Shivanjali: a fund-raiser for the victims of Haiti earthquake
- Vasanthi Vittal 

February 27, 2010 

On Feb. 20, 2010, at the JCC Kreeger Auditorium in Maryland, a group of seven Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi teachers from the greater Washington Metro area came together to present a spectacular two and a half hour show for the benefit of the earthquake victims in Haiti.  More than 100 students participated in 23 different items. The program was aptly referred to as 'Shivanjali' having celebrated Shivaratri on Feb.12. 
Keeping with the theme, most of the compositions described the beauty of the "trinetradhaari" or Shiva. Be it the lasya tandavam or "tha thai enraaduvaar" in Sindhu Bhairavi or "Kaal maari aadiya" in Kuntalavarali or "Aadum Shivame" in Sriragam or "Bho Shambho" in Revati, the students were at their very best. One would not be doing justice if the costumes go unmentioned. A few of the items, had the students in full Shiva regalia adding fervor to the rendition. It was indeed a treat to the eyes. 

The program very fittingly ended with an explanation for the fund raiser (over $3,000 was raised from ticket sales and donations) followed by "Maithreem Bhajata."  The teachers and their students have indeed shown the qualities of "damyata, datta and dayadvam," we pray for "shreyo bhooyaat sakala janaanaam"...

The program was carried out with precision, with no time wasted in-between items. The power point presentation of the details about each item was well done. After having watched the program mesmerized, one can truly conclude that nowhere has there been a better cause to rise up to and a better way to rise up to the occasion. Kudos to Lakshmi Swaminathan, Radha Ganesan, Vani Ramesh, Vatsala Srinivas, Revathi Kumar,  Daya Ravi and Lakshmi Babu.