Vaibhavam – Celebrating Divinity
Though the modern world has now fully embraced yoga, meditation and even Bollywood dancing, far fewer know of Bharatanatyam, a traditional south Indian dance. The dance is as difficult to perform as the word is to pronounce. Yet, through the untiring efforts of one dedicated danseuse and choreographer Ms. Shanti Sreedhar, Manila witnessed yet another spectacular dance recital – Vaibhavam – celebrating divinity at the RCBC Theater in Makati, Metro Manila. “All good dances are an expression of the soul and human emotion, thoughts and experience — Vaibhavam demonstrated the divine connection with our creator and celebrate his generosity, valor and unconditional love. The goal is not just performance, but to portray a closer connection to the gods through dance. We hope to create a tranquil experience for our audience” said Shanti. It was also entertaining, enlightening, and a host of other things, especially to the members of the audience who were watching an Indian classical dance concert performed by the Students of Ms.Sreedhar which showcased the talent of over 35 students from the age of 4 to 40 comprising of both expats and Filipino artists.
VAIBHAVAM was graced by the following Dignitaries :
His Excellency Lalduhthlana Ralte – Indian Ambassador for the Philippines.
MR. Umesh Kumar – Executive Director, India ADB
Mr. Raveendran Nair – Counsellor,Embassy of Malaysia
Ms. Venkatachalam – Vice President Private Sector ADB.
Mr. Seethapathy Chander – Special Senior Adviser ADB
Ms.Bernie Gan – World Champion in Bench-rest Riffle shooting
Ms. Anupam Ahuja – Vice President, Marketing AG&P
Mr. Ramon Acoymo – Associate Professor Voice and Music Theater/ Dance Department
Mr. Marcial Morales, President – AG&P.
About the Guru: Shanti Sreedhar
Shanti Sreedhar is a renowned performer, teacher, and choreographer. She started training in Bharatanatyam when she was 4 years old. Ms. Sreedhar has received numerous awards for her performances, including recognition as a Category A dancer by the National Broadcast (Doordarshan) of India. She is also trained in another classical dance style, Kuchipudi, and is a specialist in Nattuvangam .
Since 1996, Ms. Sreedhar has been teaching and choreographing Indian classical and folk dance in the Philippines. She has been associated with the UP College of Music, working with dance and ethnomusicology majors. Since then shanti has not only established herself as a leading classical dance artist but has concurrently focused attention in training and developing the next generation as a teacher and workshop leader across education and in community contexts. Natya Mandala is the first official institute for Indian classical dance in the Philippines. The institute is the brainchild of Ms. Shanti Sreedhar who is a well-known exponent of Indian classical dance in Manila training Indians, Filipinos and other nationalities for over 17 years.
Among the shows she has directed and choreographed some of them are:
She was the advisor for the Indian part of “Mga Kuwentong asyano” for PETA, for which the group won the 2001, Alab Haraya from the National Commission for Culture and Arts.
Natyanjali (part of the celebration of the 86th anniversary of the UP College of Music);
Shanti Mantras (tribute to Mahatma Gandhi and Jose Rizal for the India Week celebrated at the Cultural Center of the Philippines);
Chants of Peace (a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi for the closing program of the Pankha Exhibition, a joint venture of the National Museum and the Embassy of India.)
Ms. Sreedhar also represented India as artist and workshop facilitator in PETA’s Changing She Images. She headed the first CCP summer workshop on Bharatanatyam called Arpana , a successful joint venture of the Indian Embassy and CCP.
Following the success of Sadhana — A Spiritual Practice, ARPANA “An Offering” to pay tribute to Swami Vivekananda which were staged last year. Her Latest production VAIBHAVAM – CELEBRATING DIVINITY was staged on APRIL 5, 2014 at RCBC.