Page 19

April 25, 2014

Community Across America

India Post 19

Bharatam showcases journey of Bharatanaytam

Rama the Savior Cont’d from page 17

This was a testimony to Guru Vanitha, who has trained these dancers imparting the cherished art with care and diligence. Her commitment to the art of Bharatnatyam is a testimony that for her, dance is a way of life. The program began with Nrittanjali, a dance offering with pure classical dance elements by Annu Mutholam and Sutikshna Veeravalli, both Bharatamanis, graduates of Bharatam. Next, dancers in different age groups rendered different compositions, with each item progressing in order of difficulty and skill level. Starting from Aarambham, by young learners, the performance showcased Alarippu, Kavuttuvam, Jatiswaram and Shabdam in a progression of movement and complexity which set the stage for more traditional story lines that drew their inspiration from Hindu mythology. Avahanam, a fast piece set to catchy and sprightly instrumental music was performed by a group of inspired moms, who take Bharatnatyam lessons from Vanitha, following their daughter's footsteps. Varnam, central piece of a Margam, was performed by senior dancers in praise of Devi. In Adinaye Kanna performers beau-

tifully portrayed Krishna dancing by riverfront in a moonlit night. Two Bharatmanis (Bharatam graduates) Sathvika Ashokkumar and Annu Mutholam presented solos in the program, reminding audiences of the training and disciplined growth they had undergone.

aspirational human qualities. It was indeed worthy of attendance at the event just by itself. Thillana, based on the story of Lord Krishna subduing giant snake Kaliya, was a great confluence of energy and rhythm, and this was lapped up by audi-

Varnam on Devi

While each presentation evoked a positive response from the audience, some of the most memorable moments included Guru Vanitha herself. She appeared on the stage, joining her daughters Sutikshna and Satvika in presenting a Kavadi Chindu, a form of folk music that richly delineated

Krishna and Kaliya

ence with thunderous applause. The dance outfits and colors, meticulously chosen to match the moods of the songs, were a treat to watch. It is heartening to note that great knowledge from our rich traditions is transmitted to students in Chicagoland through Bharatam.

Unique seminars coming up on Hindu Historiography & Christianity Cont’d from page 16

integrated with the more holistic mission of Sindh Hindu heritage revival, in order to effect a more meaningful relationship between the Pakistani Hindu refugees and the global Hindu community. Touching upon the purpose and vision behind the whole exercise, Rajiv Varma, the conference director, observed that the central theme of the meet is to build intellectual competencies among the Hindus for a meaningful engagement with the outside world. Development of Hindu historiography is a must to write an authentic Hindu narrative. He added that it is imperative to build Hindu ideological competencies, and incre-

The target audience will be parents of Hindu children and social studies school teachers who teach Hinduism in public schools. The special session will feature the Northern California premiere of their documentary titled "The History of Hindu India". The documentary establishes a historical continuum of faith and practice by narrating the history of Hinduism since the Indus Valley civilization until the modern age. The other seminar at the conference will be on Hinduism-Christianity Comparative Religion. The purpose of the comparative religion seminar is to build competencies for a deeper and more meaningful engagement with the Christian world. The current Hindu-Christian interlocution is largely one-sided where the Hindus have been dependent on old ideological formulations that were formed in a colonial milieu of 19th century India, which is acutely compromised in its core and one that has yielded indeterminate results. This necessitates the need to learn more and understand Christianity in a new light from Kalavai Venkat book on Hindus and Christians its original sources. The book "What Every Hindu Should Rajiv Varma, the conferKnow About Chrisence director, observed that tianity" authored by Kalavai Venkat, will be the central theme of the released at the confermeet is to build intellectual ence. Venkat, a scholar of comparative competencies among the religion, in his book leverages cuttingHindus for a meaningful edge scholarly reengagement with the searches in textual criticism and cognioutside world tive sciences to arrive at a reasonable understanding of Christian beliefs. The mentally build clarity on the nafindings it presents reveal a hith- ture of Hinduism in relation to erto unknown face of Christianity Abrahamic religions in general, to the rational Hindu. Venkat, in and with Christianity in particular, his book, provides a roadmap on in order to provide ideological dihow Hindus should engage Chris- rection to the next generation of Hindus. tianity. He also outlined a vision of esPlight of Hindu refugees from tablishing a comprehensive proPak The conference will also unveil gram for reviving Sindh's classia comprehensive plan for provid- cal Hindu heritage, and integrating relief to Pakistani Hindu refu- ing the efforts towards Pakistani gees, who are languishing in vari- Hindu refugee rehabilitation into ous refugee camps all over India. that program. He clarified that this Rahul Chandra, project director of is necessary to establish an emothe Sindh Hindu Heritage and tional and cultural connection beEmpowerment program, stated tween refugees and the global that refugee rehabilitation must be Hindu community.


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