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May 14, 2013 > Nrithyamala - A Colorful Portrayal of Emotions

Nrithyamala - A Colorful Portrayal of Emotions

By Arathi Satish

"Nrithyamala" is an exquisite dance production of devotion presented by Indumathy Ganesh, Artistic Director of Nrithyollasa Dance Academy, and her students on Saturday, May 18 at Ohlone College's Jackson Theater.

Indu, as she is popularly known, founded the academy in Fremont in 1989 to provide rigorous and intense training in Bharatanatyam that includes theoretical aspects as well as dance. Hailing from a family of artists, she started teaching dance in order to impart the art and culture of India, and conducts classes in Fremont, Saratoga, and Pleasanton.

An asset to the local dance community, Indu has worked with California Contemporary Dancers to present a series of performances in San Francisco, and was honored with a certificate of recognition for her dedication to the development of local art by Fremont Cultural Arts Council during the twentieth year celebrations. Now on the verge of celebrating 25 years of teaching this ancient art form, Indu has planned a series of programs for the next few months to culminate in a two-day festival during which all her students will perform.

"Nrithyamala" literally means a garland of dances. The program begins by invoking the Lord for blessings, the dancers auspiciously awakening the Lord to perform his divine duties or rituals. The dancers proceed by worshipping his various divine forms. Beautiful dances weave the stories from Indian mythology to colorfully portray different emotions. If each dance is a flower, the whole presentation is a colorful garland offered at the feet of god. For Indu, to whom dancing is a way of life, this is a way of expressing her devotion to god.

Conferred the titles of Natya Mayuri and Lalitha Kala Rathna for her dedication to this art form, Indu is choreographing and dancing in this event and is being assisted by her daughter Akshaya Ganesh. Akshaya, who is learning the intricacies of dance teaching techniques from her mother, is also one of the principal dancers in the production. The dancers will be accompanied by a live orchestra of leading Bay Area artists, including Vidya Iyer, Sindhu Natarajan, N. Narayanan, and Shanthi Narayanan.

In the past two decades, hundreds of students have learnt this classical dance art form at Nrithyollasa Dance Academy and over 60 students have graduated by performing their first solo Indian classical dance debut or arangetrams. They have performed in various community events such as the Fremont Cultural Arts council sponsored Young Artists Showcase, San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, and Asian Pacific Performing Arts Festivals, as well as performed in over 50 cities in the U.S., Europe, and India. The dancers have won accolades and awards in Prague Dance Festivals and OSAAT (One School at a Time), and have raised funds to support several worthy causes such as AASRA and Adyar Cancer Institute.

Saturday, May 18
6:30 p.m.
Jackson Theater, Ohlone College
43600 Mission Blvd., Fremont
(510) 623-8230
Tickets: General $15, Senior/ Students $12, Donor/Reserved $30, Family of four $50

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