A special presentation of the Abhinaya Dance Company of San Jose (Artistic Director Mythili Kumar) funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the James Irvine Foundation
The Abhinaya Dance Company of San Jose, celebrating its 25 anniversary this year and the Shakti Dance Company of Southern California together presented “Saakhyam – Friendship”, a full-length dance production conceived by Mythili Kumar. This recital was a special celebration of the friendship that Mythili Kumar the artistic director of the Abhinaya Dance Company and Viji Prakash the artistic director of the Shakti Dance Company both exponents of bharatnatyam have shared for over 25 years. The theme of friendship was explored through portrayal of stories from various sources including the ancient epic Mahabharata.
This collaborative concert features: ‘New directions in Indian Dance’ – an illustrated talk by Dr. Sunil Kothari, well-known dance historian, scholar critic and author of several books on Indian classical dance; the great Kathak maestro, Pandit Birju Maharaj’s compositions (thumris) depicted in both Kathak and Bharatanatyam; and Collaborative performances of Kathak and Bharatanatyam by Abhinaya dancers and Tarangini dancers.
The variations in the technique followed by the different hereditary lines of gurus (master-teachers) have given rise to different schools (Baanis) of Bharatanatyam. Of these, the best known and distinctive baanis are the Pandanallur, the Vazhuvoor, and the Kalakshetra styles. From different schools of Bharatanatyam, the three dancers Mythili Kumar, Vidhya Subramaniam, and Indumathy Ganesh presented their distinctive styles of this traditional art form.
A performance featuring three different styles of Indian dance – Bharatanataym, Kuchipudi, and Kathak – presented by four mother-daughter dancer teams, which commemorated the 50th anniversary of India’s independence by paying homage to Mother India, Mother Earth and the Universal Mother.
The Guru Presented in Three Cities, San Francisco, Berkeley & San Jose (October, 1991)
A collaborative production with Kathak maestro, Chitresh Das & Company, exploring the role of the teacher as the giver of knowledge to the individual in order to obtain unity with the Supreme Infinite Being; produced with a multi-arts production grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.
Read press comments Oct. 13, 1991