PAMPA Dance Academy presents “NAVYA: Evolution of Dance from Vedic Traditions to Current Global Issues,” an event benefiting Vibha, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping underprivileged children in India and the United States.
PAMPA, dedicated to promoting classical dance forms of India, blends traditional and modern stage techniques while maintaining the purity of the original art form. Since its inception in 1992 by Purna Prasad, PAMPA has participated in a great diversity of programs including the highly acclaimed San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival.
In “NAVYA,” Nirmala Madhava, creative director and choreographer for PAMPA, will lead 50 dancers in a medley of dance numbers. The choreography combines the distinct styles of bharathanatyam and kathak, each piece hedonistically combining to narrate an artful story.
One of the dance numbers, “Sankashta Ganapati,” is an invocation to Lord Ganesh, the elephant-headed god and remover of all obstacles depicted in a bharatanatyam dance and inspired by the ancient ashram recitation of hymns from the Vedas and Hindu scriptures.
Another, “Dancing Stones,” is based on the legend of Queen Shantala and her dream of a magnificent temple, built by her king. Stone carvings depicting classical Indian dance forms suddenly spring to life.
“Natwar,” a song by the famous poet Meera becomes an inspiration for dance, enacts the heroic deeds of Lord Krishna. His innocent yet mischievous nature as a child is contrasted with the awe of his vast universal being.
And lastly, in “Nature,” Prakruthi (Sanskrit for nature) takes birth with sunrise, the primal source of energy that gives rise to the creation of life. Harmony is reached in the dance as the forces of nature take hold. n
Saturday, Oct. 24, 4 p.m. Spangenberg Theatre, Gunn High School, 780 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto. $18 general; $12 children 11 and under. (408) 243-2623. Tickets: www.pampans.com.