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New Initiatives for Bharatanatyam in Atlanta

October 2002
New Initiatives for Bharatanatyam in Atlanta

The Northeast Spruill Oaks Library in Alpharetta and GATS (Greater Atlanta Tamil Sangam) jointly co-sponsored a lecture and demonstration series on Bharatanatyam on Sunday, September 22 at the Spruill Oaks library. It was presented by AABHA (Atlanta Association for Bharatanatyam), an organization formed by several professional Bharatanatyam dancers/teachers in the Atlanta area. This was the third in a series of four lectures.

The first session traced the history of dance in India, the evolution of Bharatanatyam, and the significance of the Nataraja idol. It also introduced the different classical dance styles of India. The second session was devoted more to Bharatanatyam and its various divisions. The technique of the various adavus (basic dance units), and its combination to form a sequence (as it occurs in a dance item) and the various aspects of abhinaya (facial expression) were demonstrated by local artists and teachers - Bhavini Subramani, Chandrika Chandran, Hema Srikanth, Padmaja Kelam, Preetha Sayeekrishna, Savitha Viswanathan and Uma Pulendran. The third session covered the natya aspect of this dance form; the four classifications of abhinaya were explained and demonstrated. The last session, which will be conducted on October 27, 2002 will include a sample of dance items in the Bharatanatyam repertoire. All sessions are free and by general admission.

Early as it has been in its inception, AABHA has already performed at important events such as the recent Festival of India, as well as at the Onam celebrations of GAMA (Greater Atlanta Malayalee Assoc.)

AABHA is an association not only for professional artists, but also for anyone who - is learning Bharatanatyam, appreciates the art form, and would like to help promote it or learn more about it. Its objectives are to increase awareness and appreciation for Bharatanatyam, to organize concerts and performances of local and visiting artists in cooperation with other associations with similar objectives, and to recognize and promote young talent and encourage other expressions of fine arts.

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