Manifest of the Feminine Power
A Classical Indian Dance Production by
Dr. Sreedhara A. R.
LOCATION: The Carver Auditorium,
DATE: August 7, 2010
TIME: 6:30-8:30 pm
Tickets @ Ticketmaster & The Carver Box Office
Bihl Haus Arts in association with Kaveri Natya Yoga was pleased to present SHAKTHI: Manifest of the Feminine Power, an original classical Indian dance production at The Carver Theater on August 7, 2010, 6:30-8:30 pm. In Indian culture, Woman is the thread that runs through and connects the rich traditions of religion, art, and culture with the beauty and cruelty of everyday life. The dance SHAKTHI, presented in three acts, explored Woman in her many forms and gave insight into the majesty and the difficulties of the roles that women play.
More than 30 Indian dancers, bejeweled and in full Indian regalia, performed SHAKTHI in the tradition of Bharathanatyam, one of the most beautiful, subtle, sophisticated, and graceful dance forms in the world. In this form, dancers metamorphose into moving sculptures, formed of arcing arms and tilting torsos. Their bare feet, adorned by anklets of tiny brass bells, strike the floor in varied patterns in sync with the hypnotic music. And throughout the performance, their eyes, moving nanoseconds ahead of their bodies’ rhythms, mesmerize and charm the viewer.
The performance was directed by Dr. Sreedhara Akkihebbalu, founder-director of Kaveri Natya Yoga in San Antonio. Kaveri Natya Yoga promotes and propagates the traditional culture of India through Art and Yoga.
Dr. Sreedhara, a physician from Bangalore, India, is an accomplished dancer in the ancient Indian tradition of Bharathanatyam. Bharatanatyam is one of most ancient of the classical styles of Indian dancing. True to its etymology, it combines ‘Bh’ava (emotional expression), ‘Ra’ga (Melody) and ‘Ta’la (Rhythm) to create a fulfilling artistic experience to both the performer and the connoisseur. Dr. Sreedhara’s performances display a sensitive feel for traditional Indian poetry, which informs his choreography. He has partnered with some of the leading exponents of traditional Indian dance and has performed throughout India, as well as in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Europe, Bangladesh, Singapore, and Dubai. His performances, some telecast across
Dr. Sreedhara directed a troupe of more than 30 dancers, some traveling from New York, NY, Lincoln, NE, and Sacramento, CA, for this performance. Visiting guest artists included Jyothsna Sainath, who is also the recipient of dance awards in competitions across India. More recently, Jyothsna has conducted Bharatanatyam workshops in the Department of Dance, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) as a guest artist. She has also been involved in a research project with Susan Levine, Department of Dance, UNL. This study juxtaposes historical developments in Western Ballet and Indian classical dance from a gender perspective. Jyothsna also runs a dance school in Lincoln, Nebraska, where she currently resides. This was her first visit to San Antonio.
Visiting, too, was Padmini Sirish, who currently resides in Sacramento, CA. Padmini, recipient of numerous dance awards from the Goverment of India, has danced across that county and the U.S. This was her second visit to San Antonio--she was a prinicple dancer in the Bihl Haus 2009 production of "Ramayana," at The Carver. Her dancing has been described by critics as "superb and masterly, . . . with an exuberance of movement." She currently resides in Sacramento, CA, where she is working on a PhD in Molecular Biology.
SHAKTHI was narrated by Dr. Ann Hardgrove, who holds a PhD in Anthropology and History from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her first book, Community and Public Culture: The Marwaris in Calcutta c.1897-1997, was published in South Asia by Oxford University Press. Dr. Hardgrove is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she teaches courses on the history of India, history theory, gender history, and world history. She is working on a history of translations of the Kama Sutra into vernacular Indian and western languages, 1883 to the present. Her book is tentatively titled: Close your Eyes and Think of India: Translating the Kamasutra.
This program was funded in part by the San Antonio Office of Cultural Affairs.