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Mohanapriyan Thavarajah Profile. Portfolio. Reviews. May 2014

Profile Thavarajah Mohanapriyan hailing from Batticaloa, Sri Lanka is an excellent and versatile Bharathanatayam and Kuchippudi artiste, and has performed all over India, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Europe. He is a gold medal holder for both Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Bharathanatyam with distinction, awarded by Bharathidasan University, India. His initial training in dance was under the tutelage of Bharathachoodamani Smt Subithra Kirubaharan from Batticaloa and furthered his training under Guru Ogeswari Shanmuganathan (Kalakshetra Alumni) at Kalai Kaviri College of Fine Arts. He has been trained in Kuchippudy under Kalaimamani Shri Krishna and Guru Kishore Mosalikanti from Chennai. His training in Mohiniaattam was under the tutelage of Kalamandalam Kumari Menon and Kalamandalam Sruti. He has received further professional training under Prof Dr Pappu Venugopal Rao (Natya Shastra) and Nrityachoodmani Smt Priyadarsini Govind at Dance India Asia Pacific in Singapore. He has taught Bharathanatyam as a member of the faculty at Kalai Kaveri Collage for Fine Arts, India. Mohanapriyan has been the member of the AruSri Arts Theatre founded by Kalasuri Smt Arunthathy Sriranganathan since 2010 and has choreographed and performed for the company extensively. Since 2012, he has been with Apsaras Arts, Singapore under the leadership of Viswakala Bharathi Smt Neila Sathyalingam as the resident choreographer, dance artiste and instructor. Mohanapriyan is an innovative choreographer, some of his recent works include Sita’s Magical Forest (Esplanade, Singapore), Glimpses of Angkor (Esplanade, Singapore), The Heroines of Raja Ravi Varma (Jubilee Hall, Singapore and Bharathiya Vidhya Bhavan,India) and Aanada Thanavam (Bharthiya Vidhya Bhavan and Chidambaram Temple, India) and Natya Kavyam (ICCR, Colombo, Sri Lanka) He has recently been part of the choreography team and performed for two mega productions – Mekala (Sri Lanka) and Angkor – An Untold Story (Singapore) and for the premier of Aadum Arul Jothi performed at Bharathiya Vidhya Bhavan, Chennai, Sripuram Golden Temple, Vellore and Kalai Kaviri Collage of Fine Arts, Trichy, India Mohanapriyan has been awarded the titles of “Valarum Saathanaiyaalar”, “Naatiya Kalai Arasan”, Swami Vivekananda Award, “Nadana Kalai Arasan”, in appreciation to his dance performances in India. He was honored with the titles “Nathka Vithakan” by Bharatakalalaya, Batticaloa and “Natya Sadhana” by Arusri Art Theatre, Colombo for his performance tour of Aadum Arul Jothi in Sri Lanka in April 2014 Mohanapriyan is a passionate artiste and regularly writes articles on dance for publications.




Portfolio International performances in 2012, 2013 and 2014 01 Navarasa Tamizh presented by Avvai Tamil School, Oslo, Norway, June 2012



02 Sita’s Magical Forrest by Apsaras Arts, Singapore for Kalaa Utsavam 2012 at the Esplanade, Singapore 03 Ananda Thandavam thematic solo performance at Bharathiya Vidhya Bhavan, Chennai, India and Chidambaram Temple, India in January 2013 04 Glimpses of Angkor by Apsaras Arts, Singapore for Raaga 2013 at the Esplanade, Singapore


05 ANGKOR - An untold Story by Apsaras Arts, Singapore for Kalaa Utsavam 2013 at the Esplanade, Singapore


06 Mekala by AruSri Art Theatre, Sir Lanka at Bishops College, Colombo, 2013 and BMICH, Colombo 2013



07 The Heroines of Raja Ravi Varma by Apsaras Arts, Singapore at Esplanade, Singapore in 2012, Bharathiya Vidhya Bhavan, India in 2013 and Adelaide Festival, Australia in 2014 08 Natya Kavyam by Indian Cultural Centre, Sri Lanka in 2013 09 Aadum Arul Jothi thematic dance performance, India Tour (Chennai, Vellore & Trichy) in Jan 2014 and Sri Lanka Tour (Kandy, Jana, Batticaloa & Colombo)in April 2014

Review Aadum Arul Jothi Performance at Bharathiya Vidhya Bhavan Chennai, India. January 2014 By Anjana Anand, India

