Captivating dance recital by students of Kalapadma Dance Academy

Chicago, IL: Kalapadma Dance Academy Chicago celebrated their 16th Annual day Event with students and their families, friends and prominent leaders of our community on Saturday, March 16, 2013 in Mundelein High School, 1350 W Hawley St Mundelein, IL. Students of Kalapadma, ranging in ages from 3 to 50 yrs, adorned in colorful costumes, dazzled the audience of about 600 art lovers of Greater Chicago land area. It was 3 hours of pure entertainment that consisted of Indian classical as well as, Semi Classical, and fusion dances which were presented by more than 105 students. Such a grand show was made available to the audience at no cost.

The theme of this year’s show was women for three reasons, Kalapadma wanted to pay homage to the medical student who was brutally raped in Delhi, it also coincided with international women’s day, and Kalapadma wanted to show support for President Obama’s initiative towards the violence against women bill and equal pay.

Keeping women in mind Kalapadma decided to acknowledge all the participants grandmothers as chief guests. Representing these grandmothers was four of the oldest from the north, central, and south India. Mrs. Sumitraben Patel, a grandmother herself, wife of Mr. Narendra Patel, CEO of Medstar Labs was the chief dignitary. Among the other dignitaries present there, Mr. and Mrs. Dixit, Beena Patel, Mr. and Mrs. Omprakash and Usha Kamaria, Mr. And Mrs. Vip and Sudha Shah, Sandria-Jane Dajani, Mr. And Mrs. Ravender and Jayashree Raju and many other community leaders and business leaders. The event marked the sheer celebration of Indian heritage, culture, dance and music. The students, the Artistic Director, Ruth Varghese, the President, Santosh Varghese, and all those who were involved in the presentation of the show deserve esteem.

Kalapadma Dance Academy students dressed in colorful costumes and gorgeous make up presented a beautiful medley of about 15 dances. The program opened with “Pushpanjali and Ganesh Vandana” in rag Andolika, Tal Tishratriputa and rag… Jog and Tal… Adi respectively. The show concluded with “Thillana – Tap”, followed by a patriotic number “Vande Mataram”.

Mr. Santosh Varghese, the President of Kalapadma Chicago, was the Emcee for the evening. Welcoming the gathering, he thanked the invited chief guests, student families, friends, media and prominent leaders of our community. In between the introduction to each dance items, Mr. Varghese narrated stories of great Indian women leaders of history and mythology, to compliment the theme, women.

Some highlights of the show were Omkara Karini, Aygiri Nandini, Saraswati Vandana, Hari Tum Haro, Mai Poojarin, Shyam Aap Baso, Mara Mandir, Thillana- Tap, and Vande Mataram. Most of these dances were based on the characters of mythological goddesses which also complimented the theme.

Ruth Varghese is the artistic director of Kalapadma Dance Academy, Chicago. She is not only a versatile classical dancer but an innovative dance teacher and a choreographer. Ruth had her early training under her father Guru Shri Shankar Hombal. She had her advanced training in Bharatnatyam at the internationally famed academy for classical art, Kalakshetra, Chennai. Ruth Varghese’s deep knowledge of the Indian classical Bharatanatyam and literary aspect of Sanskrit was evident when she delivered a demonstration lecture through the recitation of various slokas and simultaneously she displayed intricate Mudras or physical gestures while her students followed her in unison. It was a great education for the audience who were able to understand how the Indian dance forms were expressed through the movement of fingers, palms, hands, feet, legs, waist, neck, eyes and head. The narration and explanation of each dance sequence by Santosh Varghese, and the choreography by Ruth Varghese were outstanding.

Suresh Bodiwala, chairman of Asian Media USA had an opportunity to talk to Mr. Santosh Varghese, the President of Kalapadma, about his perspective of their 16th Annual day celebration. He replied that, “We need the help and support of the parents to shape up their children in learning the Indian classical dance forms. We lay the foundation for their personality and character. The students must utilize and put to use the knowledge they acquire at Kalapadma Dance Academy. We teach the students various aspects of the dance and music and make them embrace the values of life. We teach them how to enjoy the unity in diversity through dance. We need the help of parents and community leaders in our effort to train these children. This celebration is also meant to show to the parents about what we teach at Kalapadma Dance Academy”.

Audience comments for today’s program was “An observation worth noticing is that Kalapadma dance academy, with its innovative Choreography and experimentation within the framework of classical dance is making the complex art of Bharatnatyam more accessible and interesting”.

Santosh Varghese vote of thanks: Music Composition- Raghunandan Ramakrishna, Video: Mr. Bharat Oza, Photo/Media: Asian Media USA, Music Editing: Anjali Varghese, Sound &Light: Mr. Ed Morgan, Trisha Modi, Hiteshree Patel, Alvin Varghese, Sarun Thundiyil, Back Stage: Ms. Parul Patel, Mrs. Shilpa Patel, Miss Sminu Thundiyil, Ms. Mittal Shah, Ms.Tina Shah, Varsha Parekh, Deeksha Dave, also thanks to Ms. K. Olson, Mr. Jonathan Meier, Mundelein High School, All the students of Kalapadma

The students who performed their “Arangetram” last year are Anjali Patel Foram Patel. They met the challenge of Arangetram with determination, strength and Total confidence.

The performance items were: (15 items)
Pushpanjali, Allaripu, Bhajan [Mai Poojarin],Omkara Karini, Rangpuja, Hari Tum Haro, Aigiri Nandini, Namaskriya, Malayalam Devotional, Saraswati Vandana, Shyam Aap Baso, Thillana – Tap, Gujrati Bhajan ( Mara Mandir), Vande Mataram and Mangalam

Upcoming event- Krishna Leela Dance Drama

About Kalapadma Bharatnatyam Dance Academy
Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma was not the president of India when he inaugurated Kalapadma in 1960. He was Education Minister of Madhya Pradesh at that time. Later in the 90’s he Became President of India. “It was founded by Guru Shri Shankar Hombal and Smt. Vishalakshi Johri, the sister of well known dancer and the founder of internationally acclaimed institution for classical arts, Kalakshetra, where Guru Hombal studied dance. Kalapadma Chicago is run under the Tutilage of Smt. Ruth Varghese, daughter of Shri Hombal.
Santosh or Ruth Varghese, 2498 E Church Street, Des Plaines, IL 60016
Phone: (847) 390 6104 / Email: Santosh Varghese ;