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Dance of Siva

January 2005
Dance of Siva

"Sivoham~Sivoham", a ballet produced and directed by Dr. Seshu Sarma, was presented on December 19th. 2004 as a fund raiser for the Hindu Temple of Atlanta in Riverdale, at the Robert Ferst Center for the Arts in Georgia Tech, Atlanta Georgia.

Dr.Vasudha Narayan made a narrative and presented slides about the origin of Siva worship, throughout the world. The classical Indian dance traditions of both Bharata Natyam and Kuchipudi were represented in the recital. The performance began with an invocatory verse praising Siva and his consort Parvathi, highlighting the distinctiveness of each style. The item was well conceived, and executed with jathis between each line, choreographed according to the mood prevailing. The vitality of Siva and the grace and beauty of Parvathi were depicted in the next couple of items as Siva Tandavam in the Kuchipudi style and Parvathi Lasyam in the Bharata Natyam style. Anupa Thakurta as Parvathi, produced an electrifying effect on the audience with her grace, agility, humility and her poise all combined.

Yagna Mutnuri as Siva depicted the contrast in style with vigor and restraint. The Siva Parvathi wedding was then celebrated in the next item in the folk tradition, with pomp and circumstance. Adapted from the ballet Hara Vilasam by Dr.Vempati Chinna Satyam, the Kuchipudi portion of this item was ably directed by Sasikala Penumarthi, and the Bharata Natyam part was choreographed by Savitha Viswanathan, Preeta Sayeekrishna and Anuradha Murali. Anupa and Yagna performed a scintillating tillana choreographed by Bhavini Subramani, Anupa Thakurta and Revathi Komanduri in raaga Nalinakanthi from the ballet Jaya Jaya Devi by Sri Lalgudi Jayaraman, with strong nattuvangam support by Gayatri Iyer. The Ganesha and Murugan kouvthvam, traditionally performed as invocatory items came in the latter segment of the program.���Chandrika Chandran's choreography and nattuvangam were remarkable. Kanya Manoj deserves special mention for her rendition which was vibrant with accurate and remarkable timing.

The recital concluded with a salutation to Lord Siva, praising Him as the Omkara Rupa, the ultimate and all-encompassing form. Subhashini Krishnamurthy, Sujata Rayburn, Sathish Menon, Subra Vishwanathan provided strong vocal support. The live orchestra accompaniment included: K.Suresh on mridangam, V.K. Raman on flute, violin by Deepak Murthy, ghatam by Subra Viswanathan and veena by Seshu Sarma. Nattuvangam by Sastry Bhagavatula and Chandrika Chandran was very competent. The event coordinator was Narender Reddy.

- Dr. Jayashree Shankar

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