Kalalaya Debut Event in Adelaide
Kalalaya Debut Event - MOHINIYATTAM
Kalalaya's debut event in Adelaide has been decided as a Mohiniyattam concert by "Kalai Mamani" Ms Gopika Varma. The event will be held on 12th November 2011 at the Star Theater, 145 Sir Donald Bradman Drive, Hilton, Adelaide 5033.
The Dance Form
Mohiniyattam is a traditional South Indian dance from Kerala and is one of the eight Indian classical dance forms. It is considered a very graceful dance meant to be performed as a solo recital by women. The term Mohiniyattam comes from the words "Mohini" meaning a woman who enchants onlookers and "aattam" meaning graceful and sensuous body movements. The word "Mohiniyattam" literally means "dance of the enchantress".
This dance has influences and elements from two South Indian dance forms, the Bharatanatyam and Kathakali. The dance involves the swaying of broad hips and the gentle movements of erect posture from side to side. This is reminiscent of the swinging of the palm leaves and the gently flowing rivers which abound Kerala, the land of Mohiniyattam.
The costume includes white sari embroidered with bright golden brocade (known as kasavu at the edges. The vocal music
of Mohiniyattam involves variations in rhythmic structure known as chollu. The lyrics are in Manipravalam, a mixture of Sanskrit and Malayalam. The Mohiniyattam dance is performed to this accompaniment by the subtle gestures and footwork of the danseuse. The
performer uses the eyes in a very coy yet sensual manner, the purpose being to enchant the mind without enticing the senses.
Compared to most other dance forms, Mohiniyattam
gives more importance to gestural and facial acting. The artists try to enact the lyrics almost in its entirety.
Knowing the Artist
Gopika Varma is married into the royal family of Travancore, to Prince Poorurttathi Thirunal Marthanda Varma, descendent of Maharaja Swathi
Thirunal. Gopika started learning Mohiniyattam
at the age of 10 and later on she specialized in the art from under the able guidance of Smt. Kalyani Kuttyamma who is considered the mother of Mohiniyattam. She was also fortunate to learn Abhinaya, which is the quintessence of Mohiniyattam, from Sri. Kalamandalam
Krishnan Nair, the doyen of the Kathakali sage. She has gleaned a wealth of knowledge and professional training in the "Sopana" style of performance, from Sri. Kavalam Narayana Paniker, a veteran in Indian theatrics.
Gopika Varma has received a number of awards and recognitions for her contribution to the traditional repertoire of Mohiniyattam. These include Kalaimammani from the Government of Tamil Nadu and Nritya Choormani from Krishna Gana Sabha, Tamil Nadu.
Gopika has performed extensively at various art festivals, sabhas and temples all over India and she has won laurels abroad when ICCR chose her to represent India. Her Mohiniyattam is marked by extreme grace and fluidity of movement, transmitting radiance through movements and expressions that at times sigh with nostalgia, purity and sanctity, while being blessed with geometrical precision and technical finesse.
Gopika is very lively in her Nritta-Nrithya elements of Mohiniyattam, and her eyes are very eloquent in communicating the message of abhinaya. Love for this graceful and gentle dance of soft rhythm has enabled Gopika to transmit through movements and expressions, her own personal worship of the Divine.
Presently, Gopika is running a Mohiniyattam school named "Dasyam" at Adayar, Chennai.
Awards & Achievements
Some of the awards and achievements received by Kalai Mamani Ms. Gopika Varma are listed below:
Received the "Kalai Mamani" title from the State Government of Tamil Nadu, India.
Received the "Nritya Choormani" from Krishna Gana Sabha, Tamil Nadu, India.
Award from the Kerala Sangeetha Natak Acadamy Award for her contributions in popularizing Mohiniyattam outside Kerala.
Abhinaya Kala Ratna Excellence Award by World Peace and Friend Ship Council.
Chosen by Sruthi Arts for the World Malayalee Excellence Award in 2008 and received the award from Smt. Sheela Dixit, Chief Minister, New Delhi.
Received the "Rajakeeya puraskaram" in 2007 presented by the H.E. Prof. Mohd Hamid Ansari, the Vice president of India.
"Natya Kala Vipanchee" title conferred by Vipanchee in December 2007 which was presented by music maestro Dr. Balamuralikrishna.
"Satya Abhinaya Sundaram" title conferred by the Bharathanjali trust in the year 2007.
Outstanding performance Award by the House of Commons, London in the year 2003.
Kaladarpanam Award in the year 2003
First Mohiniyattam dancer to be awarded "Yuva Kala Bharathi" by Bharat Kalacher in 2001.
Kalalaya Second Event
Kalalaya as the Soorya chapter of Adelaide
PRANAMAM:ODE TO THE LEGEND
A tribute to Mohammed Rafi
Mohammed Rafi (1924- 1980) is idolised as the greatest of India's playback singer and stands to date unparalleled with his legendary, emotion charged voice. His immortal 'Golden Voice' and melodies rules the hearts of millions of Indian music lovers the world over. In this programme Mohammed Rafi is fondly remembered through a unique repertoire of a fusion of classical and contemporary dance forms by reputed dancers dancing to his evergreen popular film songs supported by singers and video projections, an audio- visual spectacle.
Concept and Choreography by Soorya Krishnamoorthy, featuring reputed dancersDakshina Vaidyanathan (Bharathanatyam), Pt. Rajendra Gangani (kathak), Internationally renowned Samudra Dancers (Contemporary dance) and vocals by Zia Ul Haq and Sheela Mani.
May 2012 / Time 4.00 p.m. for 4.30 pm
Venue: Star Theatres
145 Sir Donald Bradman Drive,
Hilton, Adelaide 5033
Mohammed Rafi the legend is remembered Mohammed Rafi is idolised as the greatest of India's playback singer and stands to date unparalleled with his legendary, emotion charged voice. His immortal 'Golden Voice' and melodies still rule the hearts of millions of Indian music lovers the world over.
