The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Dec 19, 2012

Reactions to Abhinaya Dance Company’s fall concert on "Gandhi"

Posted by Valerie Nahmad

Abhinaya Dance Company’s  fall concert on "Gandhi"  received excellent comments by the Silicon Valley audience. With publicity and tickets extending to Zevents, Goldstar, Dancers' group, etc. we had a significant number of new audiences that had never attended an Indian classical dance performance before.  Some comments here include those from a number of non- Indians and first time Indian audience to our show.

Gandhi (played by Mythili Kumar) 'Quit India' struggle against the British

  • "The show was breathtaking. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and evening. Thank you so much, and many kudos to you and your organization for putting forth such a fine and powerful production."
  • "Gandhi was excellent. Thank you for letting us know and inviting us to the performance. The dancing, music, choreography, costumes and commentaries were very apt, pleasing and executed to near perfection. The life of Gandhi was covered succinctly and his message to us was conveyed well. J..... and I enjoyed the show and certainly are letting our friends know. Thank you, once again."
  • "It was outstanding. Very impressive. Very interesting. Beautiful. “
  • “... it was one of a kind. Can never forget this show and especially the coach scene. It was gripping to see political history unfold with such ease and grace in Bharatanatyam. Kudos to Mythili Kumar and the team for showing us the power of this art form."
  •   “I just wanted to say that Gandhi was an absolutely awesome show. Even my friend's teenage son loved it……The choreography was so awesome - contemporary but yet so traditional. The dancers were perfect and the emotions were so well done. In fact, I became tearful in couple of scenes !
  • From a non-Indian neighbor: “-Thank you for the privilege given us to attend Gandhi yesterday.  Without S.....''s email, we wouldn't have known of it and would have missed a rich experience.     This was Indian Classical Dance done with a modern theme and in contemporary dress.  ....    I was struck by the costumes -- especially the opening scene.  The pleats when the dancers took a wide stance and the skirts opened up were striking.  ..Rigid jackets and white leggings were cold, aloof and anonymous -- exactly right for the scene being portrayed.  Sometimes a simple colored sash set off this dancer from another.  Sometimes, a headdress as with the Pakistanis.  Portraying the British with their black hats and jackets told the story of their elitist approach. Your production last night obviously consumed hours and hours for everyone involved.  And we were among the many beneficiaries. The foreword to the production was a PowerPoint presentation (big) with a portrait of Chavez or Mandela or MLK and their words of praise for Gandhi's philosophy and how it had affected them.    Very emotional when Gandhi is shot and crumples.”
With support from the Knight Foundation grant, we are gearing to repeat this production in two different venues in Spring 2013 at Ohlone College on March 31st, and Cabrillo College in Aptos on April 6th to reach a diverse group of audiences beyond Silicon Valley.

IMG_3714 Gandhi pacifying Hindus and Muslims

IMG_3718 Mythili Kumar, Artistic Director flanked on her left by Rasika Kumar, Associate Artistic Director & Choreographer, and on her right by Malavika Kumar (Narrator)

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