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Divine Brothers eulogised Bharata Natyam style

Venkat Raman – 
venkat@indiannewslink.co.nz

Lord Ganesha and Lord Murugan (also known as Kartik) would come in for immense praise as a Bharata Natyam concert gets under way in Wellington next month.

‘Natraj School of Dance,’ based in Lower Hutt is presenting the programme called, ‘Skanda Ganapathi’ on Saturday, July 2, 2016 at 530 pm at Sacred College Performing Arts Centre, located at 65 Laings Road, Lower Hutt, Wellington.

The 650-seats Notre Dame des Missions Performing Arts Centre occupies a place of pride in the Centre of the College Campus.

Funding Charities

More than 50 students of Natraj School of Dance are participating in the forthcoming production, all of them young danseuses. Some of them are as young as five years.

Creative NZ is supporting the Programme, the proceeds of which will be donated to charities, with some of the previous beneficiaries being ‘Wellington Free Ambulance’ and ‘Red Cross New Zealand.’

Prabha Ravi, a renowned Bharata Natyam dancer from Tamil Nadu, established Natraj School of Dance 18 years ago to encourage youngsters to continue the 4000-years-old tradition and bring the grandeur of Indian fine arts to the Capital.

Divine Brothers eulogised- Natraj School students 2 Web

Since then, more than 500 young men and women have been trained and to Ms Ravi’s gratification, a large number of them can be seen performing at local, regional and national events.

Natraj School of Dance, as seen by this reporter more than ten years ago, brings together ambience and devotion, creating the appropriate environment for teaching and learning Bharata Natyam.

Source of inspiration

Divine Brothers eulogised-Radhika Ravi WebAs reported in our November 1, 2007 (Diwali Special) issue, Prabhavathi (better known as Prabha) Ravi, has singularly fostered Natraj School of Dance, its structure, form, course content and quality of teaching and learning.

“Specialising in the Pandanallur and Kanchipuram Ellappa styles, she has been a source of inspiration to her students, many of whom would nourish the ambition of graduating in the art. Her penchant for dancing sprung from her innate passion for the arts and took her (at the age of three) to Kalaimamani Krishnakumari Narendran, a renowned Bharata Natyam teacher who runs Abhinaya Natyalaya’ in Chennai.

Ms Ravi is credited with more than 100 solo Bharata Natyam performances in various academies and associations in Tamil Nadu and at community and dance festivals held in Canada, Sri Lanka and the US.

Discovering roots

“Indian classical dance is not just moving the body to a rhythm. It is discovery of one’s roots, philosophy, mythology, language, culture and many other facets of life. Every child develops his or her personality and mind by learning this dance form,” she said.

According to ‘Shiva Puranam’ and ‘Tolkappiyum,’ Lord Ganesha was extremely fond of His younger brother Lord Murugan, although there was a spirit of competition among them. Lord Ganesha, who is also known as ‘Pillayarappa,’ is older of the two in South India, whereas the converse is true in North India.

Lord Ganesha is worshipped by all Hindus and His Birthday (in August) is marked by 10 to 14 days of nightly prayers and gatherings in homes and public places. ‘Ganesh Chaturthi’ has special significance to Maharashtrians.

Lord of War

Divine Brothers eulogised- Natraj School students 1 WebLord Murugan or Skanda was the pre-eminent God in the Maurya and Gupta Dynasties. There were Gupta kings in the name of Skanda Gupta and Kumara Gupta.

In the Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 10, Verse 24), Lord Krishna, while explaining His omnipresence, names the most perfect being, mortal or divine, in each of several categories. While doing so, he says: “Among Generals, I am Skanda, the Lord of War.”

 

What: Skanda Ganapathi

Who:  Natraj School of Dance

Where:  Notre Dame des Missions Performing Arts Centre

   Sacred College, 65 Laings Road

                 Lower Hutt, Wellington

Contact: Prabha Ravi on 021-817252

Email: natrajschoolofdance@gmail.com

Photo:

  1. Radhika Ravi, a student and teacher at Natraj School of Dance
  2. Some of the students of Natraj School of Dance
  3. Natraj School of Dance teaches children and young adults

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