CHICAGO: Kalapadma Dance Academy Chicago celebrated its 17th Annual day with members and their families, friends and prominent leaders of Indian community on Saturday, February 11 in Niles West High School Auditorium in Skokie, with lot of enthusiasm.
Students of Kalapadma, ages ranging from 3 to 50 years, adorned in colorful costumes, dazzled the audience of about 600 art lovers of Greater Chicago land area. It was three hours of entertainment consisting of the Indian classical as well as folk dances, Gujarati and Hindi bhajans, patriotic songs, Bollywood thumka, tribal and fusion dances presented by more than 105 students.
Dr. Jayashree Raju was the Chief Guest. The students and the Artistic Director, Ruth Varghese, the President, Santosh Varghese, and all those who were involved in the presentation of the show deserve kudos.
The event started at 3:30 pm with a welcome speech by Santosh Varghese followed by an address from Raja Krishnamoorthi. Lamp Lightning ceremony was performed by Dr. Jayashree Raju, Narendra Patel and his wife Usha Kamaria, Santosh Varghese, Sachi Patel, Shivani Thakker, Hiteshshree Patel and Trisha Modi.
Kalapadma Dance Academy students dressed in colorful costumes and gorgeous make up, presented a beautiful medley of about 18 dances. The program opened with “Pushpanjali and Ganeshvandana” in raag Andolika Tal Tishratriputa and raag Jog and Tal Adi respectively. The show concluded with “Om Shanti”, a prayer for peace, followed by patriotic number “Bharat ko ek Salam”.
Santosh Varghese, the President of Kalapadma Chicago, was the Emcee for the evening.
The signature patriotic concluding item of Kalapadma, “Aisa Des Hai Mera” was the highlight of the show.
The dancers dressed in the national flag colors, brought the audience to their feet. About a hundred children ranging from 4 years to 17 years dazzled the audience and kept them glued to their seats for three hours. Ruth Varghese is the artistic director of Kalapadma Dance Academy, Chicago.
Audience comments for today’s program was that “Kalapadma dance academy, with its innovative Choreography and experimentation within the frame work of the rules of classical is making the complex art of Bharatnatyam more accessible and interesting”.
The students who performed their “Arangetram” last year are Sachi Patel, Shivani Thakker, Hiteshshree Patel and Trisha Modi.
Kalapadma was launched in February 1960. It was established with the objective of promoting classical Indian dances and to train children and youth in it. The institution’s founder-President was Vashalakshi Johri, sister of the well known Rukmini Devi Arundale.
Asian Media USA