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AUDIENCE REVIEW: “Vidhai - "Kaleidoscope" and "Navarasa Nayaki"

“Vidhai - "Kaleidoscope" and "Navarasa Nayaki"


Performance Date:
May 19th

Freeform Review:

On May 19th, 2024, Vidhai, a non-profit initiative, hosted a remarkable dance performance at the Bridgewater Temple Auditorium. This event aimed to foster learning among young dance students through observation, under the belief that significant learning occurs by watching seniors perform. The event was thoughtfully divided into two segments: performances by artists from Jiva Dance Company and students from the Adhyaathma School of Performing Arts.

Segment One: Performances by Jiva Dance Company


The first segment featured performances by "Anugraha Sridhar, Ramya Shankaran, Sonali Skandan, and Shruti Vandhana Sharma".


- Alaripu: The event commenced with "Alaripu," presented by Ramya Shankaran and Shruti Vandhana Sharma. This piece creatively reinterpreted the traditional Alaripu, set to a seven-beat cycle, depicting nature in its full glory. The choreography beautifully illustrated the sun, flowers in lotus ponds, bees, and various animals, creating a vivid portrayal of the natural world.


- Elements: The second piece, "Elements," performed by Anugraha Sridhar, Ramya Shankaran, and Sonali Skandan, explored the five elements—earth, air, water, fire, and space—embodied by Shiva. Through powerful imagery and movement, the dancers depicted the harmony and balance in nature, followed by the disruption caused by human greed leading to climate change. The performance ended on a hopeful note, emphasizing the interconnectedness and shared responsibility for the earth.


- Echoes: The third piece, "Echoes," was a collage of personal stories and reflections on nature, choreographed and dance by each artist. Shruti presented "The Stars of My Youth," Sonali performed "The Lady of the Sea," Anugraha showcased "A Flower’s Plea," Music was beautifully cocreated and composed by Maya Rau-Murthy and Ramya shankaran depicted "The Caged Bird (Piñjarabaddha Pakṣī)." Each story offered a unique and introspective look at human interactions with the natural world.


- Thillana: The segment concluded with a "Thillana," presented by all four artists. This piece reinterpreted a classic rhythmic finale, exploring the concept of evolution from the Big Bang to the present day. The dancers traced the origins of the universe and the development of life on earth, culminating in the rich biodiversity and complexity of the modern world.

​What truly set this performance apart was its profound connection to the human experience. The dancers delved into themes of inherent struggles and vulnerabilities, using the classical art form to explore contemporary issues that resonated deeply with the audience.

The prestigious title of "Natya Abhivriddhi" is awarded to dancers who exhibit extraordinary growth and dedication in the art of classical dance. This recognition is a testament to their relentless pursuit of excellence and their deep commitment to the traditions and innovations of their chosen dance form.


Segment Two: Performances by Adhyaathma School of Performing Arts


In the second segment, the young students from the Adhyaathma School of Performing Arts showcased their talents in a one-hour dance production on Meenakshi. The evening bloomed with a captivating performance by the students of Acharya Smt. Ramya Shankaran, weaving a tale of devotion and resilience through the life story of Goddess Meenakshi.

The young dancers embarked on a beautiful journey, portraying the significant chapters in Meenakshi's life. Uplifting music accompanied their graceful steps, creating a vibrant tapestry of movement and storytelling. It was evident that Ramya Shankaran's excellence in choreography shone through every scene, guiding the students to express the essence of the narrative with clarity and emotion. The students masterfully embodied the nine rasas (emotions) at key moments in the story, allowing the audience to experience the joys, sorrows, and triumphs of Meenakshi's life. The use of props was well-considered, adding visual interest and enriching the storytelling. The costumes and makeup were equally outstanding, adorning the young dancers in a way that enhanced their characters.

While the previous performances were captivating, the talent and engaging choreography of the young dancers held the audience's attention throughout. It was a joy to witness both performances, and thanks to Vidhai, Inc. for curating such an excellent show.



Marichandra Murugan 

Bharatanatyam Artist 

New Jersey. 

Marichandra Murugan, an esteemed Bharatanatyam artist in New Jersey, has been teaching for over 15 years. Her performances are celebrated for their gracefulness and Technique. Combining her expertise as a physical therapist and yoga practitioner, Marichandra enriches her teaching with body conditioning techniques, enhancing her students' overall dance proficiency.








Marichandra Murugan


Photo Credit:
Art in Focus ( Adhyaathma )

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