A Mythological Experience Troupe Bridges Culture, Religion through Dance

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Byline: Jean Murphy Daily Herald Correspondent

Take a quick trip to India without paying the fare when Natya Dance Theatre of Chicago brings its Yuga Sethu - or bridge across time - program of Bharata Natyam-style dance to the Oakton Community College theater.

Scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, the 80-minute show will feature five female dancers, led by Krithika Rajagopalan, associate artistic director and principal dancer of the troupe.

"Yuga Sethu is a program which tells stories of Hindu mythology and the ancient past through dance," Rajagopalan said.

But in the interest of bridging the gaps between cultures and religions, the troupe will also perform dances that tell stories from other religions including Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism.

"Natya Dance Theatre seeks to promote positive values in the community at large by working toward the development of a society that is tolerant, open and understanding of differences," she said.

"This is such a great medium through which to tell any story and to bring forward different ideas and concepts," Rajagopalan said. "And this is a show where we do lots of explanations so that the audience can better understand the art form and get closer to it."

Rajagopalan will do several solos and will handle most of the commentary and explanations herself.

Bharata Natyam is a classical dance form that originated in the temples and palaces of Tamil Nadu, a state in southern India. …