He is one among the
few Indians who have performed solo in Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, the Festival of India in USSR, apart from performances in America, Italy, Germany, France, China, Japan and even Afghanistan. Even at home he has been a part of significant shows like the
Chidambaram Natyanjali Festival, the Konark Festival, the Ghungroo festival at Bhopal, Kathak Mahotsava, Sharadchandrika at Delhi, Haridas Sangeet Sammellan at Vrindavan, and Nritya Ojhas in Pune. An accomplished musician, composer of tunes, he also has a rare mastery over the tabla, harmonium, pakhawaj, etc. With a confident grasp of the kinetics and aesthetics of dance, and his ability to select apt songs,
his choreographic creations always bring an air of refreshing novelty. Apart from routine performances, Rajendra Gangani has also been active in attempting
a blend of various dance forms. Not only has he been involved in directing dance compositions on social themes like environmental pollution (titled Prakriti), he has also attempted fusion of kathak and Mohini Attam, as also a merger of kathak and Bharatanatyam.
Said the guru today, "The blend is limited to rhythm and footwork. The basic character of each dance form has to be preserved at all costs. Even in a fusion presentation, kathak should stand out for its vigour and vibrancy and Bhatara natyam should reflect
the essential poise and grace. In the preservation of distinct elements of any dance form, lies the real success of a dancer". Rajendra Gangani the very
talented choreographer who is able with the means of Kathak technique (nritta) to create a marvellous dramatic performanceis an accomplished singer and tabla-player as well.
Uday Sankar Satabdi Samaroh Festival organised by the Sangeeth Natak Akademi in Calcutta, Sangeeth Natak Akademi
Festival in Manipur, etc. In 2001, with IFA (Chaali Project), they toured 23 villages of South India, performed, conducted workshops and lecture demonstrations in 60 venues. They have also choreographed and danced in an Indo - French collaborative opera work
named 'The Fakir of Benares' which was staged in Delhi and Mumbai. They choreographed for National Inaugural function for the Celebration commemorating the 150th Anniversary
of the First War of Independence 1857, 100 years of Satyagraha and 60 Years of Freedom for India which was a proposal by the Asian Heritage Foundation. Madhu and Sajeev have
been awarded the Best Choreographers Award by the Government of Kerala and the Film Critics Association for the film - 'Raathrimazha' and for the same film; they won the National Award also. They choreographed for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Common Wealth Games held in New Delhi in 2010 Dakshina Vaidhyanathan A review: -"Dakshina Vaidyanathan", daughter of Rama Vaidyanathan,
held the audience spellbound with her performance 'Shambhu-Natnam', the cosmic dance commonly known as 'Tandava' presented at the University of Jammu (Tribune News Service) THE SINGERS Zia Ul Haq (male singer)
Sheelamani (female singer)
Kalalaya Third Event
Kalalaya proudly presented
Padma Bhushan Dr. K.J.YESUDAS
Live Music Concert in Adelaide
Celebrating 50 Glorious Years of Singing
Kalalaya proudly presents Padmabhushan Dr. K.J. Yesudas live music concert in Adelaide celebrating 50 years of singing accompanied by the Nightingale of South India K.S Chitra, talented singers Vijay Yesudas & Swetha Mohan and live orchestra..
When: Sunday 12th August 2012 at 5:00 p.m.
Where: Adelaide Town Hall, 128 King William St,
Adelaide SA 5000.
Kalalaya Fourth Event
Kalalaya proudly Presented
First time in Adelaide
Bollywood Dance Drama
( in English)
well-renowned Bollywood actress and dancer
in and as
Voices: Surya, Konkona Sen, Shabana Azmi, Nandita Das,Prabhu & Radhika
Sound Design - Resul Pookutty (Oscar Award winner)
Art Design - Rajeevan
When: Saturday 3 November 2012
Time: 5.30 pm for 6pm
Where: Thebarton Theatre, 115 Henley Beach Road, Torrensville, Adelaide, SA 5031.
About Krishna – “This dance portrays Krishna, the man and his philosophies, in a way that has never been done before”. It is a real entertainer. It is a two and half hours choreographed entertainment with dance(fusion of classical, folk and contemporary), music (classical as well as popular film scores), video projections, dialogues in English, glittery costumes, light effects etc based on the stories of Krishna performed by the danseuse Padmashri Shobana and her group, 15 dancers. This will be an evening of spectacular works of ace choreographer and actor Shobana, crafted for lovers of the avant-grade, innovative with classical and bollywood dancing.
Promo Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnbaL_EXFoo
kalalaya Fifth Event
Kalalaya proudly Presented
Soorya India Festival 2013
Directed by: Sri Soorya Krishnamoorthy
Bharatnatyam: Rama Vaidyanathan
Mohiniyattam: Sunanda Nair
Kathak: Rani Khanam
Shadow Magic: Prahlad Acharya
Venue: The Forge Theatre ,
Marryatville High School, 170 Kensington Road, Marryatville.SA 5068
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Bharatnatyam by Rama Vaidyanathan
Rama Vaidyanathan is leading exponent of Bharatanatyam, a popular classical dance form of India. She is undoubtedly one of the most sought after artistes of her generation having carved a name for herself in the Bharatanatyam World. She has trained intensively under the legendary dancer Yamini Krishnamoorthy and the renowned Guru Saroja Vaidyanathan. Everyone who has seen Rama perform is struck by her unique thought process and fresh approach to dance. While deeply rooted in tradition, she has evolved her own individual style without forsaking the core principles of Bharatanatyam. She brings to her dance a rare sense of dedication, which leaves the audience with a sense of spiritual fulfillment.
