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About the Show
The aim is to establish and affirm a profound sense of self-empowerment in the student/dancer – experienced during the choreographic process and on the stage itself during performance. It is our belief that such an endeavour can engender a powerful healing process in both performer and audience.
In a safe and supportive environment, the memory of experiences and their negative emotions can be acknowledged with courage and let go of consciously so that the mind and body can once again feel relief, and enjoy enhanced clarity of the self and purpose. Released from limiting self-belief, can a student improve his/her learning ability? Can they enjoy the experience of dance better? A positive transformation is possible. For both the young and mature student.
Geetha herself has experienced such a process in the past and has been collecting data informally from conversations with her students as a part of her research into how dance, the teaching of dance, and the performance of dance can be utilised for positive effect.
GEETHA SHANKARAN LAM
Dancer, Choreographer, Instructor, Researcher
Since the late 1980s, Geetha has been at the forefront of the emerging Indian classical dance arena in Malaysia, studying with Krishna Kumari of Krishna Bharata Kala Alayam. Picked by Ramli Ibrahim as his first dance partner in his stage performances, Geetha established herself as a dancer and performer of remarkable talent.
In 1992, she was invited by the founder of The Temple of Fine Arts Swami Shantanand Saraswathi to choreograph and teach Odissi in his major epic production The Ramayana. This production toured Malaysia, Singapore, and India.
She was then appointed Head of Odissi Department which she established and, thereafter, trained her star students to take up teaching Odissi in TFA centres in Singapore, Perth, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor Bahru, Chennai and Coimbatore. There, she had the opportunity to create new works, teach repertoire works, choreograph for stage performances, and lead the charge to bring Odissi to new audiences in the region.
In 2011, she established her own dance school GEETHASHANKARANDANCE, and once again, opened the doors to the joy of dance to more eager dance students. It can be roughly estimated that, to date, 9,000 students across the region have studied Odissi with Geetha directly and indirectly, through her student teachers.
LAM GHOOI KET
Story originator. Playwright. Lyricist. Theatre Director
Drama coach, and dramaturg. A lover of art and culture, both Western and Asian, Lam Ghooi Ket was drawn to painting, ballet and music in his youth and hereceived formal training in Indian classical dance at The Temple of Fine Arts, Kuala Lumpur, as a Bharata Natyam student. This brought a new perspective to his earlier exposure to Western music and dance as an arts enthusiast.
He then trained in Odissi with Ramli Ibrahim and performed in some of Sutra Dance Theatre’s productions. He later rejoined the Temple of Fine Arts with his wife, danseuse Geetha Shankaran, where he found his destiny as TFA Founder, Swami Shantanand Saraswathi’s devotee. He was asked to write scripts for future TFA dance drama productions which featured multiple dance styles. He also conceptualized and produced many new classical and contemporary works in collaboration with the resident choreographers of the institution. His previous advertising and publishing background, Ket also helped to publish the institution’s Hansa magazine, as editor, writer and designer. He is instrumental in the advertising and creative communications for the TFA projects, such as Lavanya Arts, Hamsa Vahini, Annalakshmi Restaurant and the TFA itself.
Ket is the pillar in Geetha's journey with Geethashankarandance and has followed through her progress, helping her shape the image and branding. He also has been instrumental in helping the "GSD" parents and students, being the administration bridge. He avails his knowledge and support teaching core students the influence of text, and drama. Ket helped design and name the GSD dance events and projects. over the 12 years. Together, Ket, Geetha and their family have created an impression for arts to be nurtured in a today's fast changing world, labelled as the Family for the Arts.
Harshini's love for dance began at the tender age of 5. Trained by the best at the Temple of Fine Arts, she has set out to carve a niche for herself.
Recognised as beautician, a fashion designer, a model, a talent that takes up challenges in advertisements, pop music videos or cameo appearances, Harshini works hard to keep herself occupied and fulfilled in a fulltime career as a professional Indian classical dancer too. Her risk-taking nature led her to many different countries and numerous projects. She teaches Bharatha Natyam and choreographs too.
Her favourite quote
“When someone asks you if you know how to do something,
even if you don’t, say yes and then learn the skill. It's an
opportunity to learn.”
Harshini keeps learning.
WIND RIVER PRODUCTIONS
Founded by Aida Redza provides a collaborative approach for professional and emerging artists, Yugeshvri Thiagarjan, Chitramala Gunasekara, Sinthu Thiruvarul, Luvenia Kalia and Kausalyaa Sugumarin to co-create a work that presents reflections of their personal struggles as young women- they bring to you the raw emotion behind the athleticism in dance and the contradiction of form and freedom, nature and nurture, strength and vulnerability. An amalgam of contradictions that shapes their identity and is a shared narrative of many. They present an excerpt from their recent work, BumiMATA - Nada: Pulse
Precision, clarity and purification of clean lines, upright torsos left with our faces to carry expression and story. A language we develop, a bound we sit with, an art to mask any signs of exhaustion.
Nada, is excerpt from BhumiMATA, a dance production exploring femininity and its connection to nature produced by Ombak-ombak with the creative direction of Aida Redza. This segment is an exploration that pushes the dancers to listen to their bodies, to lose their fixation on form and to find a sense of release. A dance to exhaustion that reveals the blood sweat and tears masked behind the beauty of the classical body.
HARIRAAM TINGYUAN LAM
Hariraam is the eldest son of writer/ designer Lam Ghooi Ket and dancer/ choreographer Geetha Shankaran-Lam and was brought up in the atmosphere of Temple of Fine Arts ever since he was a baby. At the age of 9, he began his lessons in Bharathanatyam and Indian Classical Violin, and went on to learn Odissi, Indian Classical Vocal Music and Theatre later on.
