From ancient times, in India, rivers have been given immense honor and respect. With their cool, sustaining and satisfying waters that promoted the growth of civilizations, rivers were compared to the nurturing mother. Conceived by Shantha Raman, the performance featured choreography by Abhinaya Artistic Director and Founder Mythili Kumar and principal dancer Rasika Kumar with dancers Anjana Dasu, Preeti Vissa, Radhika Kannan,Yatrika Ajaya,Pia Mishra, Kaushika Vayyala, Shirini Surapaneni, Lalitha Kristapathi, Megha Koduri, Pooja Sohoni, Nidhi Gandhi, Kavita Varadarajan, Priya Patel, Divya Patel,Megha Ranganathan, and Lakshmi Venkatesan. Original music was specially composed by guest artist and vocalist Babu Parameshwaran.The orchestra also included Malavika Kumar (Nattuvangam), N. Narayan (Mridangam & Kanjira), Shanthi Narayan (violin)
Premiered in 1998, this repeat concert featured company dancers enacting key episodes followed by student dancers presenting favorite songs on the handsome Lord on the peacock.
The show was sold out for two days. Mythological legends on the importance of honoring, respecting and protecting the earth were presented. Contemporary reflections on the earth and the environment were portrayed by dramatizing inspirational stories of environmental activists from India and Africa who have been recognized for their work by winning the Goldman award (‘Green Nobel’). The concept for Prithvi was suggested by JUBV Prasad. The featured dancers were Artistic Director and choreographer Mythili Kumar, principal dancer and choreographer Rasika Kumar, accompanied by Anjana Dasu, Sushma Umesh, Yatrika Ajaya, Lakshmi Venkatesan, Neeraja Venkat and Pamela Bandopadhyay. Original music for the show was composed by award-winning Bay Area musician Asha Ramesh who also provided the vocals for this concert series . The orchestra also included Malavika Kumar (Nattuvangam), N. Narayan (Mridangam & Kanjira), Shanthi Narayan (violin), Ragavan Manian (flute), Ravi Gutala (tabla, & Dholak), and A. Mahadevan (Morsing).
Abhinaya received a National Endowment for the Arts grant to collaborate with master guru Sri C.V. Chandrasekhar in the presentation of Kalidasas Ritusamharam – The Varied Seasons. The concerts took place on Saturday, November 18, 2006 at the Mexican Heritage Theater in San Jose and Sunday, November 19, 2006 at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium.Â The performances presented verses from the ancient work Ritusamhara (the gathering (samhara) of the seasons (ritu)), a lyrical description by the poet Kalidasa of the six seasons in the Indian subcontinent.Â Several of our company dancers were trained for this upcoming concert by the famed dancer and guru Shri C.V. Chandrasekhar during his visit in April and May of 2006.
Surya, the Sun God, takes his place in Indian mythology as the source and sustainer of all life on earth. His radiance and inexhaustible power are associated with healing as well as the banishment of darkness and evil. Worshiping the Sun has always been considered an essential part of the Hindu religion and ancient Hindu texts are full of hymns describing the glory of this beneficent celestial being.
Abhinaya Dance Company has featured tales of princesses from mythology, literature, and contemporary times: the tussle of the princess Rukmini and Satyabhama for the love of Lord Krishna; Princess Malavika from the ancient Sanskrit drama Kalidasa’s ‘Malavikagnimitra’, who danced her way into the heart of King Agnimitra; the magical sprite who flies to America, from contemporary poet Chitra Divakaruni’s Spice Bazaar (premiered 1994); the valiant, gifted, and divine Princess Meenakshi of Madurai.
Abhinaya Dance Company celebrated its twentieth anniversary of performance and teaching with a two-day series of concerts and other events. Besides performances by company members and students, Abhinaya alumna also presented concerts. Also featured was visiting Master Artist from India Srimathi Kalanidhi Narayanan who performed and conducted workshops. Natya Mahotsava also celebrated past artistic collaborators and recognized its performing artists, volunteers and donors.
Love Exquisite (September 1999, San Jose)
A collection of stories, poems, and songs ranging from ancient Vaishnavite poems to Jewish psalms to modern hymns all expressing love for the divine. Featuring a collaborative piece with choreography by Ann Malmuth-On.
Read press comments Oct. 1999
Portraying the stories woven around the six major shrines of Lord Muruga: Palani-malai, Swami-malai, Thiruchendur, Thiruparangundram, Thiruthanigai, and Palamudhircholai. A benefit concert for the Shiva-Murugan temple in Concord.
Festival of Dussera (September 1992, San Jose)
Celebrating the popular Indian ten day festival and its various traditions over the Indian subcontinent, including Durga Puja, Vijayadashmi celebrating the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana, and Navaratri: the festival of nine nights.
Dancing Divinities (May 1988, Cupertino)
Dancing gods and goddesses, as described in Hindu mythology, with the ideal that any art had to originate from a divine source, causing religious symbolism and significance to be attached to the gods’ dance.
The Splendor of the Infinite (September 1987, Palo Alto)
A benefit performance for the Shiva-Vishnu temple in Livermore, depicting how the formless Supreme Being is worshipped by humanity in understandable human forms of His power and attributes.
Shiva the Cosmic Dancer (May 1986, Palo Alto)
Abhinaya’s first full-length production, celebrating how Shiva, in his multifaceted manifestations, exemplifies the concept of the one Supreme Being who resolves within himself all the conflicts of the world.
Multi-Splendored Ramayana (March 1996, Santa Clara)
Portraying the variations of the Indian epic Ramayana in several South and Southeast Asian traditions. Special guest apperance by Balinese ensemble Gamelan Sekar Jaya.
Krishna the Enchanter & Gems of Tradition (March 1992, San Jose)
The adventures and pranks of the playful Krishna during his childhood among the cowherds in Gokul, along with classic pieces of the Bharatanatyam repertoire.
Epic Emotions (March 1990, Palo Alto)
Portraying the range of human emotion as seen in the Mahabharata and other Indian epics, including familial love, love between a man and a woman, jealousy and hatred, consuming rage, awe, laughter, greed, and the horror of war.