Dancing to the tunes of Agananooru!

By Suchitra Srinivas 

In a rare feat, fifteen students from Indiana University stunned the FeTNA audience by performing Indian classical dance on the great Tamil poetic work of Agananooru from Sangam literature. These students of non-Indian origin worked hard for two semesters to perform the eight-minute dance in classical Bharatanatyam style, said their proud dance teacher Dr. Prathiba Natesan Batley, who runs  Eyakkam Dance Company, a non-profit based in Louisville Kentucky. Prathiba is also a faculty at the university teaching statistics.

Learning from the basics of aramandi, the dedication and eagerness of the girls to perform the Indian art were evident on the stage. The troop performed ‘Kavin Kaattil’, a dance set on Agananooru 82 by poet Kabilar. The scene depicted the dark night forest with animals making their night rounds. The rhythm, the dance movements, the expressions, and the speed all kept the audience on the edge of their seats. 

Dr. Prathiba performed a solo alarippu to a collection of poems from Ainkurunuru and Malaipadukadam from Sangam literature. The poem Agananooru has a deep historical and cultural importance for the Tamil civilization and being performed on the FeTNA stage was apt and was received well.  Eyakkam is known to have collaborated earlier with other organizations to raise over $2 Million for charitable causes globally. Watching this dance troop enjoy delicious Indian lunch on the sidelines of the event and having chit-chat was a treat!

The performance

Image courtesy of ( Images provided)

Share this post