Nataraja Mela: Benefit for Ecology

52be3d686260539fb2388ad75e17766c-2World-class artists, dancers, DJs, yoga teachers, and kirtan singers will come together in August to create the Nataraja Mela: Dance for Life, a seven-hour festival at Golden Bridge Yoga, Los Angeles. The event is being organized in support for Trees for the Future, a people-to-people movement harnessing the power of trees to reduce global warming and improve air quality, and restore the ecology and water resources. The goal is to sponsor 200 villages in some of the poorest and dry regions of the world, with a focus on the areas that lost trees during the tsunami in Tamil Nadu, South India.

In Indian mythology, Nataraja is the dynamic god of dance, whose dance is really the beat of the universe. This multi-dimensional festival of yoga, classical dance, kirtan, puja, yogic art, lectures, workshops, film, and interactive art and ritual, celebrates Nataraja by bringing together a
52be3d686260539fb2388ad75e17766c-3confluence of tradition and contemporary expression. The guests will enter a continuous cycle of rituals at the Golden Bridge Yoga Center in which different rooms will become a live landscape for participants to travel and explore.

The evening will feature well-known Indian dancer and choreographer Ramaa Bharadvaj, artistic director of the Angahara Dance Ensemble. Bharadvaj will teach a Nataraja-themed dance workshop. She will also open the performance section of the evening with bharatanatyam pieces dedicated to Shiva and Shakti. Other artists participating are DJ Cheb I Sabbah, yoga trance dance and prana Yoga workshop with Shiva Rea, kirtan with Wah, Dave Stringer, Miles
52be3d686260539fb2388ad75e17766c-4Shrewsbury, Govindas, Joey Lugassey and Daphne Tse, Kundalini yoga with Gurmukh Khalsa, puja and collective altar by Sreedevi Bringi, and music with Rara Avis of Shaman’s Dream. There will also be a photographic exhibit of India, film showing, and a bazaar. Golden Bridge’s Nite Moon Cafe will serve food and drinks throughout the evening.

—Smita Garg

Saturday, Aug. 5, 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Golden Bridge Yoga, 6322 De Longpre Ave., Los Angeles. $25 advance, $35 door. (323) 936-4172.

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