Bharata Nrityam workshop with Padma Subrahmanyam in Princeton, NJ 

June 30, 2005 

A week long Bharata Nrityam workshop was attended by a group of select students of dance from the Tri state area.  The participants had the unique opportunity to attend the dance workshop conducted by the Bharata Nrityam exponent, Dr. Padma Subhramanyam. The workshop was hosted by Shree Padma Nrityam Academy of performing Arts Inc. Princeton, NJ. Bala Devi Chandrashekar, senior disciple of Padma Subrahmanyam is the Artistic Director of the Academy. During the week long workshop, the participants were taught some of the core elements of Bharata Nrityam. The participants learnt the renowned Swathi Thirunaal's composition, Bhavayami Raghuramam. Subrahmanyam's scintillating choreography consisted of a brilliant blend of Nritta and Abhinaya and extensive use of Charis and Karanas. 

The size of the workshop coupled with the comfortable atmosphere gave the participants the opportunity to interact closely and learn from the stalwart. Subrahmanyam observed each participant individually and gave suggestions on areas of improvisation and nuances that go into making a Bharatha Nrityam presentation par excellence. With each line of Bhavayami, she gave the students a perspective into the contextual meaning, mood and setting of the scene. This holistic approach to learning the item gave a new dimension to learning the Bharata Nrityam style.  The participants unanimously shared the sentiment that the days of learning with Padma Subrahmanyam was one of the most incredible, learning experiences they have had. The workshop was followed by a post-performance discussion with the audience.