Celebrating Shiva

Janaki Anandavalli Nair   | Photo Credit: special arrangement

Aananda Dance Theater, Chicago, presents an evening of Kuchipudi today. Janaki Anandavalli Nair, who runs the school, takes the stage with four of her disciples for a recital at Sooryaprabha Convention Centre, Mannanthala, at 6.15 p.m.

Janaki, who belongs to the city, has been living in the United States for 18 years. She began dancing at the age of five and had her initial training from the late Subhadra, Kalamandalam Vimala Menon and Kalamandalam Mohana Thulasi. Now she learns from V. Mydhili.

Forty one-year-old Janaki founded Aananda Dance Theater in 2004 to train dancers in Mohiniyattam and Kuchipudi. “The school is like my child. It is where I pass on the richness of Indian dance and culture to a group of talented dancers. I have over 40 students, all of them of Indian origin. It is my attempt to keep them close to their roots. They come to India only during the vacation and are not much exposed to our mythology and classic texts. So when I teach them productions based on these works, I tell them the whole story,” says Janaki.

It is their first performance in India. Elizabeth Nellamattathil, Swathi Karri, Leah Kunneth and Divya Pariti will dance with Janaki in praise of Lord Shiva. “The concept of Shiva as Lord of Dance goes well with style of Kuchipudi. The kritis bring in a special energy and positive vibes,” she says. The performance starts with ‘Shambhunatanam’, which praises the dance of Shiva. ‘Ardhanareeswaram’ is an item devoted to the concept of Shiva Shakthi based on verses from Ardhanareeswara Ashatakam of Sankaracharya. A Shivasthuthi in Tharangam and thillana follow. The performance concludes with a special piece.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 1:03:49 AM |

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