Rama is known for her unique approach to choreography. She sees Bharatanatyam as a strong medium of communication and has used her dance vocabulary to create some path breaking choreographic
Performances - Workshops- Lecture Demonstrations
From rural Indian schools to the World Music Institute in New York, Rama’s performances have cut across barriers of Nations, language, religion and culture. Apart from full length traditional
performances for the avid Bharatanatyam lover, she also regularly performs for SPICMACAY [Society for the promotion of Indian culture among youth] where she endeavors to create awareness and love for Bharatanatyam in the current generation. She also conducts
master classes, workshops and Lecture Demonstrations for Dancers all over the World. A performing career spanning for more than 25 years, Rama is a Top graded artist with Doordarshan the National Television Channel and is in the outstanding category of artistes
with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.
In India, some of Rama’s noteworthy performances has been for Sangeet Natak Academy, Sahitya Kala Parishad, IGNCA [Indira Gandhi National Centre For the Arts]. She has the distinction of performing in separate occasions before two Presidents of India R Venkatraman and Abdul Kalam at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. She is a regular performer for International delegates at the Indian Parliament in New Delhi.
Some of her performances outside India are ;
USA – For the Smithsonian in Washington DC, The World Music Institute in New York , The Annenberg Centre For the Arts in Philadelphia.
UK – For the MILAP Fest, Edinborough and Brigton Festivals, Royal Festival Hall in London.
FRANCE – For Musee Guimet in Paris, Les Orientales in Saint Florent le Vieil, Cite Dela Muisque and Espace Julien in Marseille.
SPAIN – Teatro Fernan Gomez in Madrid, Casa Dela India in Valladolid.
HOLLAND – Tropen Theater in Amsterdam, Culturalis in The Hague.
BELGIUM – Bozar in Belgium
NORWAY– Du Store Verden in Oslo
CANADA – National Museum in Ottawa
RUSSIA – For the celebration of 60 years of friendship between India and Russia.
MEXICO - Theatro-Juarez, Guanohato
SOUTH AMERICA – Represented India in Colombia, Venezuela, Panama and Guatemala.
CHINA – The National Centre For the Arts in Beijing
KOREA – National Theater in Seoul.
JAPAN – Minon in Tokyo
SINGAPORE – At the Esplanade
She has also performed in SRILANKA, KATMANDU, KUWAIT, UAE, BAHRAIN, KENYA, and RE UNION ISLANDS
Awards and Recognitions
Rama has received prestigious awards and titles for her contribution to Bharatanataym. She is humbled and also inspired
to do better every time she is conferred with an award. Some of her noteworthy awards have been ;
KALAI MAAMANI – From The Tamil Nadu State Government
SANSKRITI AWARD – From The Sanskriti Pratishthan
JEWEL OF INDIA – From the Government Of Srilanka
NADANA MAMANI – From Kartik Fine Arts, Chennai
VANI KALA SUDHAKARA – From Tyaga Brahma Gana Sabha, Chennai
NATYA BHAIRAVI – From Bhairavi Gana Sabha
BALASARSWATI AWARD – From Sriragam Fine Arts, Chennai
BEST DANCER AWARD – From The Music Academy, Chennai
NATYA KALA VIPANCHEE – From Vipanchee, Chennai
TEJASWINI AWARD – From the FICCI YFLO, Delhi [Young FICCI Ladies Organization]
GR8 WOMEN ACHIEVERS AWARD– From Kelvinator, Mumbai
NATIONAL EXCELLENCE AWARD – From All India Unity Conference, Delhi
Rama has received critical acclaim from renowned critics across the
Rama is one of our top most dancers !
Sunil Kothari, noted dance scholar and critic
"Rama Vaidynathan leaves other Bharatanatyam dancers of her generation far behind."…..September 1993, First City Magazine, Ashish Khokar (editor: attendance)
"The great painter Maharaja Ravi Varma must have had in mind someone resembling Rama Vaidyanathan when he painted the portrait of Shakuntala. I am not exaggerating…..She is a creative artiste, ever trying to explore new vistas in choreography."…..August 1998, The Statesman, Late Shri P. V. Subramaniam (Subudu)
"Rama must be ranked among the five most notable talents at the close of the century….Her intensity an command stops the viewer dead in his tracks."…….February 1999, The Hindustan Times, Shanta Serbjeet Singh
"Her skill for 'abhinaya' was evident in the garland of verses….Rama's expressions of the swiftly changing moods of the lady in love were lively."….December 1999, The Hindu, Chennai, Nandini Ramani
Rama is a unique blend of Tradition and Innovation - Femina 2003.
The more one watched Rama Vaidyanathan dance, the more one was amazed..Her dancing is vibrant and deeply involved. She is equipped with technical skill but is also full of innovative ideas."
V. R. Devika in The Hindu....Chennai, 2003
She is an artiste who works at many levels and uses her art as a tool to express her solidarity with various levels.......The fire power and ebullience, the athleticism and rhytmic prowess have always been there as strong ingredients for a successful solo career.......Anjana Rajan in The Hindu, Delhi 2003
If there is a high priestess of Bharata Natyam, it should be Rama. Argus, Pavilion Theatre, Brighton, U.K. 2006.
Rama has an individualistic statement and style, strongly expressive of her joy and exuberance. Her lucid introductions matched each one of the aesthetically pleasing items......Manjari Sinha in The Hindu, 2007
The dancer's fluency in negotiating
space, her intutive ability for well- crafted and nuanced choreography with a sense of 'belonging ' with the theme and a feel for asthetics are all factors to reckon with........Leela Venkatraman in SRUTI, India's premier magazine for the performing arts-2007
Watching Rama Vaidyanathan dance , you get the feeling that she is truly passionate about what she is doing – she immerses herself in the moment and the mood.........Usha Ramdas in the Hindu, Chennai 2009
Her execution was so clear that the fascinations of the Bharatanatyam genre itself were objectively evident.......Alaistair macaulay in The New York times 2011
Simply and Radically she, she walked to change the scene, clear the air, declare herself………Women in Indian Dance are a feisty bunch and Vaidyanathan catches their spirit.........Appollinaire Scherr in the Financial Times, New York 2011
Kathak by Rani Khanam
Rani Khanam is one of the foremost Kathak exponents of India. She is the first Muslim women to remove her veil from her community and walked long way against all odds to
master Indian classical dance. With her immense talent, a total belief in herself and the courage to follow her intuition, today she is a highly respected Kathak dancer and choreographer of India.
