Sarasa Academy's Annual Recital
The auditorium at the Chinmaya center in Andover was busy on the afternoon of May 21st, 2016. When I entered from the back, I noticed the rows filled with anticipating family members and friends. As I made my way towards the front rows I could see they were packed with wide-eyed children dressed in their Bharathanatyam costumes. They were ready with their alta, makeup, and jewelry applied, and eager to take the stage.
The recital began with a pushpanjali followed by a keerthanam to lord Ganesha. These two items set the tone for the rest of the evening. The students performed wonderfully with the biggest smiles upon their faces. I could tell they were excited to dance, and that brought a great positive energy into the atmosphere.
Next we began to see many performances dedicated to Lord Krishna, after all the recital was called “Govindam Gopalam.” We saw Krishnas ten reincarnations, his heroic abilities against the snake, Kalya, and his all around fun loving antics. We were even able to see a dancer’s longing for Krishna in Palvadiyum Mugum performed by a senior student, Madhumita Kaushik.
The recital included dances with children around the age of five, teenagers, as well as the guru herself, Preeti Ramesh. It was incredible to see students so young able to remember such long pieces and perform them with the most confidence. As the age of the performers went up I could tell how they were evolving their dance skills. The highlight of the show was definitely seeing Preethi Ramesh perform. Her charisma and expressions were so captivating to watch and made me realize that one day with her guidance and training her students too would dazzle audiences in the same way.
Her ability to captivate an audience with her movements and story telling eyes were simply magnificent. She expressed how frustrating is was for one of the gopikas when Krishna would not stop bothering her. Nevertheless, she hoped to continue to rapture in his beauty.
The finale Thillana was fast paced and had very intricate footwork. In the center was a little baby Krishna who had the finest peacock feather accessorizing her hair. Following the Thillana was a short mangalam including all 50 students and the guru. They expressed their thanks to lord nataraja, the stage, and the audience for a successful show. To conclude the recital, Preeti asked the Chief Guest, Poornima Risbud, to say a few words. Poornima Risbud is the Artistic Director of the Rasarang School of Performing Arts, based in Canton, MA.
I believe that Preeti is doing incredible work for the community and children. Her undying love for the art is what keeps her students and their families so united.
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