LEXINGTON, MA–Vision-Aid’s annual dance shows have become a New England tradition of their own – a remarkable event that the entire community looks forward to with anticipation. This year’s show comes to audiences virtually on August 1st, 2021, while still preserving the creative, dazzling flavor which have set these shows apart in a category of their own.
While COVID-19 is still swirling around, posing many challenges in the creation of a dance choreography, the innovative team leading this year’s effort is finding creative ways to make the show as memorable and vibrant as ever.
The event also aspires to raise much-needed funds for the visually impaired in India – a community which has been especially hard hit by the pandemic, at all levels.
Following in the footsteps of 13 sold-out performances, Vision-Aid is delighted to present Guru Madurai R. Muralidaran’s “The Seven Selfless Sovereigns” – another stellar, mega production, bringing to life a vibrant choreography inspiring one and all with timeless tales of generosity!
This dazzling show, will be brought to you virtually, is produced by renowned choreographer Kalaimamani Guru Madurai R. Muralidaran, ably assisted by Artistic Directors Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Sripriya Natarajan Moorthy, Suja Meyyappan, Thenu Rajan, Sheetal Dwaraka, Dhanashree Madiwale-Karmakar, Kalaimangai Anbalgan, Aishwarya Balasubramanian, pulling together over 50 talented dancers from the greater Boston area. The Artistic Directors are also supported by senior dance students like Chitanya Gopu, Priyanka Joshi, Adithi Venkatesan and Ananya Venkatesan.
This is an online show! Enjoy this unique, brilliant, Broadway style show from the comfort and safety of your own home.
For more details of the show, to buy tickets, or to become a sponsor, please visit www.VisionAid.org
The concept and choreography for this production are by Madurai R Muralidaran of Chennai, India, a renowned dance choreographer, composer, and musician, who has won critical acclaim for his creations in Bharatanatyam. He has composed over 120 varnams, produced several dance dramas, composed Pushpanjalis, Alarippus, Jathiswarams, Mallaris, Varnams and Thillanas in all the 35 thalams and Jathiswarams in all 72 Melakartha ragas, unprecedented in the field of Bharatha Natyam. He has over 300 compositions to his credit. He is ably assisted by his talented wife and acclaimed choreographer- Smt. Chithra Muralidharan.
His productions in support of Vision-Aid, Krishna (2009), Justice of the Anklet (2010), Slaying of the Demons (2012), The Dancer’s Pledge (2014), The Iconic Avatar (2016), Charmer, Warrior, Guide (2017), Golden Armor, Golden Heart (2018), Invincible Spear (2019) , still has audiences in Boston talking!
The Artistic Directors
The Artistic Directors for this amazing production are: Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Sripriya Natarajan Moorthy, Suja Meyyappan, Thenu Rajan, Sheetal Dwaraka, Dhanashree Madiwale-Karmakar, Kalaimangai Anbalgan, Aishwarya Balasubramanian.
Jeyanthi Ghatraju is a Bharatanatyam dancer and choreographer with a mission to perform for charity and the Founding Artistic Director of Vision-Aid productions since 2009. She is the Founder of Natyanjali dance school in Westford, MA which celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2019! It is affiliated with the Alagappa Performing Arts Academy, Alagappa University, Karaikudi, India and offers Certificate, Diploma and Degree programs in Performing Arts online. Jeyanthi was awarded the coveted US Presidential Gold Service Award in 2013 and again in 2018 for her community service and is the recipient of Massachusetts Cultural Council grants in 2019 and 2020.
Sujatha Meyyappan is an acclaimed Bharatanatyam Dancer, Choreographer and Artistic Director of Kolam Academy of Dance in Tyngsboro, MA and Andover, MA. She has produced shows like Bharathy Natyam, Shivoham, Kavi Nrithyam, Venil Vizha, Omkaram and Velum Veikuzhalum. She has participated and co-produced fundraisers for many charitable causes including Vision-Aid since 2009. She is an active member of Tyngsboro Cultural Council serving the community.
Sripriya Natarajan Moorthy is a dancer, teacher and choreographer. She has been actively involved in several Vision-Aid productions since 2010, serving as an Artistic Director for the past four years. In 1999, she co-founded MIT Natya, one of the first collegiate Indian classical dance organizations in the nation. She pursues advanced training under Guru Madurai R. Muralidaran and is Founder Director of Abhinaya Natyashala in Framingham, MA.
Thenu Raajan is the creative director, choreographer and instructor of Apsaras Academy of Arts in Bellingham, MA. She has received accolades in India, Singapore and USA for her performances. She frequently performs for various charitable dance fundraisers including Vision-Aid. In 2011, Thenu Raajan received the Excellence award from Lokvani e-magazine for being a dedicated dancer in the New England area.
Sheethal Dwaraka is a performer, teacher, and founder of Sowparnika School Of Dance in Nashua, NH. She had her training in Bharatanatyam and Mohiniyattom and has performed in India and the US in many cultural and charitable programs like Multiple Sclerosis Society, Chinmaya Mission, and Vision-Aid productions like “Nine Pathways to Devotion”,”Slaying of the Demons” &”The Dancer’s Pledge” She is a passionate and inspirational teacher to her students and nurtures and brings out the best in them.
Dhanashree Karmakar is a Bharatanatyam teacher, dancer, choreographer, performing for the past 21 years and a full time Teacher at Norman E day school at Westford, MA. She also founded Nritya Sadhana School of Dance www.dancedhanashree.com, to teach and preserve the heritage of Bharatnatyam. She has performed for several fundraising productions, Diversity & Cultural programs organized by the Office of Mayor of Boston.
