Kuchipudi Dance of Shiva

Dances of Shiva, Performing Arts Auditorium, Rowville Secondary College, Rowville Melbourne

On Sunday September 12, Kuchipudi Dance Aruna Iyengar, founder of the newly formed Shakthi School of Indian Dance based in Western Sydney, represented her art in a charity focused dance program – Dances of Shiva.

The Tamil Women’s Organisation of Melbourne organised a dance performance showcasing various classical dance styles of India, to raise funds for the Sivan Arul Illam, an orphanage in Mannar in the North of Sri Lanka. This orphanage has more than 115 children who have been maimed and mutilated by the civil war, offering them hope for the future.

All dance items in the program were in praise of Lord Shiva. Eight different schools participated and the audience experienced performances of Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Odissi and Kathak by the dance schools.

Featuring both group and solo Bharatanatyam performances, the audience were inthralled by the Thandavams, Bho Shambo and Siva Stuthi. A tiny little dancer, dressed as Lord Shiva, presented a dynamic and fast moving Ananda Nadam Aaduvaar. The graceful “Nagendra Haraya” of Joyoti Das, Director of the Kalamandir School, demonstrated the beauty of Odissi and brought the audience memories of Joyoti’s late guru, Sanjukta Panigrahi. The Kathak dancer of Ragas Institute, twirled gracefully in time with the live nattuvangam. The audience watched enthralled as Aruna, after presenting the dance of Shiva in the golden hall in Chidambaram, effortlessly balanced on the brass plate and performed many fast moving jathis. And the performance concluded with a visual spectacular, by the dancers of the Nrithakshetra School of Classical Dance, in matching blue or green costumes, numbering more than a dozen – as they moved in unison and with great energy to present the Aadiduvaar. The dance items were complimented in some cases with live music, demonstrating the effort and commitment all the schools had made to contribute to this worthwhile cause.

All proceeds of the evening’s program were collected for building a community centre at the orphanage in Sri Lanka.