MANGALORE: Four girls of Indian origin from the U.S. find it an exhilarating experience to give a performance in India.
Four dancers, all Americans of Indian origin, presented a Bharatanatyam performance in the city recently.
The event was organised by GT Foundation, which undertakes philanthropic activities in and around Mangalore, to honour Balipa Narayana Bhagavath, a veteran Yakshagana artiste and Amrutha Someshwar, who has published over a hundred publications on the cultural heritage of the Dakshina Kannada region, said V Ravichandran, Managing Trustee of the foundation.
Nine-year-old Anjali Chadha, who originally hails from Mangalore, danced along with Neha Srinivasan, Sanjana Mahesh and Shyama Iyer in the city's Town Hall. All four of them danced a Ganesha Stuti (“Gajavadana Karuna Sadana”), a Saraswathi Stuti, (“Maamavathu Shree Saraswathi”). Anjali danced to “Neeradasama Neela Krishna”, a composition of Oothukkadu Venkata Subba Iyer” and to a “Devaranaama” of saint Purandara Dasa while Shyama, Neha and Sanjana danced to “Edatupaadum toki Aadum”, a composition of Papanasam Sivan. They danced also a “tillana” set to Raaga Kanada.
Neha has been learning Bharatanatyam from the age of five. Though she has danced before in India, it is the first time she danced in Mangalore.
She learnt dance at Sandesha Pratishthana and from Vasundhara Doraswamy, Mysore. She said that in the U.S., “you have to express more emotion because they find the dace difficult to comprehend. Here, people relate to it as they know their culture. Neha said that in the U.S., she gives a performance at least once a month and she knows the audience.
In India, she noted people are “more aware of the nuances of the dance, I like it a lot here," she said. She pointed out that she can dance here to live music, which brings out the liveliness of dance. Many people, who are not friends or family tell her that they enjoyed her performance. “This gives me satisfaction and reassurance," she said.