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Discovering the Divine Within You
Ekagrata is a state that guides and directs us towards our formless nature of pure consciousness.
This is a journey of ‘shoonya se shoonya tak’ that begins when we attempt to understand ‘samay ki alpana’ or the colours and patterns of time. As we transform our ‘samanya drishti’ or outward focus to ‘antarik drishti’ or inward focus, we realize that time is ever-moving in cycles, moving between light and darkness, ups and downs, birth and death, creation and destruction. Initially, with these changing times and circumstances, our emotions too constantly undergo change. But when we contemplate and deeply understand the impermanence of time and its cycles, the waves of emotion within also begin to subside and we experience a deep sense of calmness. This auspicious moment when we gain the deep sense of calm is an ‘utkrisht pal’. We can then stay equanimous, peaceful and resilient through all situations. This state of equanimity within is the state of Ekagrata. This state of Ekagrata eventually leads us to realize the ultimate truth – that the formless pure consciousness or the Divine is present within us, and helps us gain the supreme realization of ‘I am that’.
In this Bharatanatyam performance, Priyanka Ravishankar (disciple of Guru Smt Vasanthi Sridhar) will exemplify this concept of “Ekagrata” through captivating dance compositions on two admired manifestations of the formless Supreme – Lord Shiva and Lord Hari. The performances have been conceptualized and choreographed by Guru Smt. Vasanthi Sridhar. The accompanying artistes for the performance are Guru Smt Vasanthi Sridhar on Nattuvangam, Smt Dr Vasanti Krishna Rao on vocals, Sri Tanjavur R Kesavan on mridangam, Sri G Raghuraman on flute. Sri Pulkit Pujara is the compere for the recital.
Priyanka Ravishankar is a Bharatanatyam dancer, and a disciple of Guru Smt Vasanthi Sridhar.
Priyanka was initiated into the world of Bharatanatyam at the age of six, and has been learning and performing for over 20 years. Under the guidance of her Guru, she has performed in several solo and group productions, including several solo performances of the Bharatanatyam margam, Walk of Hope peace-march by Manav Ekta Mission, Krishna Raas Geet by Prashanti Natya Nilayam, solo on ‘Dhai-Akhar Prem’ choreographed by her Guru. She is also a Graded artist with Doordarshan.
Priyanka holds an Economics (Honours) degree from Sri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi, and an MBA from the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. She is currently also working as an Associate Partner with Mckinsey & Company.
Vasanthi Sridhar is a leading performer and Guru in Bharatanatyam. She trained under Guru Mahalingam Pillai, Guru Kadirvelu, Guru Soudarajan, Smt Jamuna Krishnan, Smt Kalanidhi Narayanan. She was awarded National Merit Scholarship in dance by Government of India, Fellowship in Nattuvangam by Department of Culture and ‘Natya Ilavarasi’ by Shanmukhananda Sabha.
A Grade A artist of Government of India, she has performed under the auspices of ICCR worldwide, and at festivals including Konark, Khajuraho, Ujjain, Alandi Festivals.
She established the dance institution Prashanti Natya Nilayam in Delhi in 1991. Her dance dramas Narthaki Kirtanam, Deergha Santushti, Krishna Raas Geet were celebrated country-wide. The inaugural performance of Narthaki Kirtanam was graced by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.