Malavika Sarukkai in The Eternal River—A Journey in Bharatanatyam

Sruti, the India Music and Dance Society



Malavika Sarukkai. Photo courtesy of Deepa Colour Lab, Delhi.


Malavika Sarukkai. Photo by Brian Slater Birmingham.

Malavika Sarukkai, a leading Bharatanatyam dancer who challenges traditions of Indian classical dance, performed Ganga – Nitya Vaahini (Gangas—the Eternal River) at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in April 2014. The work pays homage to India's sacred Ganga River and its importance in Indian culture. Sarukkai, who made her Philadelphia debut in this performance, uses her mastery of the traditional lexicon of Bharatanatyam dance to reinvigorate the form, extending its boundaries through experimentation and improvisation. Various activities surrounding the performance included public master classes with Sarukkai; a day-long workshop for dance professionals featuring guest artist participants Valda Setterfield and Hari Krishnan; and a free lecture-demonstration on South Indian classical dance and visual arts in the Philadelphia Museum of Art's South Indian Temple Hall.