Geeva Arts Festival
Sunday, June 30th
4:00 to 6:00 pm
4:00 to 4:15 Lifetime Achievement Award to
Guru Smt. Sudha Chandra Sekhar
Symbolizing the peak of purity and performance, Sudha Chandra Sekhar has been classed with the all-time greats of classical Bharata Natyam and Kuchipudi schools. Meticulous in each portrayal and adhering to the purity of style, Sudha has become one of those artists who combine versatility and artistry. As a dedicated dancer and a rare genius, Sudha understands the art, is very much alive in the field and has shifted her activities from India to the U.S. and Canada. Sudha has given more than 7,000 performances throughout India and abroad. She conducts classes for young aspirants, imparts theory classes for more advanced students, professionals and others interested in her art, and has presented more than 110 students in their classical dance performance debuts, known as Arangetram. During summer recesses, Sudha has conducted advanced dance camps and workshops both in U.S. and Canada, where students have intensive training and research opportunities. She has also taught seasonal course sessions and independent study courses through University of Windsor, Wayne State University, Albion College and University of Michigan.Sudha's dance organization, Nritya Sudha's Hindu Temple Rhythms, is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2018.
Sudha's extensive experience dates back to 1943, when she first began her classical dance training in Manipuri and Kathak at the Rupatayan Institute in Bombay, India. She began studying Bharata Natyam in 1945 under the guidance of such greats as Sri Thiruvadamaradur Kuppiah Pillai, Guru A.T. Govindraj Pillai, Srimati Karunambal, Guru T.K. Mahalingam Pillai and Guru K. Kalyanasundaram, the renowned masters of the Sri Rajarajeshwari Bharata Natya Kalamandir. They trained her intensively in the Tanjore style, as passed down from the great Panchapakesha Nattuvanaar, Guru Kuppiah Pillai's own great-grandfather and the author of the Abhinaya Navaneetham, a treatise on Bharata Natyam in the language Tamil.
4:15 to 5:00
Guru Pallavi Degwekar Shaikh
Guru Pallavi Degwekar-Shaikh’s dance journey began when her Guru, Asha Joglekar, accepted the then ten-year-old as a student of Kathak, a North Indian classical dance form. Hailing from a family of tabla players, rhythm was innate. She grew up listening to her father’s tabla. Stories about her late grandfather abound, she was always amidst doyens of Indian classical music. Her intense Kathak training under her Guru as well as the maestro, Pandit Birju Maharaj and coaching she received in rhythm and rhythmic cycles from the tabla maestro Pandit Suresh Talwalkar led to her obtaining a master’s degree (Alankar) in Kathak, several accolades, titles like ‘Singarmani’ and ‘Nrityangana 99’. Her relevant performances at prestigious venues include Lincoln Center NYC, New York Kathak festival, RAW Brooklyn Bazaar NYC, Natya Festival North Carolina, Madison Square, MET museum, March of Dimes, in USA and Sangeet Natak Akademi festival, Sadhana festival by Pt. Birju Maharajji, Raindrop festival, NCPA in India. She has been training students for couple decades and is now the Director of Nrityanjali Arts, a premier Kathak dance school in New Jersey. She is also in-charge of Bharati Vidyapeeth’s New Jersey examination center. Pallavi is currently based in New Jersey, imparting her art and knowledge with full dedication.
5:00 to 6:00 pm Kabali eeshwara
A thematic presentation by the Guru Vandana Arts Academy that takes you to the streets of Mylapore, India. Watch as the annual grand festival of "Panguni Bramhotsava" flood the stage with vibrant a flag hoisting to ancient tales retold through imaginative performances.