She was groomed under Great Guru Pt. Birju Maharaj and Smt. Reba Vidyarthi for 15 years, graduating with top honors from the prestigious National Institute ‘The Kathak Kendra’, New Delhi. With exceptional prowess in rhythm and the aesthetics of expression, the themes of her performances reflect transcendental and abstract thoughts, portraying sensitivity to the need for creative expression.
Rani has imbibed the best of the contemporary and traditional Kathak, which she has enriched with the stamp of her own personality. She is the first Muslim dancer dares dance and choreograph for Islamic verses and gave a new dimension to Sufi dance
Rani Khanam is one of the most sensitive and astute interpreters of Gharana of Kathak today.
She has earned great prestige for her dexterity, subtle footwork and rhythmic patterns, with her immense talent, a total belief in herself and the courage to follow her intuition. She has not only achieved the greater heights in the field of dance but also has given a new dimension and inspiration to younger generation of the time.
Rani Khanam has been honored for her courageous and pioneering work by such awards as 5th National Women Excellence Award -2012, Asian Cultural Council Fellowship. “World Dance and Islamic Culture”, The Govt. f India’s: Fellowship and the India Foundation’s award: Outstanding Kathak dancer. For the past two decades Rani Khanam has performed regularly at reputed national and international festivals.
Being a sensitive individual, Rani Khanam has used her talent and artistic instinct to create awareness through her choreography among the common people by working on rights of Indian Muslim women & women in general towards equity & social justice.
Creative work in the field of persons with disabilities:
Rani Khanam’s commitment towards the people with disability has given new dimensions to her world of dance. Through her innovative choreography, she has assisted & directed many international acclaimed Therapeutic Theatre Productions. She gives her artistic inputs to Ability Unlimited Foundation, New Delhi.
Rani Khanam has been honored for her courageous and pioneering work with awards such as 5th National Woman Excellence Award 2012 Asian Cultural Council Fellowship on “World Dance and Islamic culture”, The Govt. of India’s Fellowship and India Foundation’s award as outstanding Kathak dancer.
For the past two decades rani Khanam is performing regularly at routed national and international festivals. Rani Khanam is the Founder Director of AMMAD – Kathak Dance centre in East Delhi, recognized by the Dept. of Culture, Govt. of India and accredited center of Kathak Kendra- National institute of Kathak dance, New Delhi. As a respected Guru, Rani Khanam has cultivated and groomed some of the finest Kathak dancers in India & abroad.
Rani Khanam has promoted Indian classical dance amongst the youth through her lecture demonstrations & workshops throughout India in many educational institutions under the auspices of SpicMacay, I.C.C.R, Sangeet Natak Academy & IIRCC & aboard mainly in UK, South Korea, Malaysia, Netherlands and USA
Text Book – NCERT (Dance in Education)
Rani Khanam is in the planning group of DEAA, The Department of Education in Arts & Aesthetics NCERT who created the Teachers
Handbook in Dance for upper primary stage of school education for teachers and next generations.
Mohiniyattam by Sunanda Nair
Sunanda Nair, a leading exponent of Mohiniyattam (an Indian classical dance form) is one of the few practicing luminaries of this style of dance form.
with an attractive demeanor suitable for this form of dancing, Sunanda indeed casts a spell on her onlookers while performing. She exudes vitality, warmth and endows her dance with an added dimension, and she enchants the initiated and the uninitiated alike.
It is her ability to infuse beauty in whatever she creates and gives joyousness to her movements and expressions that set her apart from other practitioners. The movements are full of life and endowed with sensitive lyricism. Sunanda is the disciple of the
noted Mohiniyattam exponent Padmashree Dr.(Smt)Kanak Rele, who is renowned for her contribution to the revival and popularization of this classical dance style.
She has the proud privilege of being the first student to earn a Master's degree in Mohiniyattam from Nalanda Nritya Kala Mahavidyalay affiliated to the University of Mumbai. Sunanda has prepared for her vocation both as a professional dancer and a teacher of dance, through rich and multifaceted experiences in higher academics, stage performances, classroom instruction and choreography.
Sunanda has very reputed national and international festivals to her credit, and has won high acclaim from both the critics and connoisseurs of dance for her impressive dancing
Her participation includes prestigious ones such as:
Festival of India in the former USSR
Spring Friendship Art Festival in North Korea
Performances in Middle East, Singapore and U.S.A.
