Light of Bharatam

NASDA Studio at CPIT, Christchurch

04/10/2014 - 05/10/2014

The Body Festival 2014

Production Details

Light of Bharatam

‘Light of Bharatam’ is the latest performance by Anuradha Ambalavanar and Bharatanatyam Group of Christchurch. The performance will showcase a display of classical Indian dance style Bharatanatyam which depicts a range of traditional Indian stories related to the deities of Hindu culture. This extra-ordinary dance form demands grace and precision and this performance is our continued commitment to broaden the understanding and appreciation of this dance form.

The theme of light of Bharatam is the removal of darkness in the soul by the light of the dance Bharatham. Light of Bharatam is embodiment of music in visual form. This involves fast rhythmic movements of the body, facial expressions and vigorous footwork supported by colourful costumes and glittering jewels that will captivate the audience.


Company            Anuradha Ambalavanar & Bharatanatyam Group of Christchurch

Venue                   NASDA studio at CPIT, E Block, Madras St

Date/Time         Sat 4th October at 6.00pm & Sun 5th October at 4.00pm

Duration             90 minutes

Tickets                                 $16 per person, $13 per person for group of 6+ from Dash Tickets or ph 0800 327 484, booking fees apply.

90 mins

Tales of Hindu deities elegantly conveyed

Review by Emily Napolitano 05th Oct 2014

Traditional Indian Bharatanatyam dance is a visual vehicle for telling stories of the Hindu deities. Each complex motion of the hands, each supple movement of the head and eyes, every stamp of a belled foot, depicts words in the tale.  In Light of Bharatam, ten stories are performed, each one first explained with the aid of a dancer who gracefully enacts a translation of key words and concepts. This is immensely helpful and important as it adds a distinctly meaningful layer to our experience. It lets the audience in on the magical and mysterious language of Bharatanatyam dance.

The theme for the evening is the elimination of darkness in the soul through the light of the dance. The stage is set with many coloured lotus flowers resting on lily pads and a shrine to Shiva complete with burning oil lamps. The dancers all wear ankle bells and beautiful costumes shimmering with colour. Their graceful hands and feet are painted with henna, and flowers and crystals adorn their hair.

The first piece is appropriately devoted to Lord Ganesha, elephant-headed remover of obstacles. This dance is performed by a group of elegant young girls, sparkling with jewels. Highly impressive is their mature composure and refined technique for the duration of a long and intricate dance.

In the following pieces, various lords, including Krishna and Shiva along with the Goddess Meenaatchi, are all asked for their blessings. Vigorous footwork is combined with poised balances and sculptural shapes to enact the depictions of each god or goddess. The dancers are elegant, flowing from one graceful and subtle hand pattern to another while fluidly stamping to the beat of the drums.

The evening is presented in a balanced mix of solos and group dances. Anuradha Ambalavanar performs the solos; her dedication and that of her dancers is obvious in their polished performance. It is also wonderful to see quite young girls have a chance to perform, and dance with such serenity and control. The audience is warm and supportive, full of proud family members.

Light of Bharatam is a beautiful presentation of Indian culture and history. I certainly leave feeling lighter in spirit, and will be following the Bharatanatyam Group of Christchurch to see what they will be offering us next. 


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