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Bharathakala Naatya Academy performs in China

September 2014
Bharathakala Naatya Academy performs in China

Atlanta’s Bharathakala Naatya Academy dancers performing in China: (Front row) Ishwarya Venktachalam, Shreya Viswanathan, (Back row) Harini Indrakrishnan, Smt. Subathra Sudarshan, and Nantheshan Sudarshan.

Atlanta-based Bharathakala Naatya Academy was invited by the Chinese government to perform in a three-day international festival of indigenous music and dance in July in China. The team, comprising of Shreya Viswanathan, Harini Indrakrishnan, Ishwarya Venktachalam, Nantheshan Sudarshan, and Smt. Subathra Sudarshan, was led by Smt. Sudarshan, who is the founder and artistic director of Bharathakala Naatya Academy and artistic director of Third Eye Dancers.

Bharathakala presented two scintillating dance performances. The first, ‘Bharatham,’ was a classical Bharatanatyam piece with brilliant and complicated rhythmic nritta patterns in sequences of scintillating dance movements and intricate footwork. The colors of the costumes, the form and style of the dancers, and beauty of the dance form captivated the audience. The second piece was fusion displaying the versatility of Indian dance form. The energy and elegance of this dance piece was a treat to the Chinese audience. Both dance pieces were choreographed for this festival. Smt. Subathra said, "This was an amazing opportunity to share the stage with international dancers and share this divine art and our culture with people of China. This festival has brought together artists from all over the world and weaved together a beautiful fabric which cannot be expressed in words."

The festival was attended by more than 4500 people and was very well received. In fact, subsequent day's tickets sales were boosted by Bharathakala’s performance and people surged to watch Indian classical dance at its best. The event was covered by provincial and national Chinese newspapers including the Guizhou Times and interviews were made by television channels.

The dance performances were a huge hit with locals: the dancers were stopped on the roads to get a glimpse and a chance to get pictures taken with them. In addition, Bharathakala dancers were special invitees to the international economic forum conference where several world leaders spoke including the former prime minister of Australia and the Prime minister of Malta.

Bharathakala Naatya Academy is a primier Indian Classical dance institute in Atlanta. Smt. Subathra Sudarshan is a versatile Bharatanatyam dancer, teacher, and choreographer with many notable performances in her repertoire. She learnt under the tutelage of Padma Bhushan Sri V.P. Dhananjayan and Padma Bhushan Smt. Shantha Dhananjyan, at their dance school, Academy Bharathakalanjali. She has performed across India and staged many dance dramas and charity fundraisers in England, North America, and South America. Highly respected for her teaching style and choreography, she has received many awards, a recent one being Georgia Association of Physicians of Indian Heritage (GAPI) Humanitarian Award 2014 for her community service through dance.

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