After a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus, the Veni School of Dance, led by Suma Pokala, held its annual recital Saturday night at the Azalee Marshall Cultural Activities Center in Temple.
“We’re happy to put it on,” Pokala said. “It was difficult to teach and learn during COVID. We do this in memory of my mother, Krishna Veni.
Wearing brightly colored costumes, her 16-member team split into small groups for most of the dances. The opening, Vinayaka Sabdam, was performed by Akshara Kaavuru from Bangalore, India.
Each of the dances played out a story. The dancers used a lot of kicking and hand and arm movements, sometimes standing still, sliding or jumping and turning.
Ramya Pokala from Austin, Suma Pokala’s daughter who grew up in Temple, presented all the dances.
“The purpose of the annual recital is to show the progress made by the students over the past two years and to give them the experience of performing on the big stage,” she said. “Students are at different stages of learning.”
The first dance, she said, was dedicated to an elephant-faced god.
“In this article, the dancer praises the various forms of Lord Vinayaka, from his graceful dancing abilities, his impressive drumming skills, to his status as a protector of surahs, or demi-gods,” she said. declared.
The next dance, Javali, was performed by Shyla Jha, Maia Cann and Medha Atluri.
“Javala is a light dance,” Ramya said. “In this article, the gopikas wonder how this little Krishna came. He really did magic. Krosna stole everyone’s milk and butter. So, the gopikas wonder, how did it happen to the pots that hang high from the ceiling? We can’t even grab him to spank him.
The next dance, Vishnu Sthuthi, was performed by five dancers: Archana Rajendra, Asha Dubasi, Muktika Reddy Kalagiri, Sashya Dursheti and Ananya Mangai. Ramya said the story had to do with an eagle.
“In this song, the dancers praise Lord Vishnu as the one who removes the sorrows and sins of devotees,” she said.
The previous eight dancers returned for Hanuman Challisa, joined by four others: Angel Pynadath, Grace Pynadath, Priya Warrier and Pooja Warrier. Ramya said that this dance, written in a Hindi dialect by Thulasidas, depicts the character of Hanuman, the infamous monkey god. It turns out that a Lakshmana passes out on the battlefield and Hanuman flies to retrieve a medicine that revives him.
The next dance, Dasavatharalu, was the re-enactment of Lord Vishnu’s 10 incarnations, called avatars, Ramya said.
“We start with a sloka, or poem, giving us a quick overview of the 10 avatars,” she said. “The avatars build on each other in a somewhat evolutionary progression.”
The first avatar was in the form of a fish.
“The final avatar is avatar Kalki, the avatar that is yet to come, when the world needs it most,” she said. “The prediction is that he will come on a horse, brandishing a sword.”
The dancers concluded with a Bollywood medley of patriotic songs. Ramya said this year will mark the 75th anniversary of India’s liberation from British rule. The main dancers for this were Asha Dubasi, Muktika Reddy Lalagiri and Preethy Pynadath.