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Shakti Dance Company

For the Aratani stage, acclaimed dancer Mythili Prakash choreographs a new work for the Shakti Dance Company featuring Akhila Ananth, Uma Kadekodi, Jahnavi Kalyan, Radhika Bhuckory, Shikha Srinivas and Jessica Sitaramya.

Perhaps the oldest classical dance tradition of India, Bharata Natyam’s foundations trace to the ancient text Natya Shastra and temple sculptures from over 2000 years ago. Performed as an offering to the deities in the temples of South India, it is the apex of drama, music, poetry, color, and rhythm. A dance that reaches beyond for a spiritual connection and the ties to the land.

A dance that continues to be a part of life for Indians across the world. For 30 years now from deep in the San Fernando Valley down to South Bay; Orange County and back up to West LA… Enter any one of Shakti Dance School’s studios and you enter this world: one of footwear piled to one side and dancers deep squats slapping their bare feet to timeless beats, where stylized gesture, facial expression and emotion describe the luster, power and tales of deities. This is the Bharata Natyam dance class led by Guru Viji Prakash and her daughter Mythili Prakash. The modern day tendrils in an LA studio connect back to an ancient lineage and timeless origins in the temples on the other side of the world.

Guru means Master Teacher. Viji Prakash is dancer, choreographer, and guru who has trained with the grand masters of the Thanjavur tradition. In 1973 Prakash began to build a community of dancers, students, musicians and audience. Today, her Shakti Dance Company & School is an important artistic center in LA endeavoring to study and preserve classical Indian dance.

The practice of Bharata Natyam, is an artistic Yoga, for revealing the spiritual through the corporeal.– T Balasaraswati.