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Atlanta

Soundarya Natyalaya Celebrates Annual Recital For A Cause


BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE

Soundarya Natyalaya in collaboration with OSAAT (One School At A Time), accompanied with music by ICE (Indian Choir & Ensemble) presented its fifth annual recital titled 'Panchabhootam' this December 19th at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, for the cause of the non profit organization, OSAAT. OSAAT is dedicated to help rebuild infrastructure of underprivileged, rural schools in India, by adopting one school at a time.

The first segment of the recital 'Margam', displayed a repertoire of dances on traditional numbers by the artistic director of Soundarya Natyalaya, Gayatri Subramanian and her students followed by a dance ballet 'Seetha Swayamvaram', an elaboration of Varnam depicting the wedding of Lord Rama and Seetha from Ramayana. The dance pieces included 'Mallari', 'Alarippu', 'Geetam-Sri Gananatha', Geetam- Varaveena', 'Natesha Kautuvam', 'Swarajathi', 'Panchashakthi', 'Sabdam', 'Ananda Nadam Adum', 'Chilangai Katti odi odi vaayo', and 'Varnam'. Music was created and digitally recorded in Mumbai by Gayatri's Guru Smt. Padmini Radhakrishnan accompanied by Shri Anantharaman on Violin & Shri Shankarnarayan on the Mridangam.

Second segment, 'Panchabhootam', depicted the five elements of nature, Air, Water, Fire, Earth and Space in a unique amalgamation of Classical Dance and a live Indian Choir performing to music that cut across various genres ranging from Carnatic, Hindistani to Western backed by multimedia. The performers also presented 'Rage' and 'Tharana/Thillana' along with the five elements. 

The music recording, based on the Raaga concept, blended a of string instruments such as Ensemble Violins, Cellos, Acoustic Violin, Plucked instruments consisting of a variety of Lead and Base Guitars and Mandolin, Wind instruments like the Flute, Trombone, Mouth Organ and Percussion instruments like Tabla, Mridangam and drums was designed to invoke moods of the five elements. Each note in the score have been built of the seven basic swaras 'Sa, Ri, Ga, Ma, Pa, Da, Ni' of Indian classical music. The elaborate dance sequences were choreographed Gayatri Subramanian, while the music Score, recording & compilation are credited to CV Subramanian. "This production is an outcome of one year's effort" says Gayatri and it showed. 

OSAAT is a volunteer-run organization with no administrative costs, and claims to utilize 100% of donations to build safe and healthy learning environment for kids in rural India. The organizations's website www.osaat.org lists five schools in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu that have received help with more projects in the pipeline. According to the website, anyone can recommend a school for renovation. The criteria is that it should benefit poor children; where teachers are involved in providing a better environment for students and community involvement. Some of the proceeds from the event were donated to OSAAT.

Dr. Seshu Sharma, the Chief guest for the event, in her speech, congratulated the Panchabhootam team for putting together an organized, well orchestrated and enjoyable evening for a cause. She also thanked the OSAAT coordinators, Aparna and Shrikanth Bellur and wished them success in their endeavor towards education. Aparna Bellur, Gayatri and Subramanian thanked each other, the sponsors, volunteers, students and parents for their time and commitment and a crowd of approximately 550, for their support. 



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