A response to "Neythal- the Continental Shelf" - a thematic Bharatanatyam solo performance
by Lavanya Raghuraman (disciple of the Dhananjayans)
at Esplanade Theatre Studio, Singapore on 19Feb, 2011
Padma Bhushan Dhananjayans.

I am delighted to write to you both in conveying my happiness after watching Lavanya Raghuraman's “Neithal” at Singapore’s Esplanade Theatre on 19th Feb 11. You’re the mentors and creators of this young and upcoming talent, my sincere appreciation of your efforts and contribution to the revered art of Bharathanatyam.

“Neithal” is yet another innovative concept and it was presented with charm, elegance and substance. It was a showcase of the coastal culture, rising tides wrestling with the rocks, coastal life springing with joy and enchanting evenings. It was poetry in motion, poetry from Silapathikaram, Kalithokai, Ashtapathi, and folk from a foreign land.

The folk item presented by Lavanya was a gripping piece indeed, and it was thoroughly entertaining. I noted some reverence to the presentation of this item which seldom prevails on folk.

Witnessing the numerous "arangetrams" in London, question often raised in conversation is the future of Indian art outside India. But Lavanya’s presentation seals the doubts and sets the direction and gives us the confidence that Bharathanatyam and the allied Indian arts will flourish beyond borders. Indian art will become richer in the years to follow and it will expand to encompass wider cultures and literature, still retaining the traditional values and discipline. (Lavanya's adoption of poetry from Africa is yet another pleasant trend to note).

I convey my sincere tribute to you both, the artist and her team for presenting this performance. “Neithal” is one of the landmark performances I have watched.

Dhananjayans, you both are indeed contributing in shaping the values and richness of the wider world and the effects are indeed far reaching beyond artistic values.

Wishing you all the best for your noble pursuit,
Suppiah Thayakaran