On May 16th, Ra-Ve Cultural Foundation conducted its second House Concert of the year to its members. This event is free for RVCF members and showcases details of Indian art forms to educate the patrons and fans. The event was honored by the presence of Nigerian American United Nations Ambassador for Art, Ibiyinka “Ibi” Alao who is currently in the NWA region (special thanks to Karen Wagaman at the Rogers-Lowell Chamber of Commerce and Orson Weems at Al Bell Presents) promoting his work.
Vidushi Megha P. Rao, presented what a Bharatanatyam margam used to look like a few years ago. For those of you wondering what the word "Vidushi" means, it is a title given to artists in India for achieving a certain level of learning and quality in their art form. A bharatanatyam margam is an organized way in which the dancer brings about a certain experience for the audience. Traditional margams started and ended in certain ways. Today, more dancers are experimenting with different orders of dancing to suit different audiences.
One of the first pieces presented in a traditional margam is an alaripu, meaning a collection of flowers. It is the first piece that a student learns where he/she puts together the basic steps or adavus that he/she has learned so far. The recites the steps in the typical syllables of the adavus set to a certain rhythmic pattern. Rao presented a "mayil" alaripu or peacock alaripu. Her ability to imitate the movements of a peacock were greatly commendable and made the audience want to imitate her. After all, what is more graceful and free than a peacock!
The highlight of the event was the Paambaattam or snake dance that Rao danced with an audio of the song sung by herself. All those attending were spellbound by her ability and the sheer variety of movements and expressions that she presented during the whole show. That students of dance were watching and absorbing these nuances sealed the success of the afternoon. Exposure to new ideas and arts is the essence of childhood. As Pablo Picasso very famously said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
Join the fun and enjoy these events with your children. Thank you to all our individual members and donors for their constant support. We couldn't do it without our grant from the Walton Family Foundation and their support of the arts through various programs and initiatives in our region. Thank you!