Kala Vandana continues its 20th anniversary festivities with “Celebrations.” In May, the dance company began its marking its 20th with the sold-out program, “Reflections,” a production that staged over 100 dancers and re-enacted scenes from the school’s past theatrical productions.
“Celebrations” will give a glimpse into the festivals and celebrations from all regions of India, through bharatanatyam and traditional folk dances. It features artistic director Sundara Swaminathan and graduates of Kala Vandana, accompanied by musicians from Chennai, India. The audience will be transported to India’s far east with a tribal Naga dance and to the far south of India to Kerala and Tamil Nadu with classical and folk dances. Melodious music for classical dance will echo from the north in Hindi, from the east in Bengali, and from the south in Tamil and Malayalam.
Swaminathan founded the school in 1989, with three students in her living room and furniture pushed to the corners. Now Kala Vandana is a premier dance institute and performing arts company that conducts classes and rehearsals in its own professional studio and has produced over 40 graduates (arangetrams).
Swaminathan holds a post-graduate degree in bharatanatyam from the Kalakshetra College of Fine Arts, Chennai, India, under the tutelage of Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale. Swaminathan is a well-known dancer and choreographer in United States, as well as India, who has choreographed and produced several theatrical dance productions.
The school has performed in the Center for the Arts festival, the United Nations 50th Anniversary Celebrations, Smith Center’s season of the Arts, Festival of India, City of Cupertino, City of Hercules, and many other occasions. Kala Vandana performers were the center of attraction in the San Francisco Asian Art Museum’s fundraiser “Encounter Asia” in January 2002, and has been a featured company to perform in the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival for seven years.