16th November 2014

Margam – an afternoon of Bharatanatyam

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An afternoon of beautiful classical Bharatanatyam dance from four highly-talented performers.

With its origins steeped in divinity, Bharatanatyam is an ancient traditional artform that reflects the culture of India at its best.

Enjoy an afternoon of beautiful Indian classical dance from four highly-talented Bharatanatyam performers: Lakshmi Srinivasan, Artistic Director of Ankura Dance Academy, Raneesha Manoharan who has trained and performed extensively in Malaysia, Magdalen Gorringe who has studied Bharatanatyam since her childhood in South India and Jyoti Lata Parwana who trained under Chitraleka Bolar.

About Lakshmi Srinivasan

Lakhshmi is a Classical Bharatanatyam artiste from Bangalore with a Masters Degree in Performing Arts. She received training under Dr Shubharani Bolar, a Bharatanatyam artiste and guru in Bangalore well-known for her Abhinaya*, choreography, teaching capabilities and stunning stage performances and advanced training under Guru Bhanumati, an expert choreographer and Abhinaya* exponent.

Lakshmi specialises in the Pandanallur style of Bharatanatyam, which was made popular by dance guru Minakshisundaram Pillai (1869—1954) who lived in the village of Pandanallur, in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

She has delivered more than 300 solo and group performances over the years and participated in major dance festivals and religious events throughout India. She currently works as a freelance dance tutor at DanceXchange in Birmingham and also teaches Bharatanatyam both privately and on behalf of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD), one of the world’s leading dance examinations boards.

About Raneesha Manoharan (pictured)

As a child, Raneesha viewed dancing simplyas a hobby. With time it blossomed into a journey through which she grew in creativity and discovered spirituality. Her first formal training was at the age of twelve under the Temple of Fine Arts Malaysia.

During this time, she gained opportunities to perform around Malaysia — from temples to group choreographies and solo performances. Years later, she moved to England to further her studies and graduated with a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Software Engineering.

Just before she began her career, she took a year out to study dance in theory while taking on a project helping dancers in a suburban area improve their understanding of this art form — a project funded by Tourism Malaysia. She then continued training and completed her Arangetram under the tutelage of Guru Kalaimamani Chamundeswari Pani who is based in the North East of England. Apart from Bharatanatyam, she also learned Odissi, Street Dance, Salsa and the Argentinian Tango. What once began as a hobby has now become her lifestyle.

About Magdalen Gorringe

Magdalen has been practising and performing Bharatanatyam since her childhood in the South Indian temple town of Madurai, Tamil Nadu. On returning to the UK, she continued her training under Prakash Yadagudde of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in London, with whom she did her Arangetram, or debut performance in 1999. She then went on to train for three years with Mavin Khoo, and for a further year with Stella Subbiah. In 2003, Magdalen received a Lisa Ullmann Travelling Scholarship to train with the current Kalakshetra director, Leela Samson.

Over the years Magdalen has taken part in a wide range of performance work – from site-specific pieces working with contemporary dance and drama, to classical repertoire.

Her personal highlights include Images in Varnam with Mavin Khoo Dance (2001) at the Clore Theatre, ROH; South with Vayu Naidu Company, which toured the UK in 2003; I- Together, a piece choreographed by Leela Samson (Linbury Studio Theatre, 2003) and the site-specific Escapade organised by Akademi.

She created and performed her own piece, Litany, which she performed in a number of venues including the Purcell Room, RFH (as part of Akademi’s Daredevas 2005) and the Robin Howard Theatre (The Place) as part of Resolution!

Magdalen has a particular interest in extending Bharatanatyam’s intrinsic connection with text and she does this by working with texts by contemporary poets and songwriters.

About Jyoti Lata Parwana

Born in Birmingham, Jyoti began her dance training at the tender age of 6 under the guidance of her ‘Guru Smt Chitraleka Bolar’. In 2000 she was awarded the millennium award from ‘ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing)’ for the most promising young dancer in Bharatnatyam. Jyoti completed her Arangetram in 2007 and has since been involved in numerous dance productions with companies such as ‘Chitraleka Dance Company’, ‘Sampad’, ‘Nritarutya’ and ‘Moby Duck’.

In 2012 Jyoti was awarded the ‘Lisa Ullmann Travelling Scholarship Fund’. Using the scholarship, Jyoti travelled to India to enhance her knowledge of classical dance and further develop her dance repertoire. The following year, Jyoti was selected as a finalist to compete for the Nritya Ratna Award (young dancer of the year in classical dance) by Milapfest.

Although Jyoti is now a qualified dentist she still aspires to continue to develop her dance vocabulary and creativity, enabling her to choreograph new and innovative dance items, which are appealing to both contemporary and traditional audiences.

Arangetram is the debut on-stage performance of a classical art student, after undertaking years of training. it is a public graduation performance for any art form. The word arangetram is from the Tamil Language and means ascending the stage by a dancer on the completion of her training.

Abhinaya is a concept in Indian dance and drama that leads the audience towards a specific sentiment, or rasa.