Khajuraho festival in Madhya Pradesh
Konark festival in Orissa
Yuva Mahotsav in Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur
Nishagandhi, Kerala Tourism, Trivandrum
Kalidas Samaraoh, Ujjain
Modera Festival, Gujarat
Mysore Dassera Festival
Nrityotsava, Central Sangeet Natak Akademi, Bangalore
Indo-Indonesian Friendship Society
Vallathol Jayanti,Kerala Kalamandalam
SAARC Conference, Mumbai
Sangeeta Sabha, Poona
Swati Tirunal Sangeet Sabha,Trivandrum
Chakradhar Samaraoh, Rajasthan Sangeet Natak Akademi
India International Centre, Apna Utsav, New Delhi
Krishna Gana Sabha, Bharat Kalachar, Bharatiya Music and Arts, Madras
The National Centre For Performing Arts, Mumbai
Haridas Sammelan, Mumbai
Nitya Nityati And Tanmai Arohanam Festival, Bangalore
India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
Shree Chitra Dance Festival, Trivandrum
Natyanjali Trust, Music Academy, Chennai
National Festival of Mohini Attam, Nehru Center, Mumbai
Soorya Parampara dance festival, Trivandrum, Kerala
India Habitat Center, New Delhi
Dharini, Cochin, Kerala
Monsoon Festival Art India, New Delhi
Raindrops Festival NCPA, Samved Mumbai
Bharatam, Trichur, Kerala
Asia Pacific Heritage Festival
A panel artiste of the Indian Council For Cultural Relations
An A graded artiste of Central Doordarshan
Appeared in Nritya Bharati a film on classical dancing
Appeared in CD-ROM of Indian classical dancing
Performed lead roles in dance ballet productions of Nalanda Dance Research Centre
As Kannagi in Shilapadikaram
As Kalyani in Kalyani based on Rabindranath Tagore's Chandalika
As Vasavadatta, in Sapna Vasavadatta a Sanskrit Drama
Kanchan Mrig based on the Panchantra
Sant Vani based on popular Marathi abhangs
Sunanda has been the recipient of many Awards some of the prestigious ones including
A scholarship from Central Sangeet Natak Akademi for advanced training in abhinaya and choreography under her Guru Smt. Kanak Rele
Singar Mani from the prestigious Sur Singar Samsad, Mumbai
Nelluvai Nambeeshan Smarak Award for Mohiniattam
Natya Mayuri Natyanjali Trust , Chennai
Best Ethnic Classical Arts Award, New Orleans, 2003
Louisiana State Artist Roster
Louisiana Touring Directory
Global Excellence Dance Award, New Orleans
Presidents Award for Community Service, Indian Assoc of New Orleans
Shadow Magic by Prahlad Acharya
Prahlad Acharya is a prominent magician, illusionist, escapologist, and stunt performer from Udupi, Karnataka, India. Renowned for his escape acts, Prahlad has been termed Indian Houdini by the Indian media. He is also an entertaining ventriloquist, and an expertshadow play artiste. His show is called Maya Jadoo, which is a 20-member magical extravaganza filled with ethnic Indian illusions. He has developed an art form that splices drama with magic. He calls it "dramagic”
Some of Prahlad's well-known achievements are:
- Unique Shadow Play Performance at Gili Gili 2001 - the International Magicians' Convention at Udupi in November 2001
- Udupi Golden Chariot Vanish at Udupi Sri Krishna Temple on September 1, 2001
- 1000th Magical Performance of MAYA JADOO, at the PPC Auditorium, Udupi on April 7, 2001
- Outstanding Magician Award at Vismayam 2000 - the International Magicians' Convention at Trivandrum, Kerala in December 2000
- Gold Medal for Ventriloquism & Silver Medal for Close Up Magic at the Golden Magic Conference at Kanhangad, Kerala in November 1999
- Magic-on-wheels to create election awareness in Udupi District in 1998
- Founded the Magic & Allied Arts Development & Research Institute in Udupi on January 14, 1998
- Performance of the Legendary Indian Rope Trick at Kadekar, Udupi in November 1997
- Jagruti Rally - A blind-fold drive for AIDS Awareness from Mangalore in Karnataka to Panjim in Goa in May 1995.
- Agnivyooha Chhedana (Escape from the Castle of Fire) at Udupi in September 1994.
Kalalaya Sixth Event
S P Balasubrahmanyam
(First time in Adelaide)
K S Chitra
Live in Concert
S P Sailaja, S P B Charan
and lovely musicians
SUNDAY 04 MAY 2014
Time: 4.150 pm for 5 pm Starts
112 Henley Beach Road
Torrensville, SA 5031
VVIP $ 200, VIP $160, Platinum $125, Diamond $105, Gold-B $95,
Gold $85, Silver $65, Bronze-A $45, Bronze -B $30 (Sold out)
Please watch the message from SPB & Chitra
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call Ramesh 0425761360 / Priya 0466772138
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Kalalaya Seventh Event
Soorya India Festival 2014
Dance drama by Bharatnatyam exponent Mrs. Chitra Visweswaran along with Seven dancers from India
Venue: Star Theatre, 145 Sir Donald Bradman Drive, Hilton SA 5033.
When: Friday 6 June 2014 at 7.30 pm
Tickets: Diamond $70.00, Gold $50.00, Silver $30.00
Click here to watch the promo video
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Anubhuti - An experience in the Maargam format with 7 dancers - Concept and Choreography : Padmashri Chitra Visweswaran
Anubuthi was created at the at the instance of the Opera of France, which invited Smt Chitra Visweswaran to choreograph a production conceived on the foundation of the traditional margam format of Bharatanatyam. Kinetics of space, architectonical layers of interpretation, bordering on the unexpected, aesthetics of form, sound and content, have been explored to push the boundaries of conventional Bharatanatyam choreography.
Commencing with the celebration of the Hindu Trinity, representing the Cosmic acts of creation, preservation and destruction, Anubuthi goes on to unravel the mystic philosophy of Ardhanareeshwara / Ardhanareewshari, the multi moods of the multifaceted Shakti, engages with the search and realization of the Divine - Krishna and culminates in a mood of Ananda - bliss experienced through dance and music - Thillana.
Anubhuti has toured Germany, France, Luxembourg and Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Trivandrum and Madurai in India.
The Doyen and Legend of dance Padmashri Chitra Visweswaran
"Dance is a prayer. It has given me the courage to face several challenges in life," said danseuse Chitra Visweswaran at the valedictory of the 73rd music conference and festival of the Indian Fine Arts Society. Ms. Visweswaran was addressing rasikas after she was conferred `Natya Kalasikhamani' award by the Indian Fine Arts Society in Chennai in 2006.
"Honouring Chitra is honouring dance itself. She lives for dance. Her dedication is tremendous," said Ms. Sarasa.
