Vishwa Shanthi Dance Academy, led by artistic director Shreelata Suresh, is set to premier Sthithi, a benefit program for the Shiva Murugan Temple. Vishwa Shanthi has performed at the temple’s fundraisers since its inception in 1999.
An innovative choreographer and performer, Suresh has had many credits to date, such as Sankhya: Numbers and Creation, a bharatanatyam performance that displayed a unique choreography based on the philosophy of numbers and evolution of the consciousness of Sage Kapila. Another production, Srishti,
used the traditional repertoire of bharathanatyam as a metaphor to portray the creation of the universe.
Sthithi, the new production, is a full-length program that depicts how divine creation in its duality of good and evil forces is preserved permanently by the life force. The program will open with a unique item expressing the beginning of a Yuga with darkness lifting and light flowing in. The next few items will symbolize the sound Om, the Vedas, and how Lord Vishnu in his various incarnations conquers the dark life forces to preserve the good and divine. After intermission, the program will continue with items such as a snake dance, peacock dance, koli dance, and temple dances to emphasize the beauty, rhythm, melody, and ecstasy of life energies.
In addition to temple programs, Vishwa Shanthi dancers have performed in several prestigious events across the U.S. and Canada. Most recently, they won a coveted spot at the 30th San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival and performed three shows in June. They were also selected to perform at the Spring Dance Inspiration 2008 in April.
Suresh’s attractive style, expressive movements, and fleeting footwork have won her many awards and titles. Bharat Kalachar, Madras, awarded her the title of Yuva Kala Bharathi in 1996. She was adjudged the best young dancer in 1991 and again in 1993. In recognition of her talent she has also been awarded the titles of Natyananmani and Natyaratna.
She has given numerous stage and TV performances in over 20 countries including India, South America, France, Azerbaijan, Australia, and East Africa, and has shared this rich cultural heritage of India with the local peoples.
Nov. 9, 4 p.m. at Cubberley Theater, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. $10, $15, $25 donations. (650) 248-3269, (510) 525-1795. www.shreelatasuresh.com.