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Invisible Spear -The Legend Of Skanda Comes To Boston On July 21st


07/08/2019

Vision-Aid, a Lexington based non-profit serving the visually disadvantaged, will host its annual show on Sunday, July 21st, 2019, in Littleton,MA.  This year’s event is entitled “Invincible Spear – the legend of Skanda”.  It will help Vision-Aid raise funds to support at ten locations in India and start a new center in Delhi.

The Production

Following in the footsteps of 11 brilliant sold-out productions, Vision-Aid’s Invincible Spear – the legend of Skanda – is a remarkable Broadway-style mega dance production with an animation and backdrops, fascinating storyline, graceful dances accompanied by melodious music,bringing to life the story of the Skanda – the valiant son of  Shiva and Parvati.

It traces the story of his life from birth to his youth when he slays the evil demon Soorapadman with the Invincible Spear (“Vel”) from his mother, bringing peace to the world and also his marriage to Valli. The show highlights many unique aspects of this timeless Indian epic in a rich and vibrant choreography, produced by renown choreographer Madurai R. Muralidaran, ably assisted by the best dance talent in the Greater Boston area.

Tickets are available at www.visionaid.org/event

The Producer

English subtitles and narration will make the show accessible to all. The concept and choreography for this production is by Madurai R. Muralidaran of Chennai, India, a renowned dance choreographer who has won critical acclaim for his creations in Bharatanatyam. He has over 300 compositions to his credit, including his most recent Boston productions, “Golden Armor, Golden Heart – The inspiring story of Karna” (2018) , “Charmer, Warrior, Guide” (2017), The Iconic Avatar (2016), The Dancer's Pledge (2014), Slaying of the Demons (2012), Justice of the Anklet (2010), and Krishna (2009).

The Artistic Directors

The producer is ably supported by Artistic Directors Kavya Muralidaran, Kalpana Balachundhur, Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Hema Iyengar, Sripriya Natarajan Moorthy and Thenu Rajan as well as student leadership team - Shilpa Narayanan, Neha Pillai and Ananya Venkatesan who have presented many unique productions.

Choreography & Production: Madurai R. Muralidharan

Madurai R. Muralidharan is a well known performing dancer, dance-guru, composer, and musician, who has composed over 120 varnams, produced several dance dramas, composed Pushpanjalis, Alarippus, Jathiswarams, Mallaris, Varnams and Thillanas in all the 35 thalams and Jathiswarams in all 72 Melakartha raghas is unprecedented in the field of Bharatha Natyam. His musical compositions, over the years have travelled the length and breadth of the world.

“Dancing is  a sculpture that is visible only for a moment."  I have been trying to create many sculptures for the past 10 years, all over the world with local talents. I try to reach laymen with my own language of dance, because I feel that Dance is the hidden language of the soul.  I think this is the secret of mine that draws audiences to my shows. Especially Boston is very close to my heart and this is also a secret of the success of Vision aid programs

Kavyalakshmi Muralidaran, a child prodigy, completed her arangetram when she was 8 under the guidance of her parents, Gurus Madurai R Muralidaran & Smt.Chitra Muralidaran. She has toured all over the world and given solo and group performancesapart from performing at premiere dance festivals and prominent sabhas in India. She majored in Visual Communications in Chennai and feels honored to participate in Vision-Aid’s Production. 

Broadway Musicals to me are a dream come true. Every Broadway show that I have watched inspired and motivated  me to do something similar in Bharatanatyam. Being  the daughter of the producer and the Director   I feel privileged to make my dream come true through his productions. Every year I experience magic through every creation of his and watching them going live. This being my 5th year for Vision-Aid, it gives me immense pleasure to invite you all to come experience 3 months of hard work, energy, experience and knowledge that we have shared putting this together with all the budding artists from Boston. Skanda will take you to a trance that you have never experienced. Join us on 21st. 

Artistic Directors

Kalpana Balachundhar, Bharatanatyam dancer, teacher, and choreographer based in Lexington, Massachusetts and is the founder of Chandra School of Dance. Apart from dancing, her hobbies include cooking, sewing, and biking. 

 Vision-Aid has given us a rare opportunity to work under the guidance of Muralidaran Sir and be a part of fund raising for a noble cause.Every year, Murali Sir comes with exciting themes that attracts newer audiences and both students and parents enjoy the entire experience by enrolling their child and see them grow as dancers enhancing their skills through their commitment and hard work as they learn from Sir and his daughter Kavya Muralidaran.

Jeyanthi Ghatraju, a Bharatanatyam dancer and choreographer with a mission to perform for charity, has been an Artistic Director of Vision-Aid productions since 2009. She offers Degree Programs in Performing Arts through her affiliation with Alagappa Performing Arts Academy at Natyajali dance school which is celebrating its 25th Anniversary! She was awarded the coveted US Presidential Gold Service Award in 2013 and 2018 for her community service and a 2019 recipient of Massachusetts Cultural Council grant.

