Ehsaas 2007 - an evening of Bharatanatyam

posted Sep 19, 2011, 1:11 AM by Arpan Performing Arts   [ updated Sep 19, 2011, 1:14 AM by Joyce Paul Siamak ]

May 11, 2007                                                                                              By Radha Janardhan
As the evening unscrolled in front of an anticipating audience on May 6, 2007 in Seattle's Ethnic Culture Theatre at the University of Washington, the first chapter of a fledgling school for performing arts was getting written by 14 or more students of Joyce Kakariyil Paul. A student of Leela Samson, Joyce approaches dance with reverence, creativity and precision. Her students are of all age levels and different skill levels.

The Nataraja on stage promised everything to be right and the brochure suggested a pleasant mix of classical and modern artistry - the classical as taught by the Guru and the modern mix as created by the students themselves. The ambience was again a mix of North and South with strains of Hindustani Ragas setting the mood for an evening of Bharatanatyam.

The classical performance began with two charming comperes enlightening the audience with the history of the origin of Bharatanatyam. The language was succinct as well as imaginative and it gave a professional touch to the first performance of the school.

The first item was the traditional Omkar combined with Guru Namaskar and prayers to the cosmic dancer Shiva. All the students walked in silently and chanted shlokas with no music; just their strong voices echoing across the rows of seats in a full auditorium.

The presentation of Alarippu introduced the skills of the dancers well as they moved into the complexity of rhythmic patterns with ease and grace. The arrangement by Raji Harikrishnan and placement of dancers was charming and well thought of. This was done with recorded music and one wished for the live nattuvangam of the guru to make it all even livelier.