dance drama a most colorful presentation 
as part of Janmashtami celebration in New York 
by Carolyn Boren 

September 7, 2003  

On Saturday evening, August 23rd at Ananda Ashram's Blue Sky Center in Monroe, the students of renowned Kathak artist and guru Pt. Satya Narayana Charka presented a marvelous display of dance technique and expression in the East West School of Dance's annual Krishna Leela dance-drama.  Graduates Mayura Casuba and Romanee Kalicharran dazzled an appreciative audience as they brought Sri Krishna and Sri Radha to life on the stage. Other young students and dance artists demonstrated the skilled dance and sensitive expression (earmarks of their teacher's training), as they brought alive the stories of child Krishna, Yashoda and Lord Krishna's beloved Gopikas and friends in the dance-drama choreographed and directed by Pt. Charka.  Special guests that graced the occasion included Dr. & Mrs. Ram Karan Sharma, Shri Om Prakash Tiwari, Dr. and Mrs. Rohit Patel, Mr. Muzaffer Habib, Mr. P.T. Thomas, and Dr. and Mrs. Rakesh Bharadwaj. 

The dance drama commenced with an Invocation to Lord Krishna, followed by a scene depicting Krishna as a baby, defeating the evil demoness Putana (Anya Golovkova).  The audience next delighted in the popular episodes of Maakhan Chori  (Krishna's mischievous childhood act by Priya Bharadwaj) and Kaliya Mardan - the defeat of angry serpent king Kaliya Naag (Danny Quilter) by Lord Krishna jumping onto his hood and performing the Kaliya Mardan Nritya. 

The Holi with the original choreography by Guru Maya Rao - full of colors and festivity as Krishna, Radha and the Gopis played - was well-received and greatly brought out a joyous mood of Holi, setting the stage for solo and group dances by the Gopis, including classical Kathak abhinaya compositions. 

The dance drama culminated with the Maha Raas, Lord Krishna as the Paramatma dancing with each one of the Gopis or jivas.  It was Pt. Birju Maharaj's recent composition "Raas Rachita Braj Mein" that brought a great show of appreciation. 

All in all, the performers and the audience alike brought out a wonderful energy that made the Krishna Leela dance-drama a great success for this summer season in New York. 

For information contact:  
Pt. Satya N.Charka, Phone: (845) - 782-5575, 783-7514