Invoking Ganesha, the elephant headed son of the great God Siva, at the commencement of any event is essential. Riding on a rat, plucking sweets with his trunk, he is the most beloved of all the Hindu deities.

Choreography: traditional Bharata Natyam, (Jayalakshmi Eshwar)Music: Carnatic, nattuvangam, vocal, mridangam

A traditional invocation.

Choreography: traditional Bharata Natyam

Music: traditional Karnatic


To the earth, to the audience, to God and guru, we bring a gift of flowers.

Choreography: traditional Bharata Natyam Music: traditional Karnatic


An invocation to Venkatesvara, a Vaishnavite deity whose temple on one of the seven hills of Tirupati is one of the most frequently visited shrines.

Choreography: traditional Bharata Natyam (Adyar Lakshman)

Music: traditional Karnatic


The nine moods permeate all aspects of Indian art: dance theatre, painting, sculpture and music. Their expression in dance is highly codified and takes years to perfect. Here the many moods of the goddess are depicted as she gazes at her husband Siva.

Choreography: traditional Bharata Natyam Music: traditional Bharata Natyam


Rhythm and musical svaras unfold in abstract dance.

Choreography: traditional Bharata Natyam, Kalakshetra

Music: traditional Karnatic


The one who lifted mount Govardhana with his baby finger was none other than Krishna, the divine flute player. He did this to protect the villagers of Gokula from a terrible storm send by Indra, king of the Gods.

Choreography: Traditional (K.N. Dakshinamurthy, Adyar Lakshman)

Music: Traditional nattuvangam, mridangam, vocal, flute


Varnam is a highly structured dance, involving alternation of fast, rhythmic movements with slow, descriptive passages during which the dancer projects the meaning of the song. Every part of Bharata Natyam technique is deployed in this tour de force.

Choreography: traditional Bharata Natyam (Ellappa Pillai, K.S. Govindarajan)

Music: traditional Karnatic


This varnam is to Lord Brihadisvara of Tanjore.

Choreography: traditional Bharata Natyam (Swarna Sareswathi, V.S. Muthusvamy)

Music: traditional Karnatic


Siva is the most enigmatic, the most complex and one of the oldest of the Hindu deities. For the uninitiated his cult is probably the most difficult to fathom. In the north he resides on Kailash in the Himalayas, but his dance pervades the universe. His worship is strongest in the south where many of the greatest examples of pre-islamic architecture were built in his honour and are still centres of worship. Rupamu Jootsi is a hymn to this mercurial Lord which combines rhythmic complexity with subtle nuances of expression.

Choreography: traditional Bharata Natyam (Adyar Lakshman, K.N. Dakshinamurthy)

Music: composer Muthusvami Dikshitar, early 19th century


As one of the most traditional dances in the classical Bharata Natyam repertoire, Hueseni Svarajati expresses the full gamut of rhythmic complexity and emotional depth associated with the style. Considered the pinnacle of the classical repertoire it gives us a glimpse of the true tradition. Anjali herself had the rare privilege to study this dance with a former temple dancer. Because these dancers were also courtesans, dependent upon patrons for support, much of their repertoire was a reflection of everyday life. Many songs described human love and dealt with human emotions. This dance relates the anguish of a woman whose lover has deserted her for another. She flatters and cajoles him but to no avail

Choreography: traditional Bharata Natyam (Swarna Sareswati, Usha Srinivasan)

Music: Carnatic: nattuvangam, vocal, vina, mridangam, violin, flute, tanpura.


A condensed version of the Ramayana relates the story of Prince Rama, his banishment to the forest, the abduction of his wife Sita, and his struggles against Ravana, the demon king.

Characters: Rama, Prince of Ayodhya; Lakshman, Rama's brother; Bharata, Rama's half-brother; Sita, Rama's wife; Hanuman, a monkey and Rama's faithful friend; Ravana, King of the demons , whose kingdom is in Sri Lanka; Surpanaka, Ravana's Sister; Jatayu, a bird; King Dasarata, Rama's father.

Choreography: traditional Bharata Natyam (Swarna Sareswathy)

Music: Traditional: mridangam, vocal and flute


Choreography: traditional Bharata Natyam, (Swarna Sareswathi)


Choreography: traditional Bharata Natyam, (Uma Dandayudapani)


Choreography: traditional Bharata Natyam, (K.J. Govindarajan)


A celebration of Siva, the cosmic dancer, who balances creation and destruction.

Choreography: traditional Bharata Natyam, Kalanidhinarayan

Music: Traditional: mridangam, vocal and flute


A hymn to the universal mother who is worshipped as the all-pervading goddess throughout India. Both feared and revered she manifests herself in many forms.

Choreography: traditional Bharata Natyam

Music: Traditional: mridangam, vocal and flute; raga: mallika, tala: mallika


An untouchable barred from the temple by his birth, prays to be allowed to worship within.

Choreography: traditional Bharata Natyam, Kalanidhinarayan

Music: Traditional: percussion (mridangam) and vocal and flute


Abstract movement captures the joy and abandon of dance. Based on a North Indian musical form, Tarana, Tillana represents to a fusion of the two musical traditions. It combines striking poses with complex rhythms.

Choreography: traditional Bharata Natyam, K.N. Dakshinamurthy

Music: Traditional: mridangam, vocal and flute

Also Tillanas composed by Swarna Sareswathy, K.J. Govindarajan, Adyar Lakshman,

V.S. Muthusvamy

SLOKA (a few examples)

GANGA TARANGA (K.J. Govindarajan, Swarna Sareswathi)

MANADE (K.S. Govindarajan)