MAYURA ACADEMY ANNUAL DAY CELEBRATIONS – “Inspiring and soulful”
‘A magnificent show that brought out the soul of India on Sydney soil’ – this could well be described as the summary of the Annual Day celebrations of Mayura Academy at the Sydney Bahai Centre on the 19th of October, 2013.
MayuraAcademy, aSchoolofPerforming Arts, focusses on keeping ancient art forms alive by teaching the practical and theoretical aspects of a classical Indian Dance called ‘Kuchipudi’.
This dance form is highly expressive, intense and beautiful.
The Academy consists of enthusiastic and devoted people who live their passion for the arts. It has branches in India and in Sydney, and the Sydney Branch is led by Guru Venkata Ramana, who is a Kuchipudi dancer and classical singer.
The opening of the event was in line with the tradition of lighting the auspicious lamp by one of the famous scholars of Hindu religion, Sri Thirukoshtiyur Madhavan Swamiji.
This was followed by an invocation of Goddess Saraswathi with a prayer called Vaniparuku. The first performance of the day the Vinayaka Kouthvam, praises Lord Ganesha, the remover of impediments and ensuring success. Then, the young children, most of them first-timers on stage, adorably dressed up in tastefully-made costumes, executed a series of steps and jhathis (combination of steps) depicting the basics of Kuchipudi.
A bit more complexity was introduced by senior students when they presented slokas, through their abhinayas (facial expressions) and Jathiswarams (a combination of swaras and jathis).
The participants were Samhita, Chaitra, Lohita, Gamya, Anannya, Dhatri, Richa, Maanasa, Sriharshitha, Sriveda, Divik, Chaitanya, Aditi, Saakshi, Swetha, Shilpa, Sree Harsha and Sree Lekha.
The young students’ enthusiasm was evident from the pleasant expressions on their faces when their feet moved in sync to the rhythm. Their perfect lip-syncing of the lyrics showed the thorough rehearsals for the show.
While the juniors set the stage and got the audience interested, after dinner, the senior students left them enthralled and wanting more. The item, Pushpanjali, an offering of flowers to Durga, saw the dancers Aditi, Harshitha, Saakshi, Chaithanya and Swetha coordinating with each other eloquently.
Brahmanjali was a similar number in praise of Brahma, in which Swetha, Meghna, Sushma and Vandana matched their steps to rhythmic patterns with each of them complementing the other.
Mahaganapathim, a keerthana in praise of the God Ganesha, was presented elegantly using the technique of left and right combination by Sushma and Deepthi. Following this, was the Adyatma Ramayana Keerthana, and this was performed by Jayasree and Saakshi with excellent chemistry.
The spell bound spectators broke their silence with loud applause, when Meghna showed her expertise by dancing to the mridangam beats for Tharangam. Here, she balanced her feet on the rim of a brass plate and moved rhythmically all over the dance floor with great composure without ever compromising on her expressions and gestures.
Dasavathara Sabdam was an aesthetically choreographed number, where eight students, with an elegant balance and swing, depicted the ten forms of Lord Vishnu. The audience was amazed, when during the symbolization of Narasimha Avatara, the dancer bent her body backwards like a bow.
The last Act saw all the students on the stage, enacting the Mangalam, which is the concluding prayer. As the enthusiastic youngsters and the dedicated seniors made their parents and teachers proud, euphoria spilled over the auditorium.
The celebrations ended when the Guest of Honour, Mr. Dhayalan Moodley, felicitated the dancers, the vivacious anchors (Spurthi and Thejasvini) and the organizers by giving out mementos.
The friends of JET Australia were commended for their diligence in organizing the dinner, the proceeds of which would be used for charity. All in all, the mission of the academy, which is to bring out the inner talents of the younger generation; and to preserve, nourish, and promote the elegant Kuchipudi dance tradition, was reinforced in a rhythmic way!