Category Archives: Events

Samarpanam II

vishal ramani“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……….

Samarpanam II

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

Asha for Education – Work an Hour Campaign

Asha for educationAsha for Education (AFE) is an entirely volunteer-run non-profit organization dedicated to bringing about socio-economic change in India by improving access and quality of education.

AFE is conducting its biggest fundraising event of the year – the 13th annual Work an Hour campaign, popularly known as WAH.

Work An Hour, is AFE’s global online fundraising event. Every year thousands of donors from all over the world come together and contribute towards the empowerment of underprivileged children in India through education. Participants in the event work an hour towards this cause symbolically, by donating an hour’s worth of their salary or more to Asha for Education. Since the cost associated with running this entirely online campaign, outside the time and effort spent by our volunteers, is zero, they are able to route 100% of the funds raised to our supported projects.  Their low overheads, transparency and efficiency in monitoring their projects have enabled them to develop an extremely enthusiastic individual donor pool in the past.

WAH 2010, the 13th such campaign begins on July 15th 2010 and concludes on September 15th 2010. Last year the campaign raised close to $156,000, all of which was used towards improving the quality of education through different projects spanning India. These funds were used in improving study materials and build infrastructure, train teachers, and last but not the least, create a consciousness about health and hygiene in underprivileged communities.

By helping pioneer and support bold new initiatives in the field of education, AFE is making a difference in the lives of underprivileged children in India.

Charity Navigator, the premier independent evaluator of charities in the United States, has awarded Asha for Education with its highest rating this year and has named AFE in their “Top Ten Charities Worth Watching” and “Top Ten Slam Dunk Charities” list in the past. A lot of credit for getting here goes to AFE’s low overheads, efficiency in fund disbursement and donor privacy policy.

Asha for Education is requesting your support in educating potentially a few thousand more children. Visit last year’s WAH campaign website to learn more about the organization:

Adorn My Hair With His Blood! and other stories- Lasya's “Navarasa” promises gore, wonder, love, fear and more

By Priya Das

lasya1Adorn my hair with his blood” cries a crazed-with-revenge Panchali, and an equally wild Bhima lovingly crowns her with the bloody innards of Dushasana. One can almost smell the blood. This is the highlight of “Bhibhatsam”, the second rasa to be highlighted in Lasya Dance Company’s “Navarasa-Her Choice.” Bhibhatsam, meaning revulsion, promises to get a significant percentage of the audience gasping and the rest turning away in disgust, exactly the reaction Vidhya Subramanian, artistic director of Lasya Dance Company is gunning for.

“Women are complex creatures,  we can inspire and cause life around us to be energized through anger, love, and bravery- the entire gamut of emotions, sometimes in one day, or an entire lifetime such as in the Mahabharata! Every woman is intense, there’s so much to explore, evoke, and express,” says Vidhya, who has a penchant for cutting-edge women-related themes.

“Navarasa-Her Choice” comes after a gap of 2 years, during which Vidhya has been busy reclaiming her solo-dancing career in earnest, especially in India in the interim. Known for her fire-brand style, one looks forward to seeing new visages to traditional themes and altogether new ideas being presented. She will start the evening with a stunning solo, and will be joined on stage by senior dancers for a sort of introduction to the nine emotions being presented- in order, Shringara/love, Bhibhatsam/ revulsion, Veeram/bravery, Bhayanakam/fear, Hasyam/laughter, Karunyam/ pity, Adbhutam/ wonder, Roudram/ anger, and Shantam/peace. Vidhya herself will elaborate on 3 rasas- Love, Wonder, and Laughter.

Each senior dancer was tasked with owning one of the other rasas.  Anger is played by Vinidhra Mani, embodied by Kannagi, a character from the Tamil Silapadikaram, whose husband is unfairly behaeaded after being falsely accused of thievery by an irresponsible King. Enraged at the injustice, Kannagi curses the King and burns down his city. “I understand Kannagi’s anger, but getting under her skin of righteousness enough to want to burn down a city took some doing. With only a few days to D-day, I’m frequently looking to rev myself up and stoke my anger, looking for a reason to get angry, so I can play Kannagi convincingly when the time comes- I only get 8 minutes!” says Vinidhra, a junior at college working in the bio-medical field when not dancing. Her solo dance of destruction will be a sight to behold.

Given the intense spotlight on drama, Vidhya has designed the costumes to ease instant-immersion into the mood. The senior dancers are all in black, with a single layer of color signifying the mood. Not surprisingly, Kannagi will wear red. The live orchestra is sure to sweep the audience into a heady emotional continuum, via always-evocative vocals by Asha Ramesh, mridangam by  Narayanan, violin by Shanthi Narayanan, tabla by the young Vikas Yendluri, flute by Ragavan Manian, and sollukattu (dance notes) by Madhavi Cheruvu.

lasya2Vidhya’s portrayal of Wonder promises surprise from the get-go, her portrayal of Surphanakha’s attempts to seduce Rama sure to regale. ShriVidhya Shrinivasan, another senior dancer and a PhD in Molecular biology, plays  a Kunti fearful for her sons on the eve of the Kurukshetra war. “I now hear stories of war in Iraq with a new sensitization. I feel a new connection with Indian mythological stories…Kunti was just a character before, now I realize that she’s a mother, like me.”

