Presented by: Third Eye Dancers
Artistic Director: Smt. Subathra Sudarshan
Venue: Gwinnett Center
Date: Sunday, August 29th, 2011
Fundraiser for: Tamil Nadu Kidney Research Foundation (TANKER)
Third Eye Dancers, presented a spectacular Bharatanatyam, Kathak and Kuchipudi dance bonanza ,'Guru Samarpana',as a fundraiser for Tamil Nadu Kidney Research Foundation(TANKER Foundation),at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center, on Sunday, August 28.
The show, a sold-out event which attracted over 650 patrons, was a feast for the senses featured highly talented, gifted, and proficient professional artists, some of whom are also founders and directors of prestigious dance academies in Atlanta; South Carolina; Washington D.C.; Chicago and California. They came together not only to support the humanitarian and deserving goal of TANKER Foundation but also to show submission, gratitude, love and respect for their respective Gurus.
After extending a warm welcome to all, Subathra Sudarshan, explained the mission of Third Eye Dancers of giving through dance. She said the goal was to increase awareness about social issues affecting children, through dance so that they with their parents can get involved in the remediation of such issues. Third Eye Dancers, in association with Bharathakala Naatya Academy had organized fundraising events like Dayaa Nidhi in 2007 for Rising Star outreach, Prana in 2009 for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and for Akshaya Trust in 2010." Today's event as you know is for helping TANKER Foundation. Through the Guru Samarpana Dance, we wish to offer our heartfelt salutations to our respective Gurus". Subathra Sudarshan deserves accolades for bringing together the team of talented professional artists for the event.
Guru Samarpana the program was emceed with great flair by Krishna Kumar who with his wife Sivakami runs Bharata Kalarpana School of Indian Culture and Fine Arts in South Carolina. Krishna Kumar introduced each item with a brief but insightful history of the dance, episode, poem, Bhajan etc. Accompanied with his facial and hand gestures. 17 year old Sutikshna Veeravali, who is a Bharatanatyam dancer and Carnatic music singer, set the ball rolling with graceful Nrittanjali.
Kumud Savla is Atlanta's well known and respected Kathak exponent who with her husband Sandeep Savla runs highly popular Nritya Natya Kala Bharati Dance Academy. Their Academy has also begun a Dance and Music Certification Program with Ghandharva Mahavidyalaya in Pune, India. Their daughter Samta is also being well groomed by them and is blossoming into a fine artist. Kumud, Samta and Academy students performed to an innovatively choreographed dance to Hindu's beloved devotional 'Hanuman Chalisa'.In the second half, Kumud and Samta portrayed the divine love and romantic teasing of Radha by Lord Krishna through an ovation-greeted dance to mohe chhedo naa. Both the Kathak dances were beautifully choreographed by Kumud Savla.
Krishna Kumar and Sivakami then performed a riveting Bharatanatyam dance, impressively choreographed by Subathra Sudarshan, to a song in praise of the art form, Aaadal Kalaiye from Tamil movie Sri Ragavendra.
Sasikala Penumarthi is Atlanta's iconic exponent of Padma Bhushan Guru Vempati Chinna Satyam's style of Kuchipudi dance. She founded the Academy of Kuchipudi Dance in 1997 and widely travelled Sasikala has over the years given many a virtuoso performances for many deserving causes. She gave a spellbinding performance to the popular Bengali song Bodhu Kon Alo from Tagore's play Chitrangda.
Bharathakala Naatya Academy's artistic director Subathra Sudarshan, Artistic Director of Mrudani School Anuradha Murali;Kannan Rasiah from Yogaville,Virginia; Aparna Seetharaman from California; and Artistic Director of Samyuktam Natya Academy, Preetha Sayeekrishnan performed an exuberant dance to a popular composition Yen Palli Kondeer Ayya by Arunachala Kavirayar.
Just before interval, Sutikshna's Bharatanatyam graceful dance to Meera bai's soul-stirring bhajan Hari Tum Haro was like a cherry on the cake and elicited resounding standing ovation from the rapt audience. The heart rending dance was choreographed by her mother and Guru Vanitha Veeravalli, who runs the Bharatam Academy of Dance Arts in Chicago. The dance interweaved three interesting episodes- Lord Krishna coming to help Draupadi at her disrobing by Dushasana; Hiranyakashipu and Prahlad and Gajendra Moksha where Lord Vishnu comes down to earth to save Gajendra (elephant) from the clutches of Makar (crocodile).
Dr.Subha Maruvada, a Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam dancer runs Pranava Natyam Kuchipudi School of Dance in Maryland. She regaled the audience with a Kuchipudi dance in praise of Sri Bhuvaneswari.Sasikala and her Academy students performed a vibrant dance to Jagadananda Karaka, a famous Pancaratna-keertana by poet Thyagaraja.
Guru Samarpana Subathra Sudarshan is the founder and Artistic director of Third Eye dancers and also runs the Bharathakala Naatya Academy in Johns creek. She is a disciple of the Bharatanatyam legends, Padma Bhushan awardees Naatyacharyaas Shri V.P. Dhananjayan and Smt. Shanta Dhananjayan. Subathra has travelled the world extensively and has choreographed several productions for charity. She performed her dance to Jaya Maruthi Kauthuvam, in praise of Lord Anjaneya. Subathra enthralled the audience with this episode from Ramayana, where Hanuman enters Ashoka Vana and delivers the ring from his master, Rama to Sita and later sets fire to Sri Lanka. Subathra blew away the audience with her superb choreographic talent and her prowess in delineating the episode through fluid abinaya and clean nritta.
In his brief address Dr.Manohar Nallathambi, an Atlanta-based surgeon said, "I welcome you all. TANKER Foundation founded by Dr.Georgie Abraham in June 1993 is based in Chennai; India. Kidney Failure is the third leading cause of death after cancer and heart disease. For the past 18 years TANKER has fought against kidney diseases by providing subsidized and free dialysis and financial support to the underprivileged. It maintains 3 dialysis units with 26 dialysis machines in Chennai and Madurai and is set to begin two more units in Tirunelveli and Coimbatore. Since November 2009, there is a dedicated dialysis unit for poor with HIV, the very first of its kind in India. On behalf of TANKER Foundation, I thank you all for your generous support. Every drop counts as the drops can turn into a big flood one day!"
The following dance performed by the students of Subathra Sudarshan describing the beauty of Lord Muruga to devotional piece Malai Varum Velai was also captivating. The concluding item Nrittangaharam-Behag was performed by the group 'Bharata sangamam' from all over the U.S.-Subathra and Preetha from Atlanta;Anuradha; Krishna Kumar and his wife Sivakami from South Carolina;Kannan Rasiah from Virginia; and Aparna from California. These artists danced with panache, mesmerizing the audience with their dancing prowess, rhythm, poise, synchronization and zest and ended the highly entertaining program with Mangalam.
In his Vote of Thanks, Sudarshan Srinivasan thanked the gathering for attending the event and for their generous support. "Joy of giving has no other match" he said. He thanked Dr. Manohar Nallathambi for his presence on behalf of TANKER Foundation; Krishna Kumar for emceeing the event; the Gwinnett team; and all the volunteers. He recognized all the professional artists for coming together to lend their support to the worthy humanitarian cause. He concluded by requesting the audience to come and support Third Eye Dancer's upcoming event,' Enchanted Snow-white' (a Bharatha Naatya Academy Production) - a fundraiser to aid children education for 'Bhutanese Refugees 'living in Atlanta, at Gwinnett Center on Saturday October 29,2011.