Ever since he was a teenager, he performed extensively at and for the Temple of Fine Arts, be it in dance, music or theatre. After his SPM, he went on to present his solo debut in Bharathanatyam and his debut performance in Carnatic Violin at the Temple of Fine Arts, KL. Hari eventually went on to further his studies in music and is currently a Degree holder in Music Performance from National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage (ASWARA) and a Violin teacher at the Temple of Fine Arts and Geethashankarandance.
Sangametra has an inherent love for the arts. After having studied dance for 15 years, she has now embarked on enhancing her dance with teaching and choreography. At the age of four, she was already attending her mother’s Odissi dance classes. Later on she learnt Malay classical dance with J.T. Choong and Contemporary dance with Umesh Shetty at the Temple of Fine Arts, KL. She also studied theater with her father, Lam Ghooi Ket and performed in two of his plays - Qismat, and The Crow, The Mole and the Tortoise.
In 2011, she furthered her dance journey under GeethaShankaranDance (GSD), with her mother Guru Geetha Shankaran - Lam. She honed her skills in Bharatanatyam and Odissi. She also began her studies in Kathak with Delhi-based Guru Nayanika Ghosh Chowdhury and continued Contemporary Ballet with Mohammad Khairi Mokhtar from ASWARA.
Sangametra is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts and Psychology. She is in her final year and is preparing for her internship in 2024. She aims to explore more skills in the arts such as writing, conceptualizing, choreographing, designing, advertising and copywriting. Some of her hobbies include reading, watching horror gameplays, completing Sudoku puzzles and swimming.
ARUNAGIRI SZEYUAN LAM
Arunagiri Szeyuan Lam is currently completing his 3rd year of his Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Physics at the Tun Hussein Onn University of Malaysia. Arunagiri began formal training in Odissi at the age of 6, from his mother and her then senior-most student, Shrimathi Gowri Ramachandran at the Temple of Fine Arts (TFA), Kuala Lumpur. He also spent this time learning theatre under his father’s guidance. In 2011, Geetha and Ket opened up a new school of their own, Geethashankarandance (GSD), where Arunagiri continues to train in Odissi and Bharatanatyam. Arunagiri has been part of several performing arts events over the years. Among the most notable are Citrawarna (2008), Oh My India! (2015), PIO Festival (2011 – 2012), TFA’s productions: The Crow, The Mole & The Tortoise (2006, 2011), Swan Lake: Turnover (2006), Krishnarpanam (2008), Meera (2011), Hrdaya (2020), The Shanatanand Festival of Arts SFA (2022), and GSD’s productions: Sukahati (2013), Manja (2016), Swara Natya in collaboration with Swara Cultural Arts Centre (2015), Kinnara: Moon People (2020), SIBU International Dance Festival (SIDF) in Sarawak (2013 – 2022).
Besides this, in 2015, Arunagiri began self-learning popping and locking, leading to a fusion with Indian classical themes in the years to come. Arunagiri also began learning the Lucknow Gharana of Kathak from Guru, Shrimathi Nayanika Ghosh Chowdury, in 2016 till present, and has been a Hindustani vocal student of Guru Arvinder Raina Singh since 2008. He enjoys his pursuit in the field of physics too, along with his interest for music and dance. Being a keen follower of both science and arts, he aspires to be competent in sharing his interest in them both with others as an educator and performer.
Pavithra who hails from Semenyih Selangor, initially started her career as a dancer and won the very famous Attam 100 Vagai dance competition organized by Astro Vaanavil in the year 2010. Later, she pursued her dancing career with the Malaysian Performing Arts Society, Astana. Soon, she became a dance instructor, costume designer, and make-up artist. During her journey with Astana, she has played many lead roles in huge productions such as Naduvan, Dasavatharam, and many more. As she grew in the arts industry, she spread her wings into her own brand Shaveeraa Creations.
Pavithra has completed her formal educational Hairzone Academy. Apart from that, she worked with RTM for almost 3 years as an MUA (Makeup Artist). She was involved in the mega project named PARADES OF INDIA held by Agenda Suria Communication, which shows the beauty of incredible India. She has choreographed for prestigious events organized by the Malaysian government such as:- Citrawarna (2012-2016), ASEAN Sea Games 2017, KL Genia 2022, BBCKLCC and Festival Events by DBKL (2012-2015). She has represented Malaysia in international events organized inNew Delhi, China, Singapore and India.
She is the founder of Shaveeraa Creations which she established in 2009. Pavithra has also developed her company into Bridal based company where she provides bridal, mehendi, facial, hair treatment, manicure pedicure, threading, event performances, and other services that go to make a big day better.
HONORING THE GURU
Miss V. Krishna Kumari began her course in dancing under Sivadas-Vatsala in Kuala Lumpur at the age of five and studied Carnatic music under Bramha Sri Krishna Bagawathar. She continued her course in dancing at the prestigious Kalakshetra Dance Academy in Chennai, where she completed her 7 years study and gurukulam, with 5 years in Diploma and 2 more years in a post graduate course. Krishna Kumari had her Arangetram in Kuala Lumpur in 1977.
V Krishna Kumari became the Principal and Guru of Krishna Bharata Kala Alayam, a school set up by her mother, Mrs V Pushpavathy, the sole inspiration, support, and motivating force. Krishna Bharata Kala Alayam became the center of a systematic gurukulam for students keen on pursuing the study of Bharatanatyam and Carnatic music.