Vimala Sarma is a Kuchipudi dancer resident of the inner city suburbs of Sydney. She is an active supporter of indigenous australians in the Redfern area. She presented Redfern Community Centre with a Cup for the best under-10 indigenous reader at the Redfern Community Centre Christmas Party recently. Vimala Sarma born in Malaysia came to Australia after winning a Colombo Plan scholarship to Adelaide University. A molecular biologist turned research and development consultant with a diploma in Sanskrit Vimala Sarma today is a notable dancer in Sydney who has been running the Nayika Indian Dance company in the inner city since she came to Sydney in 2000. Vimala is contributing towards cultural understanding through the medium of dance, and her students are from multicultural backgrounds.
Vimala received training in the Kuchipudi style of classical dance from her guru Satyapriya Ramana, a student of, and teacher at, Guru Vempati Chinna Satyam’s Kuchipudi Art Academy, and she has also received short courses from Bala Kondala Rao and Kalpalathika Krishna (both students of Satyam), and Vedantham Ramu (of the Kuchipudi Dance Academy). Vimala’s repertoire also extends to Mohiniattam, another well known dance style which she learnt at the Vijnana Kala Vedi Cultural Centre in Kerala. In January 2006 Vimala received the Certificate of Excellence for her performance in Chennai. She was felicitated in a traditional ceremony by the Andhra Arts Academy in 2008.
Recent productions of Nayika Indian Dance and Vimala Sarma, which were both original work and those choreographed by Satyam, include:
30th&31st January 2009, “The Blue Lotus” Customs Hose, Circular Quay
23 February 2008 – ‘Lotus & Phoenix II’ at Conservatorium of Music, Sydney
16 December 2007 – Andhra Arts Academy, Vijayawada, India, awarded, garlanded and and honoured through a full felicitation ceremony by famous Indian artists
3 December 2007 – Performed at Chennai Dance Festival invited by Gana Mukhundhapriya Sabha, shawled and award the title of Natyakala Siromani (crown jewel of the art of dance)
23 June 2007 – “Laya – Timeless Rhythms”, Eastside Arts, solo dance performance and veena music, Nayika Indian Dance production.
3 March 2007 – ‘Lotus & Phoenix’ Sydney Conservatorium of Music (collaboration with Sizhu ensemble), Nayika Indian Dance production.
The production of Lotus & Phoenix, which was showcased as a part of the City of Sydney’s Chinese New Year Festival of 2007, was a collaboration between Chinese music composed by Tony Wheeler and performed by Chinese musicians and dance in the Mohiniattam style choreographed uniquely by Vimala.
Review of 10 January 2006 performance at Chennai Festival by Mike Thomson – “Vimala’s performance was electrifying and especially as a milkmaid she would have made any ones heart melt – god or man”.
Lotus &Phoenix I, “piece performed in the delicate Mohiniattam style……incorporated Buddhist hand gestures” – Indian Link, March 2007
Lotus& Phoenix II “Vimala …showing all elements of the style – fast-paced pure dance sequences, Sanskrit verse with expressive hand gestures…….” – South Sydney Herald, 2008
Blue Lotus, “expressive piece exquisitely performed” “…this piece excellently choreographed and performed by Vimala and brought back memories evocative memories of a visit to Tirupathi…” – The Indian, February 2009
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