“Samarpanam” or the art of giving back, takes on a new meaning and form this fall of 2010.
Originally conceived by the students of Shri Krupa Dance Company over a decade ago, this dedication is now taking shape for the second time with renewed gusto and enthusiasm in garages and living rooms across the Bay area. All that effort will culminate in a simple yet elegant evening of exquisite dance on September 11, 2010 at the McAfee Theater, in Saratoga, California.
“Samarpanam-I” was a “Giving” and a dedication by nine Shri Krupa Company Dancers who offered their learning to their Guru Vishal Ramani – to a packed Montgomery Theater in September 1999, in San Jose.
And this fall, we will see an exuberant group of over 50 Shri Krupa Company Dancers coming together from all walks of life in a majestic production (with live music) entitled “Samarpanam II – The New Generation.”
These young dancers who have designed, sought funding, and produced this gala performance on their own come from many walks of life: doctors, lawyers, students, homemakers, teachers, and researchers.
Shri Krupa Company Dancers are students who have finished up to 7 years of rigorous training and have graduated through the Arangetram process, a guru-shishya (teacher-student) tradition where learning is handed down generation after generation by a guru to his/her students. The student continues the lineage by passing on this knowledge to the next generation.
Guru Vishal Ramani – the Founder and Artistic Director of the Shri Krupa Dance Foundation, received rigorous training in the Thanjavur style of Bharatanatyam from Guru Mahalingam Pillai and Guru Govinda Raj Pillai of Shri Raja Rajeshwari Bharata Natya Kala Mandir of Bombay. Her dance debut (Arangetram) was at the age of 6 at the Poddar College in Bombay and a genius was born. Vishal has won much acclaim for her own performances in India, the United Kingdom and the United States. Creative vitality and vivid imagination mark her choreography, which is strictly kept within the confines of the style as set by the Tanjore tradition.
The tradition continues……….
Where: McAfee Performing Arts Center, 20300 Herriman Avenue, Saratoga, California, 95008
When: Sep 11 2010 4:00PM
Contact Details: Raja Renganathan
Phone : 408 605 6249
Shri Krupa dancers reminisce
“I have been a part of Shri Krupa for 30 years – including my arangetram and participation in numerous dance ballets over the years, so dancing and participating in Samarpanam II was a simple decision. It gave me great opportunity to dance again after a 10 year break, to dance for my guru, and to dance with my friends – we share a special bond with a 20 year history of dancing together and our current practices have brought back great memories of our past dances and shows. Many of us have not danced in numerous years, and we were pleasantly surprised to find that our feet, hands, and minds have remembered as much as our hearts fondly have.
As an adult, I can now appreciate what being a student of dance and of Shri Krupa has provided me – a love and appreciation for Bharathanatyam, an ability to view/appreciate and understand other art forms – whether they be Indian or non-Indian, and knowledge of Indian mythology, languages and music.”
Swapna Venkateswaran – Graduate1984
I have been with Guru Vishal Ramani since 1980. My whole life was and still is filled with dance.My older sister and I attended weekly classes, performed at various cultural events and supplemented our understanding of bharatanatyam through music and Bala Vihar classes. Our summer vacations were also filled with practices for dance programs. As an adult, I was able to take my involvement in the art form to a higher level due to the training and guidance of my Guru. I continued to perform in Shri Krupa productions and also gave many solo performances in Chennai and the Bay Area, and now in Seattle, WA, where I currently live. However, as I continued on in dance, many from my dancing cohort, including my older sister, went on to pursue their own careers and studies. Performing in Samarpanam II not only gives me a platform to showcase my love for this artform and pay respects to my Guru, I get the chance to reunite with old friends. Not only has bharatanatyam given me a link to Indian culture and instilled qualities of dedication and perserverance, it has also given me life long friends that were forged in the practice room and on the stage. I also can connect with the new generation of Shri Krupa graduates and hopefully forge bonds with them as well. Even though the face of Shri Krupa changes as the student body grows and evolves, Samarpanam II gives the community the chance witness the generations of dancers who’ve graduated from Shri Krupa. Samarpanam II is a testament of the love and dedication for Bharatanatyam instilled by our Guru.
Nitya Venkateswaran – Graduate1984
Participating in Samarpanam II is a coming home for me. Bharatha Natyam is in my heart, my mind and my body. Though it has been a long time since I have trained, the art has always been with me, and the question of when I will next dance is never far from my mind or my feet. Samarpanam presented an opportunity to come back to the art and honor my teacher.
The art form itself, and Vishal Aunty in particular, have shaped who I have become, what I think about and how I think about things. Aunty, I am so very grateful for the numerous gifts you have given me.
Sita Chokkalingam – Graduate1992
I met Vishal Aunty when I was 16 years old and had just come from India. It was a tough time in my life and having something to hang on to from my culture was a life savior. I have now been with Vishal Aunty for 26 years of my life and have had the great pleasure of seeing my three daughters go thru her and have their arangetram under her guidance. Aunty’s dedication and love for this art form inspires my love for this art form.
Sheetal Singhal – Graduate 2001
I have been learning Bharatanatyam from Vishal Aunty since I was 9 years old and I had my arangetram at 16. Over the years, Aunty has taught me how to express myself creatively and has always encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone to become a better dancer. Her dedication and comittment to the dance form and to each and every student in our school has been inspiring. After taking a brief hiatus from dancing to attend law school and begin my legal practice, I recently returned to classes because I realized how much Bharatanatyam had become a part of me and that I could not stay away for long! I am so pleased to see the next generation of dancers rising to the challenge of Samarpanam II, and I am certain it will be just as meaningful
of an experience for them as Samarpanam I was for me and my classmates. I am also grateful that they are giving us “old folks” a chance to participate in the program!
Neha Marathe – Graduate 1997