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Public Is Invited This Sunday To Performance And Workshops Of Ancient Indian Dance At Groton’s Shirdi Baba Temple

Natyanjali School of Dance, based in Westford and founded by Jeyanthi Ghatraju, will celebrate 25 years of serving the commu- nity through a unique day-long program called Natya Nostalgia. With the support of MA Cultural Council through the local coun- cils of Groton, Westford, Little- ton and Acton-Boxborough, the event is being held at the NESSP Shirdi Baba temple on 99 Shirdi Way, Groton, Sunday, Sept. 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
     Their intention is to include the local community for the celebrations. The school has organized panel discussions and workshops to bring together esteemed teachers from the Boston area with dancers and dancers at heart, interested in a variety of topics. Activities includes panel workshops for ages nine years and above, with an interest in dance. Special sessions for seniors (60 and above) and people with special needs will be a highlight.
     To participate, one needs to register at: https:// docs.google.com/forms/d/ e/1FAIpQLSdtG60l-T4v535iPlw- ZQoraZHk4y3LYGuLJlVjgd7ZR- jYnvZw/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w =1&fbclid=IwAR36JzyI0xRJExW FhyrIiRBAaBoJnBfvusjtdFCUZl- 1RMy1hYn_zapkf64
     Founded in 1995 by Ms. Ghatraju, the school teaches the ancient Indian classical dance form, called Bharatanatyam with a mission to perform for the under- privileged and taking dance to those who can’t reach it (nursing homes and senior centers). It is affiliated to Alagappa Performing Arts Academy, Alagappa University, Karaikudi, India and offers online Certificate, Diploma and Degree programs in Performing Arts. Seventeen students have completed their arangetrams (solo debut), 22 have graduated the certificate program and one student has earned a diploma in performing arts.
     The different forms presented in Sattriya and Kuchipudi are presented through a study of “Dashavatar” or the 10 incarnations of the Almighty in the panel “Forms and Synergies”. “Rhythm in real life” is about understanding music from various parts of the world and putting together creative movements.
     Maintaining a focus on bringing together every member of our community, a workshop for registrants with special needs will be offered. “Storytelling for the elderly” will encourage participants to learn a piece from Indian mythology.
     The workshop on Aharyam (costume/make-up) will offer an understanding of the significance and aesthetics of Aharyam outside of it a necessity or fashion statement. Throughout the day, a costume and jewelry exchange will be offered wherein, gently used/dry cleaned classical dance costumes can be donated/ bought/. Proceeds donated to service activities and deserving students of dance in India.
     At 2 p.m., panel and workshop participants will present pieces based on the topics they explored that morning. Natyanjali students and alumni will conclude the day’s events with a short presentation, “Beyond Borders”. This includes live music provided by a local youth ensemble. By showcasing teachers and students together in this format, Natya Nostalgia is promoting the ideals of its founder, Ms. Ghatraju.
     “Often the idea is that dance is reserved for an elite group of people,” says Ms. Ghatraju. “There is some element of dance, however, that is inherent in all of us. It is meant to reach out to the divinity that is around, irrespective of our physical and mental abilities. Everybody has a little bit of dance in them. It’s about how we cultivate it to reach new heights,” says Ms. Ghatraju.
     
 
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