Chicago IL: Acharya Performing Arts Academy and Nupura Geetha staged an exciting and original dance drama performance on Sunday, May 15th at the Schaumburg Prairie Center of Arts. The feature performance titled “Rama-Eshwara” depicted the saga of rise and fall of Ravana in dance form. The founder of the academy, Vidushi Asha Acharya Adiga, choreographed and directed the play while also playing the role of the chief character Ravana. She beautifully depicted the complex emotions of the character through skillful display of Bharatnatyam dance which was feast to the eyes of the audience.
The program was kicked off by the music students of the Academy singing Ganesh Vandana song. It was followed by a splendid Kathak performance by Guru Prasanna Kasthuri of Soorya Performing Arts, St. Louis. The audience was then regaled by a unique Yakshagana dance performance by Dr. Rajendra Kedlaya and his team from Yakshahejje School of Yakshagana and Performing Arts, Indianapolis.
The dance drama feature performance began with Lord Shiva narrating the story of his greatest devotee, Ravana. Ravana, who is the son of Sage Vaishrava and the demon princess Kaikeshi was a great scholar, capable ruler and adept in Vedas. But, in his desire to defeat Devas, he fell prey to bad qualities such as lust, greed, pride, and envy and made the world suffer. To save the world, Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi took avathara as Rama and Sita. These events were brought to life through creative choreography performed by the dance students of the academy.
Additional events from Ramayana story were performed culminating in the final war where Rama kills Ravana. The creative choreography was ably supported by the splendid choice of costumes and props such as Pushpaka Vimana. The entire dance drama was accompanied by a live music performance. Madhu Chandrasekaran and Seema Kasturi were the singers supported by Srinivas Magaraja Rao on Mridangam, Neela Amaravadi on Veena, Prashanth Kallur on Flute and Muralidhar Kaje on Chande.
More than 300 strong audience gave a standing ovation at the end of the brilliant performance. Academy’s artistic director Vidushi Asha reaffirmed her commitment to continue to spread the rich culture of India through classical dance and music.
Nupura- Geetha, Inc. is a nonprofit organization for Art & Culture. It was newly established to realize a creative vision of presenting performing arts of India though performances and productions, share and spread the Indian culture.