About Us


Vishwa Shanthi Performing Arts (VSPA), led by the Artistic Director, Shreelata Suresh, has had the privilege of performing in several events, amidst several types of audiences, here in the United States of America and abroad. Through various productions often presented with a crisp and fresh perspective, we are continually striving to showcase dance and allied arts in its purest.

We have performed for several years at the prestigious San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival having won their competitive auditions. VSPA dancers have performed at the International Dance Festival in Prague and won awards in solo and group categories. We have also performed at the December Music and Dance festivals in Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram and New Delhi.

Through thematic presentations, VSPA has completed several successful fundraisers for cultural, religious of various denominations and medical research institutions in the Bay Area namely, Shiva Murugan Temple, Concord, Sivananda Yoga Farm, Mercy Center, Shadika, Brain Tumor foundation and the Shiva Vishnu Temple, Livermore.

The use of the whole space is one of the hallmarks of VSPA performances - movement accompanied by effortless change in formations, and flashes of speed interspersed with graceful stillness. The audience is often left mesmerized by the symmetry and the synchronized movements of the dancers, the dramatic expressions and the ability to convey the story to the uninitiated audiences. In short, the entire experience is akin to a form of collective meditation centering on beauty, movement, sacred music, harmony and rhythm.

Repertory


VSPA’s vast repertory of award winning solo and group presentations can be customized for your needs - time, audience, space or budget. All dance items will be preceded by a clear explanation of the item and concept in English to enable the total enjoyment of the performance. Apart from the thematic and operatic productions, VSPA can present traditional and fusion pieces showcasing Bharatanatyam set to instrumental and contemporary music ranging from 20 minutes to an hour.

We are currently booking tours dates for the following productions:

Padme - Lotus in Asian Mythology (1.5hrs) – Thematic presentation

A Bharatanatyam dance recital that draws its inspiration from the beautiful flower, the lotus, which is sacred to many cultures; and explores the symbolism of the lotus in Asian mythology. In the sacred Ancient language, Sanskrit, Padme is a lotus. The lotus is regarded as a symbol of creation, purity, and enlightenment. It rises from the deep muddy waters to blossom into a pure and perfect flower, untouched by the mire. Similarly, our consciousness evolves from base impulses and worldly imperfections to spiritual liberation.

The Buddhist prayer, "Om Mani Padme Hum", symbolizes the pure exalted body, speech and mind of the compassionate Buddha. Thus we start our journey discovering the jewel in the lotus. According to Indian mythology, Vishnu came forth in a golden lotus from the milky ocean. From his navel, arose a lotus and Brahma the creator was seated in the center of the flower. Thus, creation began. The dancers praise through hymns the Goddess Saraswathi, the embodiment of knowledge. With pure dance and mime the three forms of Shakthi, the auspicious one, is displayed. The compassion of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha is depicted through a buddhist jataka tale. Various folk dances from South India celebrate the God Muruga, who was born in six lotuses. Thus, the dancers in Padme embark on a journey from the beginning of the universe and conclude at the lotus feet of the Lord symbolizing the surrender of the Self to the Creator who resides in the lotus of our hearts.

Samudra Manthan - Churning of the Milky Ocean (1.5hrs) - Operatic presentation

This performance is an operatic work entitled "Samudra Manthan" specially commissioned by Vishwa Shanthi, written and music composed by Chennai based poet and musicologist, PR Venkatasubramanian, sung by Guru V Krishnamoorthi, choreographed by artistic director, Shreelata Suresh and performed by her and 25 senior dancers in elaborate costumes and roles. Samudra Manthan, meaning "churing of the ocean" depicts the popular mythological story from our ancient texts about the struggle between demi-Gods (Devas) and Demons (Asuras) who are archrivals for supremacy over the 3 worlds. Much like today, these enemies realize that sometimes they have to collaborate. So they seek the help of Vishnu and Shiva to access the nectar of Immortality by churning the divine ocean on which Vishnu rests. The ensuing drama, obstacles, deceit, fights, flirtatious romances and more are depicted in several episodes in this dance-drama with a cornucopia of Indian mythological characters in rich costumes which will appeal to all ages and cultures.

The dance-drama format has more appeal for audiences of all ages and cultures.

Some of our Productions:

Thematic:

Sankhya (Solo or Group) - Numbers and Creation (1.5hrs)

Sankhya crosses all boundaries of religion and culture to reiterate the truth that all is ‘One’.This message of Unity in Diversity is beautifully portrayed with reference to numbers 1-10 and back to “One”.

Srishti - Creation of the Universe - (1.5hrs)

Srishti is about creation of this universe from primordial sounds. It is entirely in Tamil, and portrays the traditional margam as a metaphor for creation.

Sthithi (1.5hrs)

This is a complete program that depicts how divine creation in its duality of good and evil forces is preserved permanently by the life force. (The main piece is the Dasavatharam where Lord Vishnu protects the world through his ten Avathars)

Padme - Lotus in Asian Mythology (1.5hrs)

Exploring the symbolism of the lotus, Padme, VSPA weave many mythological stories through dance and music.

Operatic:

Samudra Manthan - Churning of the Milky Ocean (1.5hrs)

VSPA’s first operatic work entitled "Samudra Manthan" was specially commissioned by Vishwa Shanthi, written and music composed by Chennai based poet and musicologist, PR Venkatasubramanian, sung by Guru V Krishnamoorthi, choreographed by artistic director, Shreelata Suresh and performed by her and 25 senior dancers in elaborate costumes and roles. The demi-Gods (Devas) and Demons (Asuras) collaborate to churn the Milky Ocean to extract the Nectar of Immortality. Unlike a typical Indian dance performance, the dance-drama format brings together more characters, stories, colors and costumes and thus has more appeal for all ages and cultures.

Contemporary:

Poorthi (10 minutes)

This Izzie nominated choreography has been presented twice at the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival.

Raaga (6 minutes)

An international dance festival award winner, this piece has Bharatanatyam set to A. R. Rahman's Raaga’s Dance, fusion of the Violin and classical dance.

Devi Stuthi (solo or group)

The different aspects of the Supreme Mother presented through various sacred hymns.

Lecture Demonstrations


VSPA is proud to start a series of Lecture Demonstrations by visiting artists and our Faculty on various topics - visit our calendar for the upcoming series or check out our Gallery for past Videos and topics.

October 17, 2015 - Lecture and performance by visiting artist, Apoorva Jayaraman.

Calendar of Events


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