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Where the Brahmaputra Meets the Mississippi

Bharatnatyam

We are the Devanritya Dance Ensemble, which I formed from a group of my students in 2002. I began my school, the Devanritya School of South Indian Classical Dance formally around 1995, although I was teaching before that. My history as a dancer begins with studies in modern dance as early as 1975, however, I took up Bharatanatyam in 1985, studying under Ranee Ramaswamy here in the Twin Cities and performing my debut solo recital, or Arangetram in 1990. I then performed in Ranee's company, the Ragamala Music and Dance Theatre for several years. I have travelled to India twice for extended studies in dance under master teachers in Chennai, Hyderabad, and Pondicherry, and have also had several years of training in Karnatic (South Indian) music. Last summer I conducted the Arangetrams of my two most senior students, solo performances around two hours in length in which the guru participates as part of a live orchestra. I may be one of the first or only Americans to bring her students to such a point, and these events were very well received by both the Indian community and everyone present. Devanritya is based out of the St. Croix River Valley, and many of our classes are conducted at the Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, Wisconsin, (a twenty minute drive from St. Paul).

On the 23rd we will be presenting two dances:

Ganesh Kautwam will be performed by Mackenzie Gill and Jaya Stenquist. This is a prayer to, and in praise of, Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed remover of obstacles. We ask him to bless us and remove our worldly troubles.

Jatiswaram in Ragam /Arabhi will be performed by Dagny and Beata McClelland. Jatiswaram is a pure dance piece in which the dancers interpret both rhythmic jatis and sung swaras (melodies). It is fast-paced and gives the viewer a taste of the technical complexities of the dance form.


Web Page Author: Autri Dutta autri@spadeindia.org URL:http://www.spadeindia.org/bharatnatyam.html Last modified: April 18, 2005

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