Nataraja Natyanjali’s dance recital raises funds for orphans
Nataraja Natyanjali Kuchipudi Dance Academy presented an enthralling 4th annual dance recital “Darsayami 2017,” its 5th fundraiser, this time for AmanVedika, a nonprofit orphanage that houses 400 children in Hyderabad, India: 250 girls and 100 boys, aged 6 to 19 years. The show was at Berkmar High School on March 26, 2017.
Siva Gaddamanugu noted that the academy started in 2006 to promote Kuchipudi dance and Indian culture, and to contribute to social causes through dance. The Academy has raised funds for Hanuman Mandir, Alpharetta; Sravani, an old age home in Kakinada, India; Guru Datta Temple in Gangapur, Maharashtra; and Govt. of Andhra Pradesh for cyclone Hudhud. Siva and his wife Neelima, the founder/director of the Academy, requested attendees to visit the orphanage Aman Vedika and continue supporting this wonderful organization.
Deepa prajwalana (lighting the diya) was performed by Bhogaravu Pappu, a scholar and master in Sanskrit, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Urdu, and Marathi, and professionally working as a VP at EBIX RCS; Shobha Gaddamanugu, SVP, Wells Fargo Bank Winston Salem, NC; Padma Nuthivana; senior freelance journalist Mahadev Desai; and Neelima Gaddamanugu.
The Tiny Bells, the youngest students, confidently performed for the first time, a prayer dance to Lord Ganesh, Lord Siva, Goddess Saraswathi, and Goddess Mahalakshami. This tribute to iconic Carnatic vocalist M. S. Subbulakshmi, the first musician awarded Bharat Ratna, earned wide applause. The Tiny Bells performed a second dance to ‘Devi and Krishna’ slokas, including the enchanting slokam “Kasturi Tilakam.” The youngest in this group, 5-year-old Aditi Sangam endeared herself to the audience and won resounding applause. Other students who also shone were Akhila Konakanchi (Middle group junior section), and Akhila Ballari and Meenu Reddy (Senior group).
The show was a breathtaking, magical, exuberant extravaganza of 17 traditional classical dances with spiritual and devotional content; innovative choreography of Neelima and renowned Kuchipudi Guru, late Vempati Chinna Satyam; fetching vibrant colors, brilliant lighting, pulsating music; shimmering costumes, facial, ankle, waist, and hair adornments, youthful exuberance, extraordinary depth and range of Carnatic music—all this mesmerized the audience. The captivating dances had lot of energy, precision, fast moves and formations, and expressive nuanced facial gestures to convey story or mood. Ten dances were choreographed by Neelima and five by the late Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam. Students put heart and soul in showcasing their talent and in their spirited effort to raise money for a very worthy cause. Lingastakam dance was choreographed by Neelima in a traditional format, whereas Subramanya Astakam and Annamacharya dances were in Kuchipudi fusion styles. The Hindustani thillana in Kuchipudi style with 32 participants was a rare treat for the audience.
After a standing ovation, Neelima said, “I am so proud of my 75 kids [from four to twenty years old] who gave a tremendous performance this evening. They did this in five weeks in the middle of exams, chess tournaments, advance courses, and a hundred other things. When you see groups of over 15 students performing one dance, learning and rehearsing during different schedules in their own pockets, and in a short period of time and then come here as one on the stage, it speaks volumes of their aptitude to learn, perform as a team, and be fully committed to the noble cause.”
Website Bonus Feature
Neelima gave heartfelt thanks to
Srinivas Lavu & Bharat Maddineni from Delta Information Systems;
Lakshmi Parimala & Sruthi Sangam from Native Trenz Boutique;
Lakshmi & Radhakanth Swayampakula for the memento sponsorship;
Praveen Bethi, Anjaih Chowdary Lavu--TANA Community services coordinator;
Srinivas Nimmagadda --VenSai Technologies;
Kiran Pasham – EIS Technologies;
Satish Musuniri – Sri Krishna Vilas;
Manasvi Reddy Gaddam - Dream Realty Group;
Sriman and Neelima Jannu from Taste of India;
Anika Kommareddy, Madhuri Vitta, Sri. Appa Rao Mantha from Birmingham, AL.
and several other anonymous sponsors.
Donations were also received from North Carolina, and California.
Sridhar Vakiti of Vakiti Creations for their videography,
Sri. Venkat Chundi, Dr. GV Rao – for photography,
Jogy – Divinity Audio Visuals,
tireless volunteers Sunitha Chaparala; Aruna Anathanu, Ram Durvasula;
Musician/Singer Shanthi Medicharla and Violinist Jassotha;
Berkmar School Management along with Biyanka and Josh.
Neelima also thanked her family - Roshani Dronamraju, husband Siva Gaddamanugu & Son Amsh Gaddamanugu for their continuous support, encouragement and patience.
Emcees: Malathi Nagabhirava and Juhitha Porika.
Bala Reddy Indurti, Sandhya Bhagat, Anjaih Chowdary Lavu, Venkat Chundi, Radhakanth Swayampakula, Sunitha Chaparala, Malathi Nagabhairava presented trophies, prizes and certificates to students.
Neelima concluded the event by thanking the unconditional and continuous support of the community for all the events conducted by the academy.
[The article above is a Website Bonus Feature, appearing only on the website for May 2017, not in the May print/digital issues.]
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