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Going Green with Bharatanatyam

- written by Srishte Arvind and Avighna Anand

- edited and enhanced by Eesha Srinivasan and Sonia Ivancic

'NAMASKARAM'----- It is the first thing a dancer learns, and we do it at the beginning and end of each dancing session, but why do dancers do Namaskaram? This simple set of steps has various meanings. Dancers perform Namaskaram to seek blessings from their guru and God. It acknowledges the audience and welcomes them. But a main reason for Namaskaram is to request blessings from Mother Earth to stomp/dance on her.

Bharatanatyam is an art form that has always been connected to Mother Earth. In fact, Shishya School of Performing Arts is taking steps to encourage environmental activism, an increasingly important movement in the modern world. Examples of this include performing the “Jungle Book” (“Kaa-Na-Nam”) to celebrate animals and forests in 2019, and donating to “the Sunrise Movement” which is a youth run organization that focuses on advocating for solutions to mitigate climate change.

Bharatanatyam dancers have thanked Mother Earth through Namaskaram for centuries. In today’s world, the environment is in danger due to climate change and numerous other human impacts. Shishya has taken the extra step to appreciate and help the environment through our art form. Please join us and use your resources to connect to Mother Earth through donating to organizations, recycling, or doing other things in support of our planet.


Photo Credit: Fotolaya

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