Ranga Shankaraa 2013

Testimonial by an art lover

Like most parents intent on exposing their children to the classical art forms, Mangala Anand’s parents enrolled her in Bharatanatyam dance lessons at a tender age of 8. Mangala’s teachers knew that their student was no ordinary girl. Not only would she surpass their expectations for rigorous practice, obsessive pursuit of precision and elegant, flawless performances, she would take what she got from them and make it bigger and better. She would bring the dance to a distant land and enchant audiences from diverse cultural backgrounds. And she would train many more children to do what she does so well – epitomize the ancient art form of in all its pristine glory and undiluted traditional excellence.

 Like any other classical art, the pursuit of Bharatanatyam and Carnatic music demand intense practice and unwavering discipline. They portray the vibrant historic and cultural heritage of ancient India, and appeal more profoundly to the scholastic few who understand these art forms well and are in tune with them. And so, to pull together an event that leaves a multi-cultural audience mesmerized for more than 3 hours takes ingenious talent.

 If you attended the Ranga Shankaraa performance on April 6, 2013 at the Zionsville Center for Performing Arts, you know what I am talking about. Mangala Anand and her team treated the audience to an exquisite performance of song and dance. The program started with the traditional invocation to Lord Ganesha, and a few other compositions, gracefully rendered by Gautam Sacheendran. This was followed by Brahmanandam, a dance performance by Mangala and her students at Nritya Bharati. This program depicted the ultimate joy of seeing the Lord, through graceful movements and postures, carefully coordinated to exquisite perfection.

 The grand finale was a performance called Krishna, led by Shijit Nambiar and his team. This piece took the audience on the journey of their dreams, through the story of Krishna, narrated through festive colors, joyous expressions and a masterful choreography of rhythm and fluid movements.

 Overall, the program was very well executed and left the audience looking forward to many more events in the years to come.