A scintillating show by Deeksha School of Performing Arts
Kennesaw State University’s Student Center was alive with rhythm and an array of brilliant colors on the evening of Sunday, August 13, as the students of Deeksha School of Performing Arts took to the stage. The auditorium was packed with patrons eager to watch Deeksha’s dance recital, Serenity, a production to support the Atlanta branch of Asha for Education, which works to provide education, vocational training, and counseling for underprivileged children in India.
[Left] Deeksha School of Performing Arts presented ‘Serenity,’ a dance recital. Photo credit: Shankar Sengupta
[Bottom] The performance supported Asha for Education, an NGO which works with underprivileged children in India. (Photo: Shankar Sengupta)
The emcee, Aakriti Majumdar, revealed in her opening remarks that the production had been nearly two years in the making. She highlighted the efforts of the director, Guru Anupa Guha Thakurta. The program itself consisted of fifteen performances, the first of which was called “Bodhana” and was piece in which the dancers conveyed the soul’s spiritual awakening by dancing to Thiruvempavai by Mannika Vachhikar. The second performance, “Salaam Daru,” was a salutation to the Mother Goddess originally composed by Serfoji Maharaja. It was followed by “Guru Brahma” in which the dancers honored the gurus who put them on their path. “Tisram,” the fourth performance, featured a traditional Alaripu and focused on the foundational steps of Bharatanatyam while “Shankara Sri Giri” offered an elevated exploration of Lord Shiva and his role in the journey of a dancer. This was followed by the heartwarming “Do Re Mi” performance in which Deeksha’s youngest students enlivened the audience by dancing to a Carnatic rendition of “Do Re Mi” from The Sound of Music. The fifth performance, “Todi Jatiswaram,” showcased the pure beauty of Bharatnatyam, and the sixth, “Sajani,” channeled that beauty to bring to life the story of the gopis of Vrindavan expressing their love for Krishna by dancing with him. In “Madhurashtakam,” Tarini Gajelli performed solo and, in keeping with the previous performance’s focus on Krishna, conveyed the sense of sweet divinity associated with Krishna by dancing to Sripad Vallabacharya’s “Madurashtakam.” This stunning solo performance was followed by “Tarita Jham” in which younger dancers made offerings to the gods, their gurus, and the audience through dance.
[Left] Kennesaw State University’s
Student Center came alive with
rhythm. (Photo: Shankar Sengupta)
[Right] The program consisted of fifteen scintillating performances. (Photo: Shankar Sengupta)
The tone of Serenity took a darker turn with its eleventh performance, “Mayhem,” in which dancers of all ages took to the stage to create a comprehensive and moving image of the reality of terrorism by dancing to the mrindangam. This was followed by “Kaal Bhairava Ashtakam” in which Anupa Thakurta was joined by her renowned guest dancers and fellow students of Padmashri Guru Saroja Vaidyanathan: Kassiyet Adikhankyzy and Nisha Raj. The thirteenth and fourteenth performances, “Rainstorm” and “Rhythm Speaks,” created a sense of serenity through their unity of rhythm and movement. In the finale, “Pranavalaya,” all dancers took to the stage to extend their prayers to the goddess of dance and have one final shot at sweeping their audience off their feet. Unsurprisingly, the phenomenal performance of all the dancers, as well as the creativity and effort poured into the production, earned Serenity and its director a standing ovation from its audience.
[Left] The director of the program, Anupa Thakurta, performing with guest dancers. (Photo: Shankar Sengupta)
The performances were primarily choreographed by Mrs. Thakurta, Rama Vaidyanathan, and Saroja Vaidyanathan. Serenity was produced by Abir G. Thakurta.
The event was sponsored by their long-term partner Sagepath and local sponsors Fisher Orthodontics and Lorie Nestor of Halcyon Home Group.
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