Shubanjali spreads message of love through dance  
- Bhanu Iyer, NY 
January 5, 2007 

Shubanjali School of Performing Arts, a premier non-profit organization based in New Jersey, presented an extraordinary winter spectacular in Scotch Plains, NJ, filled with beauty, color and energy. Being presented during the Christmas holiday season and with the evening's program titled 'Santa 'n Shiva,' one expected at first, a mere display of the two religious sentiments with attempts to depict the stories as oft repeated, but it turned out to be a lively display of classicism woven into spiritual wisdom bringing the true meaning of the holiday season, as well as the spirit of the eastern and western cultures through melody and rhythm.  
Over 70 talented kids trained under the able guidance of Suba Parmar, Artistic Director of Shubanjali School of Performing Arts, danced with smiles galore to a wide variety of Bharatanatyam and folk dance pieces in their richly designed costumes to present the underlying essence of human existence - the search for one's true self and the joy of loving and sharing, which have no man-made cultural or religious barriers. The program began with an invocatory piece that aesthetically blended a pushpanjali with a verse from 'jingle bells' that set the applause ball rolling.   
After an array of traditional and folk pieces, Suba Parmar presented the Ahir Bhairavi piece "Akadapam Bhaaje Damaru" replete with difficult karanas and intricate rhythmic footwork extolling the formless universal consciousness, Lord Shiva. 
The finale "Nee Ada Naan Aaduven" had interesting patterns created by the dancers to alternating rhythms which made the Guru's choreography worthy of acclaim. The surprising entrance of Monalisa Dhobley as Lord Shiva and the fitting mangalam of "Maithreem Bhajatha" thereafter, with the entrance of Suba Parmar as Santa, healing the world as a mediator between God and Man, was indeed a meaningful dessert to the delicious platter.  Another highlight of the evening was the well conceived compeering done by Shobana Raj as Joy, an imaginary vocalization of our inner voice leading us through the dance pieces and eliciting the true meaning of our existence. 

Shubanjali, with exemplary performing and teaching standards, has consistently won recognition at premier tri-state events, including First Place at the 2003 Federation of Indian Associations NY, and the recipient of 2004 and 2006 Outstanding Dance School awards at the annual Bridgewater Temple competitions, NJ. 

Shubanjali School of Performing Arts sure did a great job of spreading the message of love and peace through the artistic medium of dance and it was an evening well spent!  

Bhanu Iyer is an art lover and critic based in NY.