Natyanjali 2004

An evening of Indian classical dance presented by MIT Natya

Date: Saturday, September 18, 2004
Sunday, September 19, 2004
Time: 7:30 PM
Venue: Little Kresge Auditorium, MIT
Tickets: $5 MIT, $7 Non-MIT
To reserve tickets, please email natya-tix[at]mit[dot]edu

Natyanjali, which literally means "an offering of dance," is our annual program devoted to showcasing the variety and beauty of traditional classical Indian dance. This year's event features dances by MIT students and affiliates in Bharatha Natyam, Kathak, and Manipuri styles.


  1. Todaya Mangalam (Bharatha Natyam) - Radha Kalluri

    TheTodaya Mangalam is an invocatory dance piece which combines descriptive prayer (abhinaya) and pure dance set to drum syllables(nritta). This piece in praise of the God Vishnu and his earthly incarnations begins with a description of Rama in KhandaChapu (5 beat rhythmic cylce). The second stanza set in tala Misra Chapu(7 beat cycle) describes the glory of Lord Venkateshwara. The third and fourth stanzas, each set to Adi tala (8 beat cycle), describe Krishna.

    Ragam : Ragamalika
    Talam : Talamalika
    Choreography: Gayathri Srinivasan

  2. Alarulu Kuriyaga (Bharatha Natyam) - Sumati Ram-Mohan

    "Goddess Lakshmi dances like a sprinkling of fresh blossoms, so graceful and alluring." This is a tribute to the beautiful Goddess Lakshmi, who dances to the delight of her consort, Lord Vishnu.

    Ragam : Shankarabharanam
    Talam : Aadi
    Choreography : Jyothi Raghavan

  3. Gopi Abhi Saar (Manipuri) - Siddhi Shah

    Manipuri originated in the picturesque valleys of north India. Manipuri lays emphasis in involving the entire body in the dance other than the facial expression. This style is multifaceted, ranging from the softest feminine to the obviously vigorous masculine. Dignified grace is to be found in every aspect and the range it offers in technique, rhythmics and tempo makes a Manipuri recital an absorbing and exhilarating experience.

    According to legend, Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati danced in the valleys of Manipuri to the accompaniment of the Ghandharvas to the celestial light of Mani (jewel) from the head of the Atishesha, a serpent and that is how it has come to be called Manipuri.

    This Manipuri dance piece is a Ras, the principal dance item in Manipuri, which depicts bhakti rasa. The innumerable escapes of Lord Krishna are depicted in Ras. In this particular piece you see Radha, Krishna's love and devotee, dancing in hopes to lure her Lord to her.

    Choreography: Jasmin Shah

  4. Abignana Shakuntalam (Bharatha Natyam) - Rasika Kumar

    This piece, taken from Kalidasa's play Abignana Shakuntalam, describes the meeting of the King Dushyant and the maiden Shakuntala. While roaming the forest, the King Dushyant spies Shakuntala and her friends and is intoxicated with her beauty. Upon seeing him, Shakuntala is similarly affected. After their love is made known to each other, they joyfully dance together in pure alternating rhythms of the vigorous man and the graceful woman.

    Ragam: Shanmukhapriya
    Talam: Aadi
    Choreography: Smt. Mythili Kumar


  6. Bo Shambo (Bharatha Natyam) - Kavita Radhakrishnan

    This piece praises Lord Shiva, the God of Dance. He is the one with the river Ganga flowing through his matted locks. He is the compassionate one who is an ocean of mercy. He removes all of our materialistic thoughts. He is the great one who personifies the five elements: fire, water, air, earth, and ether. He is the one who brings happiness and strikes awe in all of his devotees - he who cannot be destroyed. He dances to said syllables and is worshipped by all sages. He rules from the eight corners of the world. He is the lord of the sabha, or earth, as well as the universe.

    Ragam : Revathi
    Talam : Adi
    Choreography: Smt. Vidya Subramaniam

  7. Paga Gunguru (Bharatha Natyam) - Sheila Krishna

    This piece depicts the life of the Rajasthani princess Mirabai, a poet and devotee of Lord Krishna. In this composition, Mirabai dances joyously with her bells (gunguru) for Lord Krishna and confesses that she is an enternal servant (dasi) of Narayana. Mirabai tells the story of her husband Rana, a powerful king who tried to poison her and rid himself of her. Mirabai takes the poison and, seeing the face of her Lord Krishna in it, happily drinks it and continues her praise of her lord. Even as the entire kingdom mocks her and considers her insane, Mirabai insists that Lord Krishna, the giridhar who lifted Mount Govardhana, is her true lord. She pleads with Krishna to save her, and Lord Krishna appears and mercifully blesses her. Mirabai again takes her bells and dances with complete devotion and love for her dear Krishna.

    Ragam : Desh
    Talam :Aadi
    Lyrics : Mirabai
    Music: Jhanavi Jayaprakash
    Choreography: Dr. Malini Krishnamurthi

  8. Devdas: Kaahe Chhed (Kathak) - Prachi Jain

    This dance combines fast footwork and movements with classical Kathak facial expressions and hand gestures. This dance was first featured in the Bollywood movie 'Devdas'.

