Tiruvarur is an ancient kshetra on the banks of the Cauvery river renowned for its saints, traditions and musicians. Saint Thyagaraja was born here into a Telugu Vaidika family in the year 1767. During a span of eighty years he composed and sang hundreds of lyrics in praise of his beloved deity Lord Rama. Thyagaraja along with his great contemporaries Shyama Shastri, and Muthuswami Dikshitar, has enriched classical Camatic music. His spiritual attainments can be equaled only by his musical excellence.
The name THYAGA-RAJA means the'Prince of Renunciation'. The music of this greater composer is dedicated to the attainment of peace and happiness through sacrifice and renunciation. It is Bhakti Yoga at its highest.
The dance drama Thyagaraja Vaibhavam attempts to portray the essence of this musical achievement through the compositions of Thyagaraja himself. It also highlights some of the main events in the composers life which shaped his music attainments. After describing the loving care he bestows on his precious Rama idol, the story goes on to portray his eternal search for the real Rama. Thyagaraja spurned offers of wealth, power and position in his single-minded devotion to God. When his brother who tried to exploit his genius threw away the Rama idols into the Cauvery, the result was more music expressing the poet's anguish. When he miraculously recovered the idols there was music of rapturous mood. Through these episodes in Thyagaraja's life, the ballet brings out his best compositions. Thyagaraja Vaibhavam is a fitting tribute to a true musical genius.
Bharatanatyam is one of the oldest classical dance forms of India and dates almost 2500 years ago. It follows the patterns of movement as prescribed by the Natya Shastra, a great treatise on drama written around the first century A.D. This is a very popular dance form in South India and is considered a dance of mind & soul. It is extremely traditional and known for its grace, purity, tenderness, staturesque & sculpturesque poses. It uplifts the dancer and the beholder to a higher level of spiritual consciousness. The dancer is considered as a worshiper, worshiper of the Divine and an embodiment of beauty, charm and gracefulness. The general interpretation for the name is BHAva(expression) + RAga (music) + TAla(rhythm) + NATYAM(dance)
V.P. and Shanta Dhananjayan, founders of Bharata Kalanjali, premier dance academy in Chennai, India, are perhaps the most acclaimed dance couple in India and abroad. They have choreographed over twenty ballets and have performed extensively in India and abroad. They have collaborated with world renowned sitarist, Pandit Ravi Shankar, with New York dancer Jacques D'Amboise in choreographing a multi cultural ballet. They have been invited to perform at the India Festival in the U.S.S.R. and for the unique cross-cultural production of Jungle Book with the Ohio Ballet. The Dhananjayans are the recipients of the National Award from the President of India and the Scroll of Honor from the Vice President of India.
Tour Coordinator: Natya Varna : Dance Expressions Inc. is dedicated to preserving ancient art traditions and promoting collaborative efforts among the various arts ( traditional and contemporary ) through the idiom of dance and music. Founder member, Preeti Vasudevan, also the joint director of Bharata Kalanjali, is very happy to collaborate with Meena Telikacherla of Nrityanjali Inc. in making this tour a success.
For Concert Information, Check this page and the
Usenet group rec.music.indian.classical
Webring site is owned by SRUTI, The India
Music and Dance Society.