"Dance is something beyond physical movements. Rasanubhava is the essence and purpose of dance and one can find it in abundance in Chitra's performances. She makes you cry with joy," said Ms. Raghupathy.
The danseuse is lauded for introducing commentary before a recital.
Somewhere along the way Chitra dropped the concept of dancers dressing up in the aharya or costume in accordance with the character she / he played; for, to suggest a character through mime, gesture and stance was more demanding and challenging than in playing the character in the expected costume.
Chitra Visweswaran is amongst the leading classical dancers of India. Apart from being a marvellous dancer, she is a brilliant choreographer and an amazing teacher. She started her own dance institution with the help of her husband R. Viswesaran, called 'Chidambaram Academy of Performing Arts' in Chennai, in 1975. She has provided immense support and encouragement to the Indian classical dances across the world. Chitra has given astonishing dance performances in almost all the major dance festivals of India and has participated in foreign shows regularly. Chitra has made great contribution to the field of dance through her experimentation and innovations in the Bharatanatyam.
Chitra Padmanabhan had an inherent talent of dancing right from her childhood, which she gained from her mother Smt. Rukmini Padmanabhan who herself was an outstanding classical dancer, while her father Shri N. Padmanabhan was a railway engineer. Chitra started dance at a very tender age of three and the first teacher was her mother. She got married to an artist R. Viswesaran, who is a composer, vocalist and a Santoor player. He is the nephew of the famous Carnatic musician, G.N. Balasubramanian and adherent of Santoor maestro Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma.
Chitra, at the age of ten, started taking her lessons in Bharatnatyam from one of the devdasis of Tiruvidaimardur, Smt T. A. Rajalakshmi, who was in Calcutta (Kolkata) and there she took the training for about ten years. Along with this, she also learnt Manipuri and Kathak. At the age of 11, Chitra choreographed her dance under the guidance of Rajalaksmi. Later on, she took training of Western Classical Ballet in London. She gave her first dance performance (Arangetram) in ten months of the learning, which was a great achievement. Besides taking lessons of Bharatnatyam in Calcutta, she was also studying in Uday Shankar School of Dance. In 1970, Chitra completed her graduation in B.A. (Hons.) in English from Calcutta University. She was honored with the National Scholarship for advanced study in Bharatnatyam from the Government of India. At that time, only two scholarships were awarded all over the country and she was one of the recipients.
After getting the scholarship, Chitra took training from the great and notable Bharatnatyam dancer and teacher Vazhuvoor Ramaiah Pillai, in Chennai. She received an excellent training from all her Gurus and it helped in expanding her artistic visualization. Chitra started working on her own after completing her scholarship. She, with her immense knowledge of dancing, became a great Indian classical dancer and a teacher.
Chitra's first piece of dance choreography was at the age of eleven. At thirteen, she had choreographed the life of Saint Thyagaraja in the format of a Varnam, the most demanding of pieces in the Bharatanatyam repertoire. Several such pieces of choreography followed even as she studied contemporary dance in parallel to her Bharatanatyam training. During this period, she choreographed individual pieces and short thematic presentations. Though she wanted to leave Calcutta for Madras (or Chennai as it is called now) in order to pursue dance seriously on finishing school, her parents insisted on her completing an honors degree (B.A. in English). Thanks to the frequent closures of Calcutta University, she fruitfully spent her time studying dance theory and dance history entirely on her own and also became involved in interdisciplinary search and research.
In 1970, she received the National Scholarship for advanced study in Bharatanatyam from the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India, at a time when only two scholarships were awarded throughout the country, as against twenty-five, today.
She spent her scholarship period of four years under the doyen of Bharatanatyam, Vazhuvoor Ramaiyya Pillai. Her experience as his sishya widened her aesthetic vision even as her earlier Gurus' training gave her excellent grammar and technique. Within three months of joining Vazhuvoor Ramaiyya Pillai, her guru introduced Chitra to the Madras audience by promoting her over all his other students as the heroine of a dance drama, Thirumalai Kumaresa Kuravanji, which her guru had choreographed. Eminent people such as Prof. Sambhamoorthy,Kapila Vatsyaya and Sunil Kothari even then noted her work.
On completion of her scholarship, Chitra started working on her own, combining the lessons she had learnt from her Gurus and her knowledge of the cognate forms of arts, harnessing to it a scholastic approach and holistic vision in order to develop a wholly individualistic philosophy of movement and language of communication.
Chitra started teaching dance at Calcutta at the age of sixteen, but it was in 1975 that she established "Chidambaram Academy of Performing Arts" (CAPA) in Chennai, now an acknowledged premier institution in India. Since its inception, she has extended its repertoire with several pieces culled through research, which has earned her a very strong and supportive following. Even as her institution grew, she slowly tried her hand in group performance choreography in which her earlier experience of the Bengal School helped her substantially.
In 1980, Chitra choreographed her first major dance drama Devi Ashta Rasa Malika which took Chennai by storm. The concept of group formations, which was hitherto comparatively unknown in Bharatanatyam, took firm root in this genre through this production.
Several solo thematic and group productions in the Bharatanatyam format followed. A few examples in solo are:
Krishnanjali - a solo thematic presentation, wherein the concept of flashback was first introduced.
Purandara Krishnamritham - in which rare Kritis of the Kannada saint-poet, Purandaradasa were researched and strung together thematically.
Saptha Sapthi - a solo production exploring seven aspects of the number seven
Sthree Sakthi- a saga of Indian women from Sita to Jhansi Ki Rani.
Viswam Vishnumayam, Naveena Niroopanna, Sadaa Venkatesa Smarami are other notable. productions
Her group productions, which followed Devi Ashta Rasa Malika, were several. One of these discovered the parallels in poetry and approach to bhakti of the South Indian Saint poetess Andal, with that of the Mewari princess Meera.
