(San Francisco), Multi Cultural Center
(UC Santa Barbara) and 2 at the Weingart Performance Annex
(San Diego) all very well received by diverse audiences.
and Amy Vanmali
, ADC members were selected from amongst numerous LA based Indian classical dancers and featured in a national ad campaign for Hewlett Packard
wireless printers. The talent agency was looking for the 'strength and poise of trained dancers'
although there was no actual dancing involved.
In October, Ramya was invited to serve on a panel of judges at the first annual Dubai International Dance Competition
More than 50 young women and men competed in what was quite an eye
opener. She was struck by quality of dancing and professionalism
displayed by these young students of dance.
, the senior most ADC member, received a Durfee Foundation grant
to support her solo performance in January 2009. For the first time in Arpana's
history, eight Arangetrams featuring 12 young women was held this
summer. It was heart warming to hear that the quality of dancing has
been steadily improving and that the performances were enjoyed by many.
Ramya's educational outreach through assemblies and workshops in schools
and colleges continued, as did numerous performances by ADC at
festivals and other events throughout the Southland.
Guru Kalanidhi 'Mami' Narayanan
80th birthday was celebrated in Chennai at the beautiful Kalakshetra
auditorium in early December where she was felicitated by several
connoisseurs, patrons, writers, art historians and well wishers.
Ramya was glad
to be there to share that moment with her mentor and many of her
colleagues and friends. Being one of Kalanidhi's protégés, Ramya was
given the honor to speak on behalf of all of 'Mami's' students; a
fitting finale to a very eventful year for Ramya and the Arpana Dance