Dance 4 Chennai


By Thara Narasimhan

HOUSTON: Samyuktha Hari was on a mission while performing to benefit a noble cause.  “Dance4 Chennai” was held on Feb 6 at the McCullough Junior High School auditorium in The Woodlands. Her mother Rajee Hari had earlier pioneered to collect funds, clothing, household and non-perishable items and shipped two container loads of donation to help victims of Chennai flood disaster. Krishna Hari and Rajee