“The cause of Vision-Aid and who they serve are what makes me come back and do it year after year for the past 11 years! - Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Founding Co Producer”

 Hema Iyengar, an acclaimed Bharatanatyam dancer, is the Founder of Nritya-Anjali School of Dance and Co-Founder ofCenter for Arts and Wellness in Westboro,MA, with a  vision to provide the community with a wider array of classical & applied art classes as well as wellness related services under a single roof. She works full time in a healthcare company, and has worked in Vision-Aid productions since 2009.

I have been a part of Vision-aid for a decade now, in the last decade, Vision-aid has grown and I am happy to have helped them in the smallest way possible. I would encourage people to watch this mega production by Madurai R Muralidharan , a dance drama on Skanda. More than 40 dancers,multiple dances and a lot of props that would make the show worth watching.I am proud to see so many dancers participating each year helping with the great cause. It gives me immense pleasure and satisfaction being part of this show

Sripriya Natarajan Moorthy, a dancer, teacher and choreographer, has been actively involved in Vision-Aidproductions since 2010, and served as an Artistic Director for the past four years. In 1999, she co-founded MIT Natya, one of the first collegiate Indian classical dance organizations in the US! She pursues advanced training under Guru Madurai R. Muralidharan and is Founder Director of Abhinaya Natyashala in Framingham, MA.

As Boston audiences know well, Guru Muralidaran's productions are not just about dance- they are dance dramas that immerse performers and audience in a moving story.   For the dancers, each year is a rewarding growth opportunity because Guru Muralidaran and his daughter Kavya demand the personal best out of each dancer and guide each person to be a better performer than they were at the start of the rehearsals.  It is a blessing and privilege to take part in this production in support of Vision-Aid's meaningful mission

Thenu Raajan, the creative director, choreographer and instructor of Apsaras Academy of Arts in Bellingham, MA, has received accolades in India, Singapore and USA for her performances. She frequently performs for various charitable dance fundraisers including Vision-Aid. In 2011, Thenu Raajan received the Excellence award from Lokvani e-magazine for being a dedicated dancer in the New England area.

The Vision-Aid organization continues to be an instrumental entity in promoting quality Bharathanatyam dance dramas in the New England area. Every production of Guru Muralidharan have been hailed as a magnum opus in its own right. Dancers, who are involved in these productions are also engaged in cultural immersion through collaborative artistry. It is truly a privilege and honor to be part of Guru Muralidharan’s production and Vision-Aid’s noble cause.

 

Student Leadership 

Shilpa Narayanan, a recent graduate from the University of Connecticut with a double major in Biological Sciences & Psychology, does research at Massachusetts General Hospital. She completed her arangetram in 2013 and now learns from Smt.Sujatha Meyyappan. She began her Vision-Aid journey in 2012, and has performed at many New England events.

Ananya Venkatesan, a rising sophomore majoring in Computer Science at UMass, Amherst, learns Bharathanatym from Smt.Sujatha Meyyappan. She has won many dance competitions and recently performed at Dhimahi Festival in Chennai under the guidance of Guru Madurai R. Muralidharan. She is excited about her 6th Vision-Aid production!

Neha Pillai, a college student at University of Massachusetts Amherst, has been learning Bharatanatyam from Guru Jeyanthi Ghatraju and did her Arangatrem in 2012. She also completed a certificate program in Bharatanatyam from Alagappa Performing Arts Academy.

The Artistic Directors are joined by over 40 amazing dancers from the Greater Boston area - 

Senior Dancers -

Aashna Diddee, Abhilasha Banka, Akila Senthilkumar, Amal Balachundhar, Ananya Kumar, Anjanadevi Govindaraj, Anvita Kalpande, Ananya Venkatesan, 

Anushka Diddee, Archita Nemalakanthi, Arushi Kalpande,  Ashmita Boopathy, Avani Kashalikar, Diti Pitre, Kaavya Kumaran, Manasi Danke, Navya Kumar, Neha Pillai,

Nikitha Ram, Nithya Jonnavithula, Pavithra Balachundhar, Radhika Jaishankar, Sakhi Kulkarni, Shakti Arun, Shefali Bakre, Shilpa Narayanan, Shreeya Selvakumar,

Shriya Bala, Shriyaa Anandakumar, Shruthi Sivasubramanian, Sprahaa Bhattad, Tarika Iyengar, Vaidehi Moorthy, Viritha Reddy

Junior Dancers -

Aarushi Iyengar,  Abirami Tilak, Ananya Suram, Anika Nambiar, Ashvitha Eyalarasan,DwitiBhattad, Kaiyal Kumaran, Medha Ramachandran, Prisha Nambiar, Ryana Nair, Siyona Bhagwat,Shivani Suraj




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