Maha Sivarathri Cultural Celebrations at Sri Balaji Temple

Aurora, IL: On the auspicious occasion of Maha Sivarathri 2013, Sri Venkateswara Swami (Balaji) Temple in Aurora, IL, organized spectacular cultural celebrations ‘Shivoham’ on Saturday, March 9th, 2013, at the temple auditorium. Maha Sivarathri is a very important event for the throngs of devotees of Lord Siva. Hindus pray to Parameswara with impeccable devotion and concentration during this special period with fasting, and staying awake all night chanting His prayers on Sivarathri Day.

“Shivoham” unique classical and contemporary dance performances by professional teachers of Chicago land, in the Indian classical dance forms of Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi and Odissi have been presented in the Veluchamy auditorium.
The event began with the melodious chanting of Lingashtakam by students of Smt. Sunitha Vissapragada, Artistic Director of Balanandam Group. This was followed by Lalita Sangeetam composed by Late Sri Palagummi Viswanathan and performed by the students of Rajaveena School of Music under the able guidance of Smt. Rajeswari Pariti.

Highlighting the evening was a unique presentation, Ambalavaanan – depicting Bhakta Kannappa’s love & devotion towards Lord Shiva, an electrifying performance by Joshua George student of Poonam Mahesh, artistic Director or Nrityanant Performing arts institute. Poonam & Joshua presented yet another scintillating performance of “Ardhanareeshwaram”.

Natya Dance Theater’s students captivated the audience by presentinga spell bound performance on Ardhanareeshwaram in Hamsanandi composed by Smt. Lalitha & choreographed by Smt. Hema Rajagopalan.

Mahadev & Sri Shiva panchakshara Stotram, a five verse hymn composed by Bhagavan Sri Adi Shankaracharya in praise of Lord Shiva was performed in ‘Odissi’ dance style by Smt.Ipsitha Satpathy, Director, Utkala Centre for Dance & her students.

Himagiri Tanaye, Bo Shambho & Srungara Lahari, Kuchipudi dances, performed by students of Shobha Tammana, artistic Director of Kuchipudi Natya Vihar.

Bringing out the fervor of Mahasivaratri, Smt. Sushmita Arunkumar and students of Nrithyanajali presented “Natesha Kauthwam & Allarippu”, “Aadi Kondar”, “Ananda Natamidum”.

Kuchipudi – Thillana on Lord Shiva in Hindolam, a vintage composition of Dandayudhapani Pillai presented by the guru of Ananda Dance Theater, Smt. Janaki Anandavalli Nair, and her students in Kuchipudi dance style, was one of a kind and made a lasting impression among the audience.

Shankara Srigiri, a Keerthanai, composed by Swati Thirunal & choreographed by Smt. Vanita Veeravalli, Artistic Director of Bharatam Academy of Dance arts was very well received by the audience.

The grand finale & dramatic presentation of Ardhanareeshwaram in Ragamalika performed by Bhavya Kumaran and Smt. Sowmya Kumaran, Director, Nrithya sangeeth school of dance.