The Ramayana with just one Sanskrit kriti to harness it musically, which was incidentally also translated into Tamil, is another popular production.
Devaki Pulambal took on a different view point - that of Devaki, Krishna's natural mother, instead of the much presented Yashodha.
Somewhere along the way Chitra dropped the concept of dancers dressing up in the aharya or costume in accordance with the character she / he played; for, to suggest a character through mime, gesture and stance was more demanding and challenging than in playing the character in the expected costume.
Her vision further widened when the National Academy of Sciences commissioned her to present a production on the river Ganges in 1989-90, not highlighting the religious connotation of the river, but presenting it as representative of the ethos of India. She took six months off to research this project and to this day feels that this experience contributed considerably to her evolution as a thinking dancer.
Mary Magdalena, Maithreem Bhajatha and other productions that followed, brought in different and varied thrusts.
Chitra has been regularly featured in the National Program of Dance, local programs of Doordarshan and other Indian channels. Her dance has also been telecast by Television in Sydney (Mike Walsh show), Singapore Broadcasting Corporation, BBC Television, U.K, Portugal TV, French TV, Swiss TV, U.S. TV, Malaysian TV. On the occasion of India's 50th year of Independence, BBC invited her to present a specially choreographed program at the Symphony Hall, Birmingham that was telecast internationally on 15 August 1997. Chidambaram Academy of Performing Arts Her institution CAPA has grown extensively and has satellite institutions all over the world headed by present and past students. In order to maintain exclusive quality, admission is highly selective and restricted. The holistic approach of CAPA has led to several national and international scholarships and fellowships being awarded to its students. Here dance, music, nattuvangam, theory, stagecraft, lighting, teaching methodology, philosophy of movement and a deep study of the cognate art forms is stressed upon. Besides drawing great joy of sharing her knowledge with all those who desire it, Chitra now has an added motive in her life - to collect funds for RASA, an institution using creative dance and music therapy for special children with learning disabilities.
Chitra has performed in all major dance festivals in India and has made several tours abroad, dancing in the U.K, France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Bulgaria, Portugal, USA, Canada, USSR, Australia, Austria, Fiji Islands, Singapore, Malaysia, Kuwait, Muscat, Bahrain, Dubai, Qatar, Holland, Srilanka amongst other countries. Her dance and lecture - demonstrations have been documented for reference by various institutions and universities.
Awards and Distinctions
In 1980, Sri Krishna Gana Sabha awarded the "Nritya Choodamani" to Chitra. As an awardee, she convened the Sabha's Natya Kala conference in 1996 & 97, the only dance seminar of its kind in India. She is a Trustee of India Foundation for the Arts, a Ford foundation activated project and is also a member of the committee constituted by the Government of India for selection of candidates for award of scholarships and fellowships in Bharatanatyam. Chitra was the only dancer invited by the University of Madras to occupy the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Fine Arts. She is also a member of the General Council and Executive Board of the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi (the apex body of Performing Arts in India).
In recognition of her contribution to Bharathanatyam, the Government of Tamil Nadu conferred the title, "Kalaimamani" upon her in 1982. She received the "Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Award" in 1987 and the "Padma Shri" from the President of India in 1992. In addition, in India's 50th year of Independence she was awarded the titles of "Mahila Shiromani" (honoring distinguished women of Indian origin) and "Sthree Ratna" (gem amongst women - awarded to fifty eminent Indian women). Her other awards include Nritya Vilas - Sur Singar Samsad, Bombay, 1988; Manav Sewa Puraskar - Institute of economic studies, 1992 (Lok Shree Award, New Delhi); Natanamani - Kanchi Paramacharya in 1999.
Under the scheme of inviting a personality whose contribution to Indian Culture has been outstanding, The Japan Foundation invited Chitra Visweswaran to be their special guest for the year 2000.
Chitra Visweswaran is the 2013's recipient of the Music Academy's Natya Kala Acharya Award for Dance.The award was conferred on Chitra Visweswaran on January 3, 2014, at the inaugural of the Music Academy's Annual Dance Festival.
Chitra's husband, late Sri R.Visweswaran, nephew of the legendary Carnatic musician, G.N Balasubramaniam was a vocalist, instrumentalist and composer and had a long experience of working in the genre of film music. He played the Kashmir Santoor, veena and was a self-taught Flamenco guitarist. His knowledge and experience came together in composing and directing great music for Chitra's solo work and group productions, for which he also lend his voice. Together they were considered a contributive force to be reckoned with in the field of Classical Indian Dance.
"My husband Visweswaran equally deserves all the awards I have received. His cooperation is not merely about supporting a dancer; it is also about being part of my exploration. I would wake him up at 2 in the morning and ask him to compose a piece and he would do it so enthusiastically," Chitra Visweswaran.
Arupa Lahiry, a disciple of Padmashri Smt. Chitra Visweswaran is a Senior Scholarship recipient from the Department of Culture, Government of India. Arupa has given solo recitals at major festivals and sabhas, nationally and internationally, which include names like Living Arts Centre, Canada; Madras Music Academy, 'Spirit Of Youth' Series; Chennai; Soorya Festival, Trivandrum; Swami Haridas Sammelan, Mumbai; 4th Devadasi National Festival, Bhubaneswar, Orissa, Prakjyoti Festival, Assam; Natyanjali Dance Festivals: Chidambaram, Thanjavur & Kumbakonnam; besides being a regularly featured artist at Neemrana Music Foundation, India.
Arupa, along with her guru, Smt. Chitra Visweswaran as part of Chidambaram Dance Company , has participated in major productions like Dwarkanatham Bhaje; Nirantaraha; Skanda Margam; Nritya Srinkhala; Raghuvamsa Thillakam. Arupa has also accompanied her guru for various lecture-demonstrations and workshops, Arupa's awards and accolades include titles like 'Singar Mani' from Sur Singar Samsad, Mumbai, 2010 & Shikar Samman from National Hindi Parishad, 2005. Arupa has choreographed a tele-series on national television and has been featured in Tabla maestro Tanmoy Bose's music album.
