Maha Sivarathri celebrations at Balaji Temple
CHICAGO: Sri Venkateswara Swami (Balaji) Temple in Aurora, IL, organized spectacular cultural celebrations ‘Shivoham’ on Saturday, February 18 at the temple auditorium to celebrate the Hindu festival Mahashivratri.
The “Shivoham” unique classsical and contemporary dances by professional teachers of Chicagoland, in the Indian classical dance forms of Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Mohiniyattam and Kathak, were presented in the Veluchamy auditorium.
The event began with the beautiful chanting of Siva puja by students of Dr. Hemalatha Burra, a Sanskrit scholar and a retired professor from Sri Sathya Sai University. This was followed by the devotional bhajans of Lord Shiva rendered by Chicagoland Bhajan group. Chanting the name of the lord the audience experienced divine vibrations with the bhajan singing coordinated by Sri Gopi Jagarlamudi.
Highlighting the evening was a unique presentation on Lord Shiva in Mohiniyattam dance style from the beautiful state of Kerala. Siva Sthuthi was presented by Smt. Sandhya Radhakrishnan, artistic director of Bharatanjali School of dance.
‘Ardhanareeshwara” in the ‘Odissi’ dance style was presented by Smt. Ipsitha Satpathy, Director, Utkala Centre for Dance.
Vibrant Kuchipudi performances ‘Natesa Kauthvam’ followed by ‘Enneramum’ by Dr.Sangita Rangala, a professional Kuchipudi dancer enthralled the audience.
Presenting the grandeur and beauty of the north Indian dance style Kathak – “Shiv Aradhana and Triwat” hailed the blissful and wondrous Lord Shiva. The presentation was beautifully rendered by Smt. Gauri Jog, Director of Indian Dance School, and Isha Jog. Yet another unique and dramatic presentation of BharataNatyam’s traditional repertoire in praise of Lord Shiva is ‘Amma Anandadayini Varnam’ performed by Bhavya Kumaran and choreographed by Smt. Sowmya Kumaran, Director, Nrithyasangeeth School of dance.
Contemporary presentation in Bharatanatyam dance style ‘Om Shivoham’ by students of Jinoo Varghese created great excitement in the audience. The high energy was evident for this item and it was a solid entertainer. Anjal Chande, Director of Soham Dance space offered ‘Prostrations to Lord Shiva’ in contemporary Bharatanatyam dance style.
Bringing out the fervor of Mahasivaratri, Smt. Sushmita Arunkumar and students of Nrithyanajali presented ‘Sankara – An Ode to the Dancing Lord’. This presentation was executed with grace and poise and was received very well by the audience.
Combining elements of Tandava and Lasya along with talent and synergy, ‘Natanaanadam – The Dance of bliss, with original choreography by Smt. Janaki Anandavalli Nair and presented by the guru and her students, in Kuchipudi dance style, was one of a kind and made a lasting impression among the audience.
Stage props with original creations by Ravi Tokala added a beautiful touch to the stage decor. The efforts of the Balaji Temple Cultural committee were appreciated in the vote of thanks delivered by the cultural committee chair, Smt.Usha Pariti.
Asian Media USA