Kalapradarshini (Director Parvathi Ravi Ghantashala) holds an annual dance festival to promote talented artistes. This year, the chosen duo were MohanapriyanThavarajah and Sharanya Vijayan, both alumini of Kalai Kaviri College of Fine Arts. Adum Arul Jothi was conceptualized into a margam format by Aravinth Kumarasamy, Creative Director of Apsaras Arts. The opening featured a Mallari in Arabhi ragam followed by a thirupugazh showcasing the dancing deities as they are brought on procession- the movements suggesting the swaying of the idols as they are brought around the temple. The coordinated movements and striking costume with deep blue and orange started the programme on a strong and bright note. The main piece was a raga and talamalika composed by Dr. Rajkumar Bharathi taking the place of a varnam. Mohanapriyan presented this item with high energy and ease while taking the viewer through the legends of Shiva acquiring his Nataraja form, his blessing showered on Karaikkal Ammaiyar, his promise to dance for his devotees Pathanjali and Vyagrapada and his competition with Kali who finally admits to His supremacy. The opening Trikala Jathi with the Om Namashivaya syllables set as a jathi was choreographed with the use of the adavus in different levels giving the feel of Shiva’s omni presence – at once

grounded to the earth and in the next instant - the digambara - covering space. The Taruka vanam episode where Shiva subjugates all the forms sent to destroy Him by making them one with him was effectively communicated with Mohanapriyan’s strong angika abhinaya. The dramatic elements continued in the Karaikkal Ammayar story where she receives the fruit as blessing from Shiva thus allowing her to shed her youth and remain his devotee composing and singing at the Lord’s feet. The attempt to present characters of Shiva and Karaikkal Ammayar through the jathi was a good attempt but a less dramatic approach would have contrasted with the earlier depictions. The competition between Kali and Shiva was juxtaposed with lasya and Tandava movements and caught yet another aspect of the dance of Shiva. The classical ragas of Abogi, Purvikalyani, Nattaikurunji, Hemavathiand Hamsanandi chosen were bhava laden and a treat for music lovers especially in the present scenario where composers tend to set dance pieces in light ragams. It was a dynamic main item which was well choreographed and executed but more subtle abhinaya and more leisurely paced nritta would have captured the essence of Shiva’s tandava in different situations. Sharanya continued the recital with a composition where the dancing Alamelumanga with her consort Venkateswara was showcased. Neatly presented with good stage presence.

“Aadum Arul Jothi strong in concept, with apt choice of compositions was a well planned and energetic production effectively communicated with Mohanapriyan’s strong angika abhinaya.” - Anjana Anand

“Thank you very much for your beautiful programme Aadum Arul Jothi.   I admired your simplicity and the great passion over the arts. May God Bless you and your works abundantly.   With lots of love and prayers.” - Dr Sr.Margaret Bastin. Principal, Kalai kaviri Collage of Fine Arts, Trichy, India

An interesting meeting between two cosmic dancers coming together in an unexpected situation was the highlight of the next piece by Oothukadu Venkatakavi. Shiva goes to Gokulam to see the dance of Krishna. The sancari showing Yashoda’s reluctance to let the matted visitor see her baby and the subsequent meeting between the two gods was

aptly portrayed by Mohanapriyan taking each role with swift changes. The Madhuvanti Tillana by Lalgudi Jayaraman had the much needed quiet and still moments in the opening. With the melody and movements coming together seamlessly, the duo finished on pleasant note. Adum Arul Jothi strong in concept, with apt choice of compositions was a well planned and energetic production. Aravinth Kumarasamy with his controlled support on the Nattuvangam, Anish Ram’s melodious voice and Shivakumar’s strong support on the violin added to the show. Special mention for Ramanan’s Mridangam accompaniment which unobtrusively supported the dancers through every rhythmic nuance.

Aadum Arul Jothi was performed in Bharathiya Vidhya Bhavan (Chennai), Sripuram Golden Temple (Vellore) and Kalai Kaviri College of Fine Arts (Trichy) in January 2014

“Apsars Arts’ Mohanapriyan Thavarajah, whose energetic leaps emulating the cosmic dance of the Hindu god Shiva turned in an instant to statuesque stillness in one of the more physically demanding sequences”. Review on Angkor, THE STRAITS TIMES, Singapore - Akshita Nanda “Great performance Enjoyed the Ragamalika/Talamalika centerpiece- good delineation of the characters..Very composed and yet effective, interesting choice of pieces”- Janaki Rangarajan, Bharatanatyam Dancer and Choreographer, USA. “Aadum Arul Jothi - Nice thematic string, strong homework, hard working dancers and good presentation” - Lakshmi Ramasamy, Bharatanatyam Dancer and Choreographer, Chennai, India “Bhartha Natya Sastra defines ten essential qualities to excel as a dancer. Mohanapriyan posses all these qualities and more, above all the passion for dance. This winning formula makes him an outstanding performer for one who is still young” - Neila Sathyalingam, Founder Apsaras Arts, Singapore “Priyan s attitude and qualities of character earned him the respect and support of both his teachers and his peers. He is extremely dedicated and committed to every endeavor he pursues” - Arunthathy Sriranganathan, Founder, Arusri Art Theatre, Sri Lanka “Mohanapriyan’s choreography is excellent. No one can match is talent except himself. His choreography in Thandava items brought the vision of Lord Shiva in front of each one of us during the performances”. - Ogeswari Shanmuganathan, Head of Department (Dance) Kalai Kaviri College of Fine Arts, Trichy, India “His innovative ideas, adherence to precision, and the ability emote the appropriate rasa perfectly have won him critical acclaim from the arts media and the audience.” - Aravinth Kumarasamy, Creative Director, Apsaras Arts, Singapore.

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Mohanapriyan Thavarajah Portfolio May 2014  

Portfolio, Profile and Reviews

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