Arupa was part of Chidambaram Dande Company 2 which performed the choreographies of Smt Chitra Visweswaran (Anubuthi) at the Opera of France Lille in 2011 and the subsequent tour of Europe in 2013.
Sai Santhosh Radhakrishnan
Sai Santhosh is a disciple of legendary Adayar K. Lakshman and Smt. Deepa Baba Prasad at their institution Bharathachoodamani Academy of Fine Arts. A talented male Bharatanatyam dancer, instructor and choreographer, Sai Santhosh has proved himself to be a youngster worth following . Much in demand he has had the privilege of participating in the productions of legendary giants such as Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam, Smt. ChitraVisveshwaran Prof.Sudharani Raghupathy Ms.Leela Samson , Smt.Radha , Dhananjayans & Vempatti Shri Chinna Sathyam.
He has toured all over India and Abroad in this capacity .He has received many awards amongst which are 'Yuva Kala Bharathi' from Bharath Kalachar , "Best Dancer" award from Indian fine arts society "NatyaYuva Bhushan" and the prestigious Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana International Competition (USA) prize . Sai Santhosh is a also a promising young solo dancer who has captivated audiences through his dynamic performances.
Sai Santhosh was part of Chidambaram Dande Company 2 which performed the choreographies of Smt Chitra Visweswaran (Anubuthi) in a tour of Europe in 2013 and in several venues in India.
Dance is a passion beyond expression in words for Jai Quehaeni. Jai Quehaeni , who's name has been derived from that of a queen has been a natural dancer and started taking lesson at a very young age had her arangetram (debut performances) when she was 11 years old . Subsequently Quehaeni was blessed to take up specialized training under the watchful eyes of her present Guru Padmashri Smt.Chitra Visweswaran who nurtured her talent and is helping her grow in the field of Bharathanatyam.Quehaeni has performed in most of the major sabhas (organisation promoting Indian & Music) in Chennai and has also performed all over India.She has been a part of most of her Guru's productions since she joined Chidambram Academy Of Performing Arts. She has also been encouraged and appreciated by a number of well known newspapers and she has to her credit the Award given by Krishna Gana Saba for her outstanding performance. Jai Quehaeni was part of Chidambaram Dande Company 2 which performed the choreographies of Smt Chitra Visweswaran (Anubuthi) at the Opera of France Lille in 2011 and the subsequent tour of Europe in 2013.
Jai Quehaeni has already made a mark as an actor being part of the critically acclaimed film Aarohanam.
Gayathri Rajaji, a disciple of Guru.Adyar.K.Lakshman, is a serious practitioner of Bharatanatyam with unrelenting passion for the great art form .Wanting to take up this art form seriously, she is pursuing a bachelors degree in Indian Music from the Madras University and also trains in nattuvangam, abhinaya, carnatic vocal , veena and dance theory through private classes from eminent teachers.
After her arangetram in August 2008, she has been a regular performer in various esteemed sabhas like Natyarangam , Kartik fine arts, Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, Indian fine arts, Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha to name a few. She received the best dancer award from the Indian Fine Arts for the year 2012. A recipient of Scholarship under the Talent Promotion Scheme of the Iyal Isai NatakaMandram of Tamil Nadu, she is also a 'B' graded artist from the Doordarshan, Chennai. She was awarded the title 'Nrityasree' from the Utkal Yuva Sanksrutik sangh, Orissa.She is now working in productions of senior Gurus .Prof. Sudharani Raghupathy and Smt Chitra Visweswaran.
Gayathri Rajaji was part of Chidambaram Dande Company 2 which performed the choreographies of Smt Chitra Visweswaran (Anubuthi) in a tour of Europe in 2013 and in several venues in India
Divya Shruthi started learning Bharatanatyam at the tender age of six. Her keen interest in Bharatanatyam and her quest to learn the art form in depth, brought her under the tutelage of the renowned Chitra Visweswaran, where she cherishes her training under her at Chidambaram Academy of Performing Arts.
A young committed aspiring dancer she is a regular participant in the professional presentations of the institutions repertory Chidambaram Dance Company , wherein she has participated in Raghuvansa Tilakam, Kolaru Pathigam , Kondattam , Nritya Pravaaha, Sapta Sapti to name a few . She has travelled nationally and internationally in this capacity and has been noted as one of the excellent dancers of her generation.
Divya Shruthi was part of Chidambaram Dande Company 2 which performed the choreographies of Smt Chitra Visweswaran (Anubuthi) in a tour of Europe in 2013 and in several venues in India
Sharmada started learning Bharatanatyam at the age of seven at the Chidambaram Academy of Performing Arts under the tutelage of Kalaimamani Smt Chitra Visweswaran, Padma Shri awardee. Her commitment and sincerity to dance has kept her in good stead with her Guru and the school.
Hailing from the family of Mahakavi Subramaniya Bharatiyar [Sharmada's great grand uncle], she has grown up amidst music and dance. Her grandmother Smt. Rajam Subramanian composes music for dance and her aunt Smt. Ramaa Ramesh, a senior disciple of Smt Chitra Visweswaran, runs her own dance school in Philadelphia, USA.
A school topper in junior and high school, she was adjudged the best outgoing student. She has had varied interests since childhood, with a keen eye for music and art. She is currently pursuing Carnatic Violin lessons from Mrs. Padma Shankar, . Sharmada's drawings, paintings and sketches have also won her laurels in various competitions.
She also plays tennis and takes active interest in fitness related activities.
Sharmada was part of Chidambaram Dande Company 2 which performed the choreographies of Smt Chitra Visweswaran (Anubuthi) in a tour of Europe in 2013 and in several venues in India.