Academic journal article International Journal of Humanities and Peace

Bharat Natyam at the Olympics

Academic journal article International Journal of Humanities and Peace

Bharat Natyam at the Olympics

Article excerpt

The opening ceremonies at the Olympics are always a highly anticipated event with elaborate sets, costumes, and some of the most original choreography on ice. This year, audiences at the Winter Games in Salt Lake City also got to see some of the nation's most celebrated Bharat Natyam choreography as the Natya Dance Theatre of Chicago took to the state Feb. 9 and 10, dazzling the Olympic enthusiasts.

The team of nine dancers performed a program that has previously won them an Emmy award. "Shakti Chakra" combines classical Bhaat Natyam movements with contemporary themes. The piece uses five abstract themes that show how the universe and life were born and the cycles that they go through. The second day's performance, entitled "In Myth and Dance,: was set in a pavilion and proved to be much more "interactive," said Rajagopalan, as the audience was able to interact with the dancers on a much closer level by conversing with them and asking questions afterwards.

"Audiences from all over the world came to see those performances and the dancers were very excited about that," Hema Rajagopalan, artistic director of Natya Dance Theatre said.

Billed as an evening-length performance of 90 minutes, audience members who came for the show ended up staying until the very end.

"They (the committee) wanted to feature an ethnic kind of a performance," Rajagoplan explained.

The Natya Dance Theatre has gained much critical acclaim the years and has even managed to become the only recommended Indian dance troupe on the roster at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D. …

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