Reprieve from the intense drama comes in the form of superlative dancing by other dancers. Vidhya’s choreography progresses from a 2-beat piece right on up to a 9-beat rhythm, forming pure-dance interludes in between the stories.  “I’ve never seen choreography this unique – Vidhya (Auntie) has made it so that each dancer feels like s/he has a significant role. To know that I’m a part of this magic is truly humbling.” – Sushmita Shrikanth

A unique perspective is shared by Maya Seshadri, a also Bollywood-dancing member of the Mona Sampath Dance troupe, featured in NBC’s America’s Got Talent in July- “Having dabbled in different styles of dancing since I was five, I’ve come to appreciate my roots and the core of my dancing in Bharatanatyam. It grounds me when I perform Bollywood.”

Like the character I will be portraying- Tagore’s Chandalika, who’s liberated by Buddhism from her state-of-outcaste and cries out that she’s reborn, the audience is sure to emerge feeling a surge of intense involvement, an emotional cleansing.
Sunday, Aug 8, 2010, 4pm.
McAfee Theater, 20300 Herriman Ave, Saratoga.
Tickets $15, Group of 4 (must arrive together) $50

Trinity 20: Salutations to the Guru

Anuradha on Violin

Trinity 20: Salutations to the Guru
(A Musical Tribute by Trinity Students to all the gurus in their lineage)

Saturday,  September 11,  2010 4:00 P.M.

Venue: Palo Alto JCC
3921 Fabian Way
Palo Alto, CA 94303

Trinity students, with the guidance of their guru, Smt. Anuradha Sridhar, plan to present a vocal and instrumental musical extravaganza honoring all the teachers in their lineage.

Anuradha’s great-great grandfather was a direct disciple of Saint Thyagaraja.  Anuradha is the fifth generation in the sishya parampara and her students are the sixth generation.  The event includes most of the students of the school Trinity Center for Music and promises an evening of divine, enthralling and excellent music.

The Trinity Center for Music:
Established by Smt. Anuradha Sridhar in 1989, the Trinity Center for Music is a school synonymous with excellence and perfection. Smt. Anuradha Sridhar hails from a family of illustrious musicians. She is the fifth generation of musicians belonging to the poet-saint Thyagaraja’s sishya parampara or lineage. Her great-great grandfather, Lalgudi Sri Ramayyar, was a direct disciple of Saint Thyagaraja. Their family feels privileged to carry the torch of the “Lalgudi” school of music established and popularized by her maternal uncle Sri Lalgudi G. Jayaraman. They strive to preserve the authenticity of the music as it is passed on from generation to generation. Smt. Anuradha Sridhar continues this tradition with her students at the Trinity Center for Music.
An accomplished performer, Smt. Anuradha Sridhar has given many solo concerts as well as duet concerts with her mother and guru, Smt. Lalgudi Srimathi Bramhanandam. She has toured all over the US, Canada, India, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, and Hong Kong with her mother and brother, Sri. Shriram Brahmanandam who accompanies on the mridangam.

The Trinity Center for Music started with humble beginnings and has since flourished to produce skilled and talented students. Trinity’s students have won numerous awards at competitions in Cleveland, the Bay Area, and India, including the concert competition at the Cleveland Aradhana, and the Pratibha Akaanksha award in Bangalore. Anuradha Sridhar’s students have given concerts in various locations in the US and in Chennai during the December music season. Additionally, Trinity Center students have performed at the San Francisco World Music Festival every year since 2007. The Trinity Center won the Best School competition at the Cleveland Aradhana in 2009.

Students of the Trinity Center are not only taught to maintain the purity of the music they learn but are also encouraged and expected to develop their own senses of musical creativity within the parameters of a classical foundation. The Students of the Trinity Center are honored and privileged to uphold such a tradition.

Tickets: Individual – $15.00      Family(4) – $50.00
Contact: Geetha –    650.704.1720
Sharadha –    408.504.3763
Saroja –     408.777.0576

Community Town Hall Meeting: Visa regulations

indian visaThe Consulate General of India & ICC present

a Community  Town Hall Meeting

What are the current visa regulations for visiting India?
What are the current requirements for getting a PIO/OCI?
Do US citizens of Indian origin need to surrender their Indian passports?

Thursday, July 29th from 6 pm  to 7.30 pm
at the India Community  Center, Milpitas.

Location: 525  Los Coches St, Milpitas,  CA 95035
Due to an overwhelming response from the community we have moved the
Town Hall meeting to our Malavali Auditorium at ICC so we can
accomodate more people.

