Divine dance  
- Meera Ramakrishnan 
May 15, 2007 

Dance has been embedded into the human civilization for thousands of years. Whether it is for a celebration or a ritual, dance has been an essential factor for our lifestyles. Before the concept of written language, dance was used to depict characters from myths and stories. It is essential that the current and future generations are nourished with the taste of dance, and that is exactly what Yuva Bharati did on April 21, 2007 with the help of four artistic Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi dancers. 

Yuva Bharati is a non-profit organization formed to promote classical Indian dance in the US. The main goal of Yuva Bharati is to provide a stage for solo performances for rising artists, providing opportunities for experienced and talented artists and teachers from other locations to perform in the Bay Area. Yuva Bharati invites talented dancers who have finished their solo debut concerts to perform.  

This organization conducts about six performances every year, and each performance comprises of two different types of classical dances. The performance in April displayed Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam teachers to showcase their expertise. The dance pieces left everyone marveled and enlightened about these beautiful dances of India. 

Suganda Sreenath

Revathi Komanduri & Sasikala Penumarti

Radhika Shankar 

Kuchipudi, a dance from Andhra Pradesh, was presented by Sasikala Penumarti and Revathi Komanduri in the first half of the performance. They mesmerized the audience by lip syncing the devotional music, and expressing the emotions of the dance pieces beautifully. Sasikala is the founder of the Academy of Kuchipudi Dance, and her graceful movements were enhanced by intricate facial expressions. She started the performance with Kamakshi Stuti, a charming piece praising Goddess Kamakshi.  

Revathi Komanduri runs the Shivani Kuchipudi Art Academy in Atlanta. Her Siva Stuti on the powerful Lord Shiva enchanted the audience as she herself enjoyed every moment of her time on stage. The third item Rukmini Pravesa Daruvu by Sasikala Penumarti beautifully showed the devotional love Rukmini had for Krishna. Revathi Komanduri performed Paluku Thenela Thalli, which captured the essence of lucid love. The last item, Jagadaananda Kaaraka, was performed by both Sasikala and Revathi. Their dance movements were synchronized, and it was lovely to see two dancers dance to the praise of Lord Rama as if they saw his splendor with their own eyes. Sasikala Penumarthi and Revathi Komanduri are disciples of Guru Vempati Chinna Satyam. 

Bharatanatyam, originating from Tamilnadu, was performed by Radhika Shankar and Suganda Sreenath. Suganda Sreenath, director of Jayendra Kalakendra, started the second half with Nataraja Anjali, an item singing the praise of Lord Shiva. Suganda executed every step flawlessly and beautifully. Radhika Shankar's elegant Jathiswaram was a composition by her guru Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam. In Padari Varugudu, a piece that shows true love to Lord Muruga, Suganda's facial expressions were genuinely inspiring. Radhika performed a Padam on Goddess Kanyakumari, the protector of fishermen. Her statuesque poses entranced the audience, and she executed all her movements in a lovely and feminine way. In Devi Stuti on Sri Raja Rajeswari, Suganda's hand movements and abhinaya brought alive the characters in the song beautifully. The last Bharatanatyam item, Thillana, was performed by both Radhika and Suganda, with quick footwork and delightful poses. Both Radhika and Suganda were in sync without compromising their styles, hypnotizing the audience with their intriguing dance movements. Suganda Sreenath primarily learned Bharatanatyam under her sister and guru Ananda Shankar Jayanth. Suganda believes that "A good teacher never stops learning" and continues to learn the intricate nuances of the art of Bharatanatyam under Katherine Kunhiraman. She is also working with renowned Bharatanatyam choreographers V P Dhananjayan and Shantha Dhananjayan to continue her learning and mastering the art of choreography.  

Dance will be with us perpetually. Its meaning and morals will influence our daily lifestyle. This dance performance conducted by Yuva Bharati and performed by four skilled Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam dancers will help promote both types of dances and educate us on the classical dances of India.  

Meera is a 9th grader and has been learning dance for a few years.