Kalaimangai Anbalagan, an accomplished dancer and artistic director of AmudhaSri Dance School, Shrewsbury MA, has featured in major dance festivals in Asia and South Africa. She received the honourable title of “NATYA PRASANNA” by Shriram Shrishti Dance,Canada and has won several awards for “Excellence in dance” by ISW, Worcester & Power Global Award by Shrewsbury Town Cultural Council. She has organized many fundraising dance productions for institutions like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Adyar Cancer, Genesis Foundation, UMass Pancreatic Cancer Research and others.
Aishwarya Balasubramanian is a renowned classical dancer and a much sought after performing artiste, dazzling audiences worldwide. Well known for her precise technique, flawless movements, and beauty of expression, Aishwarya has been honored with several prestigious titles and awards. She excels in choreography, nattuvangam, music, theory of dance and teaching while focusing on the margam. She currently runs her dance school Arpanam in the USA, teaching and nurturing this beautiful art form to many enthusiastic art lovers.
Senior Dancers and Mentors
Chitanya Gopu completed her Master’s degree at Carnegie Mellon University and is working in environmental engineering. She completed her arangetram in 2013 with Sripriya Natarajan Moorthy and is now an assistant teacher at her dance school Abhinaya Natyashala. She has been involved with Vision-Aid productions since 2010, and is excited to be a part of the production as well as mentoring younger dancers and taking an active role in teaching the and organizing the pieces.
Priyanka Joshi, a rising junior at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, is pursuing a degree in biomedical engineering and is working in a research lab. She completed her arangetram in 2019 under Smt. Sripriya Natarajan Moorthy’s tutelage and is now an assistant teacher at the Abhinaya Natyashala. Priyanka has been working in the Vision-Aid dance productions since 2017 and is excited to be involved once again this year to help dancers with their pieces.
Adhithi Venkatesan, a rising freshman at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, has been learning Bharatanatyam from Guru Sujatha Meyyappan. An assistant teacher for the Kolam Academy of Dance, she will be completing her Bharatanatyam Arangetram this summer. She has performed all over the New England Area, as well as in India and completed the 50 jathis challenge last year along with her sister (Ananya), organized by Kalaimamani Guru Madurai R. Muralidharan. She is excited about her 7th Vision-Aid production!
Ananya Venkatesan, a rising senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, completed her Arangetram under the tutelage of Guru Sujatha Meyyappan. An assistant teacher for the Kolam Academy of Dance, Ananya successfully completed a margam in the Kanda Matyam Talam with her sister (Adhithi) at the Dhimahi Festival in Chennai and recently completed the 50 jathis challenge for the Guinness World Records under the guidance of Kalaimamani Guru Madurai R. Muralidharan. She is excited about her 8th Vision-Aid production!
Chetna Ayyagari, a Second Year at The New School University, Parsons School of Design, has been training under the guidance of Guru Sujatha Meyyappan of Kolam Academy of Dance for 15 years. She is enjoying her dance teaching experience to be an important milestone in her apprenticeship. She has participated in many dance competitions and fund-raisers including Vision-Aid in the past.
Roshini Uthayakumar, a rising sophomore at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and has been learning dance for the past 15 years and has been training under the guidance of Guru Sujatha Meyyappan of Kolam Academy of Dance. She has trained other dancers for competitions. She is very excited to participate and teach in her first Vision-Aid production.
The dancers in this show by episode –
Introduction – Arthi Vithiananthan, Dhwanisree Simon, Hasya Karthik, Pavaani Ganeshkumar, Radhika Narain
Episode 1 – Chitanya Gopu, Priyanka Joshi, Ananya Kumar, Bhargavi Rao, Lara Scaria, Rasika Scarff, Vaidehi Moorthy
Episode 2 – Abie Uthayakumar, Chetna Ayyagiri, Meghna Kanthan, Oviya Iniyan, Roshini Uthayakumar, Sunthriwii Venkat, Ananya Venkatesan, Adithi Venkatesan
Episode 3 and 4 – Aarya Atale, Abhilasha Banka, Amal Balachundhur, Andrea Mariadoss, Eepsitha Muppasani, Janya Utkarsh, Prisha Mishra, Rushika Susarla, Sarayu Gadam, Saiesha Bollapragada, Sonia Lakshmanan, Viritha Reddy
Episode 5 – Ashmitha Boopathy, Praksitha Rajasekaran, Siddhi Talekar, Anvita Kalpande, Nishi Manikandan, Nidhi Ramesh, Sumedha Konduri, Anushka Diddee
Episode 6 and 7 – Hannah Jacob, Hannah Thomas, Hrishikesh Dwaraka, Liya Liju, Mathew Alex, Madhav Girish, Meenakshi Dwaraka, Narayan Sajeev, Richa Rajesh, Shreeya Menon, Swetha Prabhala
Vision-Aid warmly invites sponsors and advertisers
- Enablethe visually impaired to gain independence. Meet Ankit, who just landed his dream job at Goldman Sachs!
- Educate the visually impaired to learn advanced skills. Meet our recent Digital Accessibility Testing graduates
- Empower the visually impaired to communicate better with skills in spoken English.
- Support COVID relief programs for the Visually Impaired
- Provide an assistive device for the visually impaired. See how a portable digital magnifier can help persons with low vision read easily
- Create a new center! Every donation helps, and no gift is too small, but if you REALLY want to think BIG and create a lasting impact – Help to create a new Vision-Aid center. See our recent new centers in Chennai, Delhi , Hyderabad, Madurai and Pune
For more details of the show on Aug 1st, to buy tickets, or to become a sponsor, please visit www.VisionAid.org/event