Pre-Registeration ( is required

To help the community understand these regulations and facilitate a better
understanding between the Consulate and the Community

Honored Panelists
Ms. Susmita Gongulee Thomas, IFS

Consul General of India

Mr. Ashok K. Sinha
Consul (Community Affairs)

Mr. Jaladhi Mukherjee
Vice Consul

Hindi Book Fair

hindi book fairParrots Books is hosting a book fair on Saturday, July 10th from 2:30 to 4:00 pm.
Parrots Books carries a large selection of children books and puzzles in Hindi.
Come & Browse…
$20 off on purchase of $75 or more.
1 coupon per family. This offer can not be combined with any other offer.

Location: Parrots Books Shop,  43006 Christy Street, Fremont, CA 94538 US
When: Saturday, July 10, 2:30PM to 4:00PM
Phone: 510.682.4249

32nd Annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival

ethnic dance festival

32nd Annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival in June 2010

36 of the Bay Area’s most accomplished dance companies representing diverse dance traditions from more than 20 cultures take the stage every weekend in June at San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts.

From the palaces of Bali to the village squares of Mexico and the mountains of the Andes, the 32nd Annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival promises to whisk audiences away on a first class journey around the world. As The New York Times dance critic Alastair Macaulay noted in 2009, “What other city in the world has anything like the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival? … I heartily envy the Bay Area residents… the range of dance sociology was remarkable… An extraordinarily happy program.”

Every weekend in June, San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts comes to vivid life as thirty six companies representing dance traditions from more than 20 cultures including Bolivia, China, Haiti, Hawaii, India, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Spain, the U.S. and many more take the stage. The Festival is the largest and most prestigious gathering of its kind in the country, with four weekends of performances and a different line up of performers each week. This year, the Festival will present several special commissions, including one honoring the Mexican bicentennial. Audience members have been known to come once, twice or even four times in order to fully enjoy this thrilling (and somewhat addictive) Bay Area celebration of our global artistic heritage.

Full festival line-up here.

WHAT: 32nd Annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival – 36 Northern California companies
representing dance traditions from 20 cultures perform over four weekends in June

DATE: Every Saturday and Sunday from June 5 through June 27, 2010
(June 5&6, 12&13, 19&20 and 26&27)
Plus Special Benefit Gala on Friday, June 11, 2010

TIME: Saturdays at 2 & 8pm; Sundays at 2pm
Benefit Gala festivities begin at 6:30pm on Friday, June 11

WHERE: Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, 3301 Lyon (at Bay), San Francisco

COST: $22-$46 with specially priced family matinees
Weekend passes and group discounts are available

TICKETS: Call 415.392.4400 or visit

INFO: Visit or call (415) 474-3914

Celebrating Mother’s Day with ICC seniors

icc mother's day copy

ICC Milpitas Seniors Celebrate Mother’s Day on May 12th
Seniors — Come and Enjoy The Day

Seniors:  80+ will be honored with special gifts. 90+ Super Special Gift
Lucky Draw: Diamond Earrings & many more. Who will be the Lucky Mother?
Every one gets a gift.

Register by 11th May, 2010
Email:  or
Registration is a must. Registration Fee: Seniors $5   –  Non-Seniors $8
Time:  10:30-1:20pm. Lunch will be served at 1:20pm.

Acting and Creative Writing Workshop for Tweens

teen workshopEmpowering Teens comes together at least once a month for fun and interactive workshops (for 8-13 year olds) where kids are in a safe, structured and nurturing environment and they can have some fun.  Each workshop is led by a professional.   We play games, and learn fun things like how to better interact with others, how to focus better and sometimes do some yoga even.

Act It Out, Write It Down: Imagine-Nation Workshop (8-13 yrs)
Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 3:00PM

A secret code flashes onto your iphone screen.
“Yes? ….Ok, I’m on it.”
Then you slip into the nearest empty elevator. You throw on your body suit, cape and mask before the elevator reaches the ground floor.
You dash outside, and fly off into the sky, toward the danger zone….
Are you a fan of Superman, Batman or the Incredibles?
Would you like to create stories with true-to-life good guys and bad guys?
Have you ever imagined what it would be like to play the hero or villain of your own story?
If Yes, then here’s your chance to be in the limelight!
Bring some props and join our workshop, where you’ll get to Act It Out and Create your Own Story!
Our workshop includes:
* an Act It Out warm-up game
* creative writing time
* time to read your stories out loud
* brain-boosting snacks
Please bring:
* a prop (hat, glasses, scarves, cape, etc.)
* a spiral-bound paper notebook/pencils & erasers
* your own bottle of water
* your enthusiasm & creativity
See the full event details, including location, at

Helping a million kids

Akshaya Patra, the organization that provides meals for underprivileged kids,  has reached a triumphant moment by crossing the one million mark and is now feeding over a million children in 17 kitchens in seven states in India.

To commemorate the milestone, come celebrate with luminaries like Narayana  Murthy at a benefit event at the India Community Center in Milpitas.

When: October 25, 6:00 p.m.

Where: India Community Center, 525, Los Coches St., Milpitas

Tickets: $140. Get your tickets here.