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Dashavtar : A Spectacular Dance Drama

Dashavtar, a spectacular dance drama, by the Shankara Dance Academy will showcase the ten reincarnations of Vishnu and bring it to life with a cast of 58 local artists.

This lavish show promises to light up the stage with colorful lighting, specialized backdrops, customised music, costumes, props, special effects.  Arti Manek, in conjunction with her Guru Abhay Shankar Misra, has had presented several sold out shows in the past, including Nari Tu Narayani, Gopala Krishna Kanhaiya, Ram Charit Manas and more.

Dashavtar was presented in London, UK, recently where Arti was also a performer. Now she is recreating the same show with her local students, who have the opportunity of being a part of this class act. The high caliber production promises to be a visual delight.

Dashavtar tells the story of the ten re-incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Commonly accepted as the God of Preservation, Lord Vishnu is among the three principal Gods in the Hindu religion. It is believed that Lord Vishnu came to Earth from time to time in a different form (avatar) to eradicate the evil forces in place and restore cosmic order.

The ten avatars of Vishnu are: Matsya (Fish), Kurma (Tortoise),  Varah (Boar), Narasimha (Lion / Man ), Vaman (Dwarf),  King Bali, Parshuram, Sri Ram, Balrama, Buddha, Kalki. Each of these will be presented separately followed by a finale including all the avatars together.

The ten avatars of Lord Vishnu will be brought to life in the classical dance form of Kathak (story telling). “The wondrous displays of hand gestures, colorful costumes, intricate footwork, and graceful movements will charm and captivate the audience and bring them closer to the Gods,” say the organizers.

In Dashavtar the theme music is set in Kaharwa Taal in different ragas. The interlude pieces are set in ten different taals for a very creative effect.

Arti Manek is known in the Los Angeles area for her exceptional talents in bringing amateurs on to stage and lighting them up to be embraced as professionals. Pujya Morari Bapu, world renowned Ramayana discourse orator, and Pandit Birju Maharaj (legendary kathak artist) have graced her shows.

Dashavtar promises to bring pride and joy to the local artists and to the public to witness how our ancient Indian culture flourishes so beautifully and artistically in the entertainment capital of the USA, Los Angeles!

This article was provided to India Currents by the Shankara Dance Academy.