NATYALAYA SCHOOL OF DANCE PROUDLY PRESENTS:
A modern Indian dance drama told through the eyes of the boatman Ganga Ram.
Act 1 – Life For millions, the Ganges River is a life-giving force. To the dutiful fishermen, she
provides sustenance; to the frustrated farmer, relief from drought; and to the playful dobis, or washer-men, livelihood. And when rains fill the river, the people celebrate.
Act 2 – Lore The Ganges River also holds an important place in Buddhist, Hindu, and Sikh lore. The sheltered Prince Siddhartha, while traversing the banks of the Ganges, encounters disease and death for the first time. Looking to his charioteer for explanation, the Prince learns that suffering is a part of life and that he too will grow old and die. Here, at Gaya, the Buddha reaches enlightenment.
Shankaracharya, one of the youngest sanyasis, or monks, comes to the Ganges to perform Sidhi, or meditate. Here, he teaches his students and leads them in prayer. Kabir, abandoned in the river at birth, loves the Ganges as his mother. When he calls to her, she crosses river banks and floods down from the mountains to comfort and caress him. Into poetry, he pours his love for her, and to the river, he entrusts his soul.
Act 3 – Legend In Hinduism, the river is personified as the Goddess Ganga, who descended onto the Earth from the heavens in response to the penance of Bhagiratha. She is Mandakini, the compassionate, Vegavahini, the torrential, Surasari, the alluring, and
Mokshadhayini, the one who grants moksha, or liberation from the cycle of reincarnation. However, her force overwhelms the people. Angry and frustrated with her arrogance, Shiva captures Ganga in the locks of his copper hair, Jata. Bhagiratha pleads with Shiva to let her go so his ancestors may achieve moksha. Shiva, seeing
Ganga’s fear and remorse, concedes and allows her to descend peacefully, nourish the earth, and finally grant moksha to the sons of Sagara.
GANGA – A RIVER’S STORY Choreographers: Narendra Kumar and Anusha Music composed by Anusham Dance Group Master of Ceremonies: Preethi Menon Dancers (in alphabetical order): Neha Atyam
Smt. Vinitha Subramanian as Boatman Ganga Ram Guest Artists: Rucha Bhatt, Meghana Menon, Aparna Raman
Rhythmia: Neelima Joseph, Priya Manoj, Suja Pillai, Sruthi Renil, and Sarita Warrier
We would like to thank all of our sponsors: India Fine Arts Sarojini and Subash Bose Jaymini and Baskar Patel
Matthew Steinburg, DDS
Yogi and Naina Pandya
Indus Realty and Mortgage
Saritha and Velu Pillai
Brochure for our 2007 premiere performance of "Ganga; a River's Story."