”˜Sham-a-Naval’ – NrityaNiketan School   celebrates 25th anniversary for a good cause

By Rekha Rajvanshi

Nritya Niketan School of dance presented its 25th anniversary show ”˜Sham-a-Naval’ on 1st July at UNSW Science theatre under the direction of Guru Mrs Neeta Sura.

Neeta Sura got her Bharatnatyam training under the able guidance of Guru Mrs Prerana Desai and Guru Dr. Anjani Arunkumar in India. She started NrityaNiketan in 1992 when she migrated to Australia with the hope of keeping her passion for dance alive, along with imparting this ancient art form to aspiring young girls. Since then numerous students have learnt this art form at NrityaNiketan, 15 of whom have completed their Arangetram under her guidance.

She is a Mechanical Engineer by profession and runs a successful IT business, SoftCorp along with her husband Raj. She sets an example for her students, who are all professionally doing varied jobs as she manages her business, household, two sons and the dance school, to find time for whatever they set their mind on.

The 30 odd dancers who have had their Bharatnatyam training at NrityaNiketan, along with Neeta herself performed dances that told stories of Lord Krishna. The kaleidoscopic dance choreography stood out and the synchronised movements of the dancers was noteworthy. A couple of Bollywood numbers were beautifully interwoven into the story, while the main focus remained on Bharatnatyam, which is a south Indian dance form, but it was performed on Hindustani live music, a very unusual combination, most of which were compositions of Guru Dr Anjani Arunkumar. Music ensemble consisted of Madhuri Risbud on Vocal, Nagaraj Iyer on Violin, Seyoon Raghavan on Mrudangam, Sharad Ranade on Flute & Neeta Sura did the natuvangam. A duet by Neeta Sura doing Bharatnatyam and guest artist Harshala Totade doing Kathak gave the program an unexpected pleasant surprise.

The whole show was professionally executed with to the point including emceeing by students Ashlesha & Azal, coupled with the use of slides to give visual aspect to the explanation. The lights were impeccably given by Sagar Agashe and sound was managed by Sameer Bhole. It was well attended by a spell bound audience, young and old. You know you’ve got a successful show when the audience goes home chanting Hare Krishna and on the next day you have Gen X, young boys, fighting over who will first read the book ”˜The Krishna Key’!

The program raised valuable money for Janaseva Foundation, a charity in India, established in the year 1988. It does work in Maharashtra for rehabilitation of destitute, shelter for orphans, school education for street kids, medical camps for the poor, old age home among many of its deeds.


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