Atlanta, GA: Harini Indrakrishnan, disciple of Smt. Subathra Sudarshan (a senior disciple of Sri. V.P. Dhananjayan & Smt. Shanta Dhananjayan – Bharathakalanjali, Chennai, India) of Bharathakala Natya Academy of Atlanta, is one of the most inspired new generation Bharatanaatyam dancers in the US. As a second place winner (15-18 age category) of the 2012 Bharatanaatyam competition at Cleveland Thygaraja Festival in Cleveland, OH, Harini earned a wonderful opportunity to perform in Chennai during this past Music and Dance Festival season and enthralled the audience with two solo performances. The first performance was on December 29th 2012 under the auspices of Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana Committee held at Krishna temple, Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai at the Chennai Festival. The other performance was on December 30th 2012 at Hamsadhwani’s 18th Annual NRI Festival at the Youth Hostel, Adyar, Chennai and it was jointly presented by Hamsadhwani & Bharathakalanjali (the Dhananjayans). Both performances were conducted by her Teacher Smt. Subathra Sudarshan accompanied by outstanding group of musicians.
The recitals consisted of complete traditional repertoires (Maargam) with various beautifully choreographed items. The central piece of both the evenings was Nrityopahaaram depicting the well known and much loved Silapathikaaram, the story of Kannagi. This unique piece was specifically composed for Harini. It was conceptualized by Smt. Radhika Shurajit, written by Smt. Revathi Shankaran, music composed by Sri. T.K. Padmanabhan & Sri. Sudev Warrier, brilliantly choreographed and brought to life by Smt. Subathra Sudarshan. Harini should be commended for her spontaneity and vivaciousness of her facial expressions, her graceful poses, her deep aramandi for her perfection, joy of her dance and her captivating stage presence. Her crisp and precise footwork kept the audience spellbound. Remarkably, Harini was able to magnificently portray the story and the range of emotions through her abinaya and not herself. At Krishna temple, in performing “Shyam Tori,” a Surdas Bhajan, Harini amazed the audience by portraying a playful Radha trading places with Krishna. Harini’s versatility was very evident in the Padam, ‘Enna Kavi Paadinalum’ evoking ‘Bhakthi’ of a devotee of Lord Muruga. Harini left the audience in awe at Hamsadhwani’s NRI Festival with this melodious piece superbly choreographed by Smt. Subathra Sudarshan. Harini concluded her performances with the majestic Nrittaangahaaram – “Kalinga Narathanam” and impressed the audience.
Harini’s exposition was brilliant bringing out Subathra’s creativity & unique choreography and both the performances were very well attended and applauded by the critical Chennai audience. Smt. Radhika Shurajit graced the occasion at the Krishna temple and gave her blessings to Harini. Sri. V.V. Sundaram and Sri. Balu gave encouraging words to her and wished her well. Their support to NRI dancers is admirable.
At the performance presented by Hamsadhwani & Bharathakalanjali at the Youth Hostel, Sri.V.P Dhananjayan and Mr. Sundar Ramachandran, secretary of Hamsadhwani were honored with Ponnadai (Gold Shawl) on stage for their guidance, support, encouragement and for hosting the event. Smt. Subathra Sudarshan was honored with the same for her dedication and hard work. Mr. T.K. Rengarajan, Member of Parliament of Rajya Sabha graced the event and congratulated Harini on her excellent performance. He stated that he how impressed he was by her repertoire of Tamil items which made it even more enjoyable and how Tamil items have become rarity in Bharatanaatyma performances. He particularly emphasized on the special piece on Kannagi. Dr S.T. Kasinathan, past president of Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society (SIFAS) praised Harini’s performance on stage and presented her with a memento, a Nataraja Statue on behalf of Hamsadhwani. Mr. Veerapandian from Sun TV honored Harini with Ponnadai and praised her for the commitment to Indian culture & arts. He further pointed out having been a NRI himself, he appreciated the efforts by children and teachers who live outside India in preserving the Indian culture in western countries and lauded Harini for her achievement. Charle, Film Actor from Kollywood who witnessed the event, heaped praise on Harini. He further said that it is very evident from Harini’s performance that her teacher Smt. Subathra Sudarshan has proved her credentials as an excellent teacher apart from having established herself as one of the best choreographers.
The hallmark of the event was the presence of the children and founders of ‘Mahalakshmi Foundation’, a shelter home for abandoned children in Chennai at the event. Harini was involved both as a dancer and also youth council secretary for the fundraiser “Kalpavriksha – The Givng Tree” held by Third Eye Dancers in September 2012.
Both Hamsadhwani & Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradanha committee presented cash awards to Harini for her commitment to the art form. Harini, a junior at the Woodward Academy, upon her return Chennai Music & Dance Festival, won the first place performing a Bharatanaatyam piece at the Women’s Regal Eagle Talent show held at her school. Later, she was invited by Panai Nilam Tamil Sangam of Charleston, SC to give a solo performance during their Pongal Vizha. There she was awarded a title “Nrithiya Tharakai” for her perseverance in learning and portraying Tamil compositions through Bharatanaatyam at a young age. The award was presented by Dr. Dhandapani President, Federations of Tamil Sangams of North America (FeTNA).