Tanushree Shankar performs “Inspiring India” at Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago

The Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago (HTGC), in cooperation with Consulate General of India, Chicago organized a spectacular cultural dance event “Inspiring India” by Tanushree Shankar on March 12th 2011 evening at 6:30pm at temple auditorium. With a brief prayer and condolences for recent Japan Earth quake and tsunami victims, Sri Amrish Mahajan Chairman, Public relations, HTGC welcomed Tanushree Shankar and troupe to a loud applause by the audience.

Sri Uday Shankar’s work in blending traditional Indian classical dance with modern Western theatrical techniques was revolutionary in mid-20th century India.

The same tireless effort has continued with Smt. Tanushree Shankar’s company, which follows the innovative style of dance that Uday Shankar established but also adds its own distinctive flair. The style is not based on any one particular style of dance. Rather, it draws from a myriad of Indian classical dance forms, ballet, and traditional folk dances.

The program began with an invocatory item “Durga Vandana” in praise of Goddess Durga, followed by “Vrukshya Vihar”(depicting the naturalistic beauty of the forests), “Maitri”(the celebration of womanhood), and “Pratiksha” (the longing for oneness). The show concluded with the feature presentation “Chirantan”, where the dancers portrayed “Hope and inspiration”.

“Chirantan” was an appropriate piece of art début at a time when world today is going thru tremendous turmoil–war, fear, hatred along with earthquake and tsunami. In our moments of deep despair and hopelessness, welook up to the sky, the abode of all deities, for inspiration, direction and a new awakening. The heaven is a symbol of love, peace and harmony. The sky encompasses Mother Earth sheltering and protecting her from the harsher elements beyond. It symbolizes eternal peace and love which percolates down to us in myriad forms and manner-Natures love for mankind. Love is universal. Gurudev has immortalized love thru his poems and songs and various writings. Chirantan, the evenings main feature were excerpts from Gurudev’s vast repertoire of works to reinforce man’s belief in his own self, in truth, love, peace and spirituality. With narration by Sri Amitabh Bachchan, and Tanushree Shankar’s Choreography the group presented “Chirantan” for the emergence of a peaceful dawn of an era where love triumphs over the hatred and world embody a haven of hope, goodness and tranquility.

The performance was a model of grace and fluidity. All of the movements were crisp, yet smooth and agile. The hand gestures, or mudras, were clean and precise. The movements of all the dancers were well-coordinated. The dancers’ expressions were particularly striking, due to their extraordinary animation and liveliness. The vibrant music complemented Mrs. Shankar’s mesmerizing choreography beautifully.

The program emceed by Smt. Rupamati Acharya and Dr. Rohini Udupa concluded with Sri Amrish Mahajan thanking, Tanushree Shankar and group for the wonderful performance and appreciating Consulate General of India, Chicago, coordinating artists visit. The next coordinated event “Dusshasana Vadham” a Kathakali dance performance is set for March 27, 2011. Evening came to an end with Sri Mahajan requesting audience and devotees’ generous donation support to bring such great art and artists.

Photographs and Press release by: HTGC

Suresh Bodiwala
Asian Media USA
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