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Dance For Lord Muruga At NEHTI

Ranjani Saigal

Dance for Lord Muruga at NEHTI

For the very first time, the YCEP team of the Shri Lakshmi Temple in Ashland held a Karthik Nrityanjali – a dance offering to Lord Muruga.  Smt. Thenu Rajan , a New England dance teacher coordinated the event which featured nearly 30 dancers.  The event was held on Sunday Jan 23, 2011 at the Shri Lakshmi Temple.

“Recently when I was at temple attending prayers, the thought suddenly occurred to me that while we present Nrityanjali to Lord Shiva, Krishna and Ganesha, we do not have one for Lord Muruga.  In a cosmic-karmic coincidence, it seems that a similar thought occurred to K.G Narayana who proposed the event to the temple and got it sanctioned", said Thenu Rajan. Thenu’s husband Rajan a brilliant singer,  is an ardent devotee of Lord Muruga and often is called upon to sing Thirupughazh for various events at the temple.

Thenu set up the temple basement beautifully for the event.  The event opened with Pushpanjali by Chaitanya Gopu a student of Sripriya Natarajan Moorthy. Sripriya is a second generation dancer and was the found of MIT Natya. This was followed by a Ganesha Kautuam by Thenu Rajan’s student Karishma.

Seven year old Amrita Ajai Thirumali , daughter of the local dance teacher Sridevi Thirumalai awed the audience with her presentation of Pushpanjali and Kandar Kavitvam.  The was followed by Jathiswaram performed by Divya Dharmaraj,Rohini Udayakumar, Harini Jawahar, Kapi and Mythee, students of Sowmya Ramanathan.

Pushpanjali by Abbinaya Narayanan, Bharathi Subbiah, Manaswi, Mythili and Nishi Manikandan, students of Thenu Rajan followed. The only male dancer of the evening ,Sarav Chidambaram , student of Mouli Pal presented a wonderful Pallavi in Odissi Style.

The next piece was   a unique and delightful kavituam choreographed and presented by two high school students, Sharayu Mahale (student of Jayashree Bala Rajamani) and Shachi Risbud (student and daughter of Poornima Risbud) . It was wonderful to see these brilliant youngsters come together to create something so wonderful.

Mayila Vahana by Meyya Muthu , student of Thenu Rajan and Pushpanjali by Umika Paul, student of Poornima Surya followed.  A dramatic Kuchipudi number Narayana The Namonamo by Leela Menillo,Krishnasampada Vellury,Chaitnya Gopu and Rashi Gupta, students of Prafulla Veluri brought Lord Narayana to the event.  Karthikeya Kauthuvam by Meenu Rajendraprasad, student of Sapna Krishnan came next.

It was a great delight to have Smt. Jeyanthi Ghatraju, a local dance teacher perform Neelamayil Vahanano.  Her student Svetloslava de Paula presented Mayilvahana. Anusha Pandian student of Sridevi came next with Kaliyuga Varadhan.

Jothi Raghavan’s student Suhasini presented a unique number on Kathirgama Murugan. The event ended with a brisk Lalgudi Thillana dedicated to Lord Muruga by Gayatri Menon , student of Ranjani Saigal.

“We are delighted to have such events dedicated to specific deities for it allows students to learn about the deities”, said K.G.Narayana.  For audience and artists it was a true delight to be at a local historic first. We pray that Lord Muruga will bless all and help us continue this wonderful tradition.

Shiva Nrityanjali is scheduled on Mar 6. There is also a dance competition for high school seniors on Mar 6. Please check the temple website http://www.srilakshmi.org/ or send mail to nrityanjali2011@gmail.com

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