Latest News

Dec
02
2012
  SRI KRISHNA LEELA   Krishna Leela is not just a production or the 'brain child' ...
1779 days ago

India Trip 2005

At the abode of Peace

Bharata Kalanjali, ‘A home away from home’

In search of the Cosmic Dancer’s blessings

A true artist…

Reaching for the Stars

 

DANCE EXPERIENCE 2005

“Perfection is an unreachable star. One keeps on traveling in pursuit of knowledge and perfection, and a real student of creative art is never satisfied.”
…… V.P. DHANANJAYAN

I truly believe that a true artist will always be in search of personal fulfillment. This was the basis of me planning a trip to India for the students to experience dance and art as a discipline in India, and to know to that there is a whole world of art out there that they have access to. Also to create an awareness of the extremely high standard of excellence of the arts that is maintained within the Indian subcontinent so that the same may be strived for and attained within our own country. I want to provide all opportunities for them to become better artist and more competent dancers.

The Indian experience did just that and more. I took excited, enthusiastic young students who were planning to have a fabulous holiday and brought back dynamic, independent and empowered young ladies who have just had a life changing experience. It was my greatest pleasure to watch them daily, how they would interact with other students, teachers and people they met daily always wanting to learn and enquire about their culture and traditions. Their discipline and respect for India, its people and the art was remarkable.

I would always tell the girls that I have planned this trip, the school and the parents have financially supported it, but someone beyond us has wanted them to have this experience. They believed that it was purely by divine intervention that they had this opportunity to be in India.

At the abode of Peace
The start of our trip was blessed by the divine presence of Bhagavan Sri Satya Sai Baba, who graced us with His Darshan during His 80th Birthday Celebrations. I watched them, some with tears in their eyes, unexplicable emotions being expressed, radiant glows on their faces and just their tremendous excitement to be in Swami’s Divine presence was overwhelming. There were many moments of me crying tears of joy, and this was one special moment that I knew their lives would be blessed forever by Swami’s darshan.

Bharata Kalanjali, ‘A home away from home’
Arriving in Chennai during the late monsoon was quite an experience for the girls but this just made them stronger and their classes worthwhile. Being with my Master and Akka was one of the most beautiful moments of their lives that they would treasure forever. Master and Akka loved the girls and as they believe in absolute perfection they, were extremely happy with their standard and potential in their dance. But they were more taken aback by their characters, the committment and the love, respect and discipline that would radiate from their beings. They had intensive training in adavus and learnt a Tillana and a new composition of Akka’s, Nataraja Anjali.

We had quite a hectic program planned for them besides classes. They would attend performances and lecture demonstrations everyday. The girls had the opportunity to see a contrast of performances from dance dramas to solos to duets and presentations of contempory work. Artist they have just read about were now walking amongst them at Sabhas. They were privileged to meet and see performances by the actress Shobna, Prof.C.V.Chandrashekar and daughters, Urmilla Satyanarayan, Senior Artist from Kalakshetra, Kalakshetra programs, Preeti Athreya, Sangeeta Isvaran, Kathak dancers from Mumbai co-ordinated by Sunil Kothari, Madavi Mudhgal, Traditional Folk Dancers from Tamil Nadu, two brilliant groups from the USA; mother and daughter team, Viji and Mythili Prakash and the director Padmarani Rasiah Cantu and students of the Fine Arts Society, Sreelatha Vinod Kumar and her sister-in-law Athena, Priyadarshini Govind and The Dhananjayans. They received blessings and well-wishers from the artist above and Smt. Kalanadhi Narayan, Leela Akka (Leela Samson, Director of Kalakshetra) and Shri. Adyar K Lakshmanan.

The highlight of the season performances for the girls was Priya Akka. They saw all of her 9 performances in the season and were totally mesmerized by her. The final two weeks of their trip was spent with her, where she shared part of her art and more of herself with us. We learnt a traditional Marathi poem and a tillana from her. Her technique and expertise in her art is what made the girls realize how simple it is to express natural emotions and how to do it through dance.

The girls attended the Natya Kala Conference and I was amazed by their insight, questions and views that they would discuss with Master and Akka daily. We were happy to be there to support the students from Cape Town during their Kalakshetra and Conference programs. We are extremely proud of them.

In search of the Cosmic Dancer’s blessings
A dance tour of India would not be complete without viewing and experiencing the most beautiful Shiva Temples. I had arranged to have a special pooja done at the Kapaleeshwara Shiva Temple in Mylapore where we had the girls and their bells blessed. It was a divine experience for them. Thereafter, Master had blessed them and the bells at classes. As a thanksgiving offering to our Divine Mother for the blissful experience, we did the Abhishekam and Anandhanam at a very special temple, Moondakani Amman Temple in Mylapore. It was very special for me and the students. One of the girls had a beautiful experience while at the temple during the feeding. I think that moment is what has made a difference in her life and her most significant memory of the trip. This was a humbling experience for them.

They had the great opportunity to see and dance in Chidambaram. What was extra special was that the girls sang their items and danced before the Lord. On their trip they visited Dhakshina Chitra, Mahabalipuram, The East Coast Road, Kalakshetra Foundation and Pondicherry. The girls definitely had a balance of all entertainment, they visited entertainment centers like Mayajal to see the premier of Harry Potter, MGM water and entertainment world, Spencer Plaza and the famous Pondy Bazaar where more than enough shopping took place. They enjoyed the food and eating at some of the best restaurants in Chennai. Another highlight of their trip was meeting and interacting with the Tamil stars, Trisha and Vijay at The Lounge in the Park Sheraton, Chennai.

A true artist…
The one moment, (there were many) when I knew that the girls have grasped everything that I wanted them to experience, achieve and reflect upon for their own personal development and understanding, was when they watched in awe, Master and Akka perform for a Lecture Demonstration. It was an overwhelming experience. Latha Akka (Sreelatha Vinod Kumar), one of the leading female exponents of Bharat Natyam in Chennai and Tulsi Akka (Tulsi Badrinath), a popular journalist, both senior students of Masters and I sat back holding hands and crying tears of joy, admiration and honour. Master was presenting an item ‘Yenathavam…’, where Yashoda pleads to know what great penance has she done to be born as Krishna’s mother, to have Him call her Amma. I told both of them and later Master that I feel the same way. What great penance and tapas have I done in my past births to be born into the life and legacy of The Dhananjayans? We believed and felt the same way. We were extremely honoured and humbled to be watching ‘Our Gurus’, living examples of true human beings. As this electric energy radiated from Master, I was completely immersed in His energy and darshan. I thanked Swami that the girls have this opportunity to see Master at this level and now to be a part of their legacy. I thanked and still now thank all the Divine Forces who have made our trip possible for the girls to have this wonderful life-changing experience.

Reaching for the Stars
This trip has changed my life, my goals, ambitions, outlook on life and has strengthened my firm belief and committment in, and towards the arts. I was humbled on many occasions where Master, Akka and I would spend time together, but a special note that Master wrote to me, part of which says, “You have truly imbibed the spirit of our teachings in Bharatakalanjali. You have lived up to our expectations, both as a teacher and human being. All the best to you, to continue your dedicated service to the art through, Love and Human Excellence. You always have my support and blessings….” This has reinforced my belief that I was destined to be an artist to teach, promote and be an ambassador to Indian Art and Culture. And to enlighten and uplift all who wants to experience dance.

I thank everyone who assisted with my project, especially the parents, Kamendran and my wonderful students for giving me this opportunity to share this special experience with them. Thank you, Uncle TP and Aunty Mummy for believing in me and standing by to support Kamendran and I in all our endevours. I am eternally grateful to you and the Indian Academy for all that you do for me.

Om Sai Ram!

Share
 

Sponsors

Weather Report

Events

JEV_OCTOBER 2017
JEV_MONDAY_CHR JEV_TUESDAY_CHR JEV_WEDNESDAY_CHR JEV_THURSDAY_CHR JEV_FRIDAY_CHR JEV_SATURDAY_CHR JEV_SUNDAY_CHR
25 26 27 28 29 30 1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31 1 2 3 4 5