Arpana News - 2011

The year 2011 ended on a very high note with 11 ADC members (Ramya Joshi, Preethi Seshadri, Ranjana Ravikumar, Tara Shankar, Nikeeta Shah, Natasha Parekh, Lekha Jandhyala, Shilpa Jagannath, Ramya Tadinada, Anamica Srinivasaraghavan and Saru Janahan) travelling to Japan with 20+ members of Los Angeles based Kinnara Taiko to perform in Hiroshima, Kure and Nara. Besides pieces from the Bharata Natyam repertoire, ADC also presented 2 collaborative pieces with the Taiko group. These performances raised over $20000 for Tsunami relief. ADC made its debut Flash mob performance at the Kyoto station causing a little stir amongst the rushing commuters.

Japan tour - group at Kure

Japan tour - group at Hiroshima

For the second time in a row, Ramya started the year in Berkeley serving on the panel of the Ethnic Dance Festival for World Arts West, an experience that she enjoys and cherishes. This year, she also had several stints teaching at local universities; an intro to Indian dance/ theater class at the Soka University (Aliso Viejo), master classes in 'Acting for dancers' at UC Irvine, abhinaya workshops in San Diego (Natesha School of Dance) and Toronto (Menaka Thakkar Dance Company) In the fall, Ramya had a enlightening 7 week residency at the Palm Ave Elementary in San Bernardino where several children had life changing experiences. She was invited to share the stage at UC Irvine with several S. California based dance teachers and professors in From the Horse's Mouth, a performance “that celebrates the heart and history of dance with outstanding dancers and choreographers of all ages and traditions, performing together and telling their extraordinary personal stories”.

ADC's Pancha Bhootam tour continued in 2011 with performances in San Diego, Portland and Detroit. One of the breakthroughs for the Company occurred when the prestigious South Coast Repertory, S. California's premier theater company, selected ADC to be a part of their pilot Studio Series. The five performances at the Nicholas Stage in early March featured both a Bharata Natyam repertoire and the contemporary work Ganga…life as a river.

Along with Sravani Jandhyala, Ramya produced the third in the Nachle series for the Ektaa Center ( in April. Held once again at the Irvine Barclay Theatre, this edition featured 4 California based dance companies representing different schools/styles of Bharata Natyam. The sold out audience enjoyed the diversity and uniqueness of each of the schools - Shakti Dance Co (Tanjore style), Kalanjali (Kalakshetra style), Abhinaya Dance Co (Pandanallur style) and Arpana Dance Co (Vazhavoor style). The emphasis on grace and abhinaya were the highlights of Arpana's performance with little Ramya Joshi stealing everyone's heart with her charming yet mature performance.

Anusha Kedhar, one of the first students of Ramya, received her PhD from the Department of Critical Dance Studies from UC Riverside in June. Her dissertation looked at the personal and professional lives of transnational South Asian dancers in the UK and the effects of globalization on their dance practices, work, careers, and bodies. It was another successful Arangetram season - Vivahini Shastry, Pavan Mudhar, Tara & Leena Shankar, Sheila Balaji, Mitali Chansarkar, Nikita Ganesan, Preethi Seshadri and Sumona Vohra.

Jamuna Krishnan and her daughter, Ragini Chander Sekhar from Delhi conducted a 10 day workshop on Hindi compositions for Bharata Natyam attended by over 30 students that culminated in a short showcase followed by a full length performance by Ragini.

There were performances at the Getty, Skirball Center and several 'annual' performances in colleges, universities and festivals in S. California.