explored feminine identity through subtly innovative movement
and storytelling taking the audience on the mythological journey of the
Devi as well as the personalized narratives of the five dancers, weaving
through classical sagas of the goddess and ending with the communal
ordeals of women - creating a parallel and continuity between the
immortal goddess and the mortal woman.
Celluloid Classics 2
To commemorate 35 years of teaching in S. California, Ramya
Harishankar premiered Celluloid Classics 2. Harishankar along with
Radhika Shurajit adapted popular film songs in different languages to
fit into the classical and folk dance mold without sacrificing the
grammar. The first iteration was staged in 2003 by ADC well before
Bollywood became a household word. This iteration featured a new
repertoire from the contemporary to the classical genre. CC was
presented in San Diego, the Bay area, Columbus (OH) as well as at the
Great Indian Festival of Canada in Ottawa, Canada.
was a ‘look back’ at a performance format that
originated nearly 200 years ago. Margam which means ‘path’ refers to the
order or sequence of dances performed to showcase all the essential
elements of the form. Members of ADC performed works representing
elements of the ‘Margam’ albeit with a little twist. The legendary
dancer/choreographer Smt. Rhadha from Chennai choreographed a few of the
pieces for this production, a homage to Harishankar’s lineage.
Ganga - life as a River
is a thematic production by Ramya Harishankar and the Arpana Dance Company
A bold exploration of new vocabulary within the language of Bharata
Natyam, the classical Indian dance form, the various stages of women's
lives are thus juxtaposed through the symbolic image of river, water,
and life in this presentation by the Arpana Dance Company. While it
draws from archetypal symbols of the Ganga as Woman and Goddess, it also
brings together a different understanding of the lives of everyday
women. Ganga has been choreographed by Ramya Harishankar and Priya
Srinivasan with choreographic assistance from the Arpana Dance Company.
Partly funded by the NEA
and the Fund for Folk Culture
, the presentation in Hollywood is partly supported by the LA Treasures award
given by the LA County Board of Supervisors
and the California Traditional Music Society
Under the direction of senior dancer /choreographer, Prof. C.V.
Chandrasekhar, the Company and Ramya Harishankar presented the abstract
concept of the five elements of nature - water, fire, wind, earth and
space - using the Bharata Natyam vocabulary in a very innovative and
creative manner in Los Angeles, Phoenix and at the Cleveland Tyagaraja
An unusual and interesting amalgamation of classical/folk dance and
popular music on stage. Ramya Harishankar and Radhika Shurajit brought
to life familiar music from Indian movie classics using the Bharata
Natyam and folk dance idiom.
- A repertoire
of dance pieces performed in a particular order is a margam. Trisha
Banerjee who received the Master-Apprentice grant from the Alliance for
California Traditional Arts along with Ramya Harishankar raised $6000
for Pratham, a charity that educates slum children in India.
WOMEN IN E'MOTION
Intensive training in abhinaya or interpretive dance culminated in this
unique presentation. A variety of 'women's emotions' as found in
traditional and centuries old padams
were explored. This program was funded partly by a grant by the California Arts Council.
exploration of the 'woman' in myth, history and modern times, this was a
collaborative effort between Ramya Harishankar and G. Narendra. It
featured nine senior members of the Company and was presented to
commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Arpana School of Dance.
First time ever that Ramya Harishankar and the Company presented
choreography by different choreographers. It featured the works of Sri.
Bhagavatulu Seetharama Sharma, C.V. Chandrasekhar, A. Lakshman and
1999TRIVENI - an ocean of harmony
- A collaborative effort with Flamenco company LA Ole' featuring each
artiste dancing to the other's music as well as Bharata Natyam performed
to Persian music by Pouian Music Conservatory were the highlights of
this program. This presentation of the Dance Company raised $13000 for
the American Red Cross.
1998SANGAM - many rhythms, one beat
- The Company presented three pieces from the traditional repertoire and 2 pieces in collaboration with Thanjavoor
, an Indo American music ensemble and Kinnara Taiko
a Japanese drumming group. The program, which raised over $11000 for
the American Cancer Society explored the possibility of collaboration
while retaining the integrity of each art form.
1997NRITYA SARAM -the essence of dance
-This program used novel
techniques, narratives and unique presentation skills to bring to the
audience the intricacies of Bharata Natyam. The first half explored the
myths surrounding the creation of dance in India and second half
presented the beauty, metaphors and poetry of the padam/javali tradition
of the dance form.
1996NIRVANA: the pathways
- The program featured the nine stages in the evolution of the human to
attain the highest level of realization. Funds raised from this program
were used to sponsor 18 children worldwide through Child Reach and
Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
1994UTHSAVA: a glorious celebration
- This new and updated version of our 1990 production was presented with
over 60 young dancers and an ensemble of musicians both local and from
India. In continuation of our commitment to children, this program was a
fund-raiser for the Children's Hospital Foundation of Orange County.
THE CELESTIAL LEGACY
A unique presentation featuring new and interesting group and solo
choreography interspersing traditional and contemporary compositions.
The essence as well as the variety of the dance form and its elements
were delineated through this unique presentation.
1993EKA: NYKA: One & Many
- A benefit for the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, this production featured
some of the senior dancers of the Arpana Dance Company. Presented in
Northern and Southern California, the focus of Eka: Nyka: was that the
Divine is One permeating the whole universe. Everyone has the same
journey and the many paths lead to the same goal.
- A solo
program based on the traditional repertoire of Bharata Natyam featuring
rare compositions over a 100 years old and elucidating the timelessness
of human emotions.
1992MAYA MANUSHA - the Illusive One
- To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Arpana School of Dance, a
full length production highlighting the illusive nature of Krishna
extolled in various compositions in Indian literature was presented at
various venues in California. This was the first such tour undertaken by
a Bharata Natyam Dance Company. These performances raised funds for the
Make-a-Wish Foundation. Thereafter this production toured several
states in the US.
1991OM NAMO NARAYANA
full-length production on Narayana, the Preserver in the Hindu Trinity
presented by Meera Deo in aid of the American Cancer Society.
1990UTHSAVA - a glorious celebration
- A unique presentation of the festivals of India using the technique
and language of Bharata Natyam. Presented during the inaugural season of
the Irvine Barclay Theatre, the production featured over 40 dancers, an
ensemble of musicians, colorful costumes and innovative choreography
conveying the spirit of festive India.
SYMPHONY OF EMOTIONS
A thematic solo dance production presented during the US tour featured
the works of renown Indian Saint poets who used ordinary human emotions
to express the yearning of the human spirit to unite with the divine.
This program has since been presented in several parts of the world.
1988EPICS OF INDIA
official event of the Orange County Centennial Celebrations, this
production was a dramatic presentation of two great epics `Ramayana' and
Kalidasa's `Kumara Sambhavam'. Elaborate sets and props, colorful
costume live music and a group of 31 dancers brought this production to
: - A
full-length thematic production based on the compositions of the well
known Indian poets Jayadeva (12th century) and Annamacharya (16th
century). This unique presentation with 48 dancers and 12 musicians
featured innovative choreography to both South Indian and North Indian
systems of music.
- Produced and presented a showcase of different styles of dancing from all over the world.
1986DANCES OF INDIA
benefit concert co-produced with Chinmaya Mission of Los Angeles to
present four different dance styles of India featuring talented artistes
thematic presentation based on the life of Sri Krishna featuring songs
in several Indian languages. It was specially choreographed with a group
of 25 young students of dance as a fund-raiser for the Hindu Temple in
Participated as principal dancer in this presentation of the
compositions of patriot and poet Subramanya Bharathi during his birth
centenary celebrations in India. Specially choreographed by Guru
Rajaratnam, this program was presented in many cities in S. India.
- As a
leading participant, performed and coordinated a number of specialized
presentations for live and TV audiences. A series of such demonstrative
workshops in Abhinaya by Kalanidhi Narayanan were held in Madras,
Bombay, Pune, New Delhi and all over India.