    Choreography: Pt. Birju Maharaj, Kavita Subramaniam, Maduri Dixit

  9. Krishna Thillana (Bharatha Natyam) - Neera Jain, Priyanka Sundareshan , Charuleka Varadharajan

    The thillana is a traditional conclusion to a Bharatha Natyam program. This thillana is in praise of the Divine Child, Krishna. It tells the story of how Krishna defeated the serpent Kaliya and danced on top of its head to the amazement of onlookers.

    Ragam: Ragamalika
    Director : Rasika Kumar

  10. Mangalam

    The mangalam, the concluding piece in a South Indian dance recital, is performed in a spirit of gratitude for the welfare and prosperity of the world.

    Ragam: Sourashtram, Madhyamavati
    Talam: Adi


  • Prachi Jain
    At age six Prachi Jain started her study of Kathak in Minneapolis, MN and continued under the guidance of her Guru, Rita Mustaphi, at the Nritya Jyoti Dance School. She has participated in master classes with Kathak maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj and his disciple Saswati Sen. Prachi is the recipient of the Eloranta Fellowship and continues her love of Kathak here at MIT where she is co-president of MIT Natya. This is her third year dancing in Natyanjali. Prachi also enjoys exploring other forms of Indian dance such as bhangra, folk and film dancing. She is a senior working toward her B.S. in Chemical Engineering.

  • Neera Jain
    Neera is a junior at MIT majoring in Mechanical Engineering. She studied Bharatha Natyam for 6 years under the instruction of Vijaylakshmi Shetty-Ahuja at the Natraj Dance Academy in Buffalo Grove, IL. She has been performing Bharatha Natyam with MIT Natya since her freshman year and hopes to continue her involvement with the club while at MIT.

  • Radha Kalluri
    Radha would like to thank her friend and mentor Gayathri Srinivasan for her wonderful instruction and unflagging support. Radha was trained in the Mysore style of Bharatha Natyam at the Navarasa Dance Academy (Somerville, MA) under Ms. Aparna Sindhoor. She previously trained under Mrs. Resha Day (Ranchi, India) and Mrs. Jothi Raghavan (Lincoln, MA). Radha is a MIT graduate student in the Speech and Hearing Sciences Program of the Division of Health Sciences and Technology. She is one of the original founders and a past Co-President of Natya.

  • Sheila Krishna
    Sheila Krishna has learned Bharathanatyam for the past 15 years from Dr. Malini Krishnamurthi in Southern California. As a student of the Natyanjali School of Dance, Sheila had her arangetram in October 1998. After coming to MIT, Sheila has given performances with the Natyanjali School of Dance in the Southern California area and has danced with MIT Natya in MIT Cultural Shows and Natyanjali 2002 and 2003.

  • Rasika Kumar
    Rasika Kumar is the daughter of Mythili Kumar and has been her student since 1987. She has performed in all of the Abhinaya Dance Company's productions since 1990 and also performed in touring engagements of the company in India and outside California. She performed her arangetram in 1996 and participated in the mothers and daughters production, Vande Mataram, in 1997. Her most recent lead roles for Abhinaya were in Mayiladum Alagan (1998), The Power of Saturn (1999), and Jagriti (2001). In addition, she has conducted classes for Abhinaya in San Jose since 1996. She has also been performing nattuvangam and narration for Mythili Kumar and Abhinaya since 1996 in the Bay Area as well as in Seattle and Spokane, Washington. In January 2003, she and her mother performed in numerous venues in Chennai, India as part of the annual dance and music season. Currently a senior at MIT, Rasika is studying to be a computer science major and is the President of MIT Natya.

  • Sumati Ram-Mohan
    Sumati Ram-Mohan graduated from MIT in 2003 in Brain and Cognitive Sciences. She received her training in the Vazhavoor style of Bharatha Natyam from Smt. Jothi Raghavan and completed her Arangetram in 1998. Since then, Sumati has participated in the professional productions Visions of Vyasa and Alankaram. Sumati helped to start MIT Natya in 1999, and has been involved in its leadership over the past five years.

  • Siddhi Shah
    Siddhi Shah graduated from MIT in 2002 and is currently working for a HeathCare Consulting/ VC firm in Boston. She began learning Bharta Natyam, Manipuri and various Indian Folk Dances starting at the age of 12 under the guidance of her Guru Jasmin Shah at the Aangikam Dance Academy (Nashua, NH.). Siddhi gave her Arangetram in 1997. Siddhi continues to be active in the Natya Club at MIT, as well as choreographing and performing at various dances competitions in the area.

  • Priyanka Sundareshan
    Priyanka has learnt Bharatha Natyam for 10 years from Smt. Asha Gopal, founder and director of the Arathi School of India-Dance, of Phoenix, Arizona. She performed her arangetram in 1999 in Bangalore, India. She is currently a junior majoring in chemical engineering with an environmental policy minor.

  • Charuleka Varadharajan
    Charu began her Bharatha Natyam training at the age of 4. She was last trained in the Kalakshetra style by Smt. Radhika Shurajit in Madras. Charu is a MIT graduate student in the Information Technology program of the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.


Co-Presidents : Sheila Krishna, Prachi Jain
Masters of Ceremonies : Shashank Sundareshan
Producer : Sheila Krishna, Prachi Jain
Sound : Chandran Seshagiri
Lighting : E33 Productions
Funding : Sheila Krishna, Prachi Jain, Rasika Kumar
Program : Rasika Kumar
Web Page : Charuleka Varadharajan
Ticketing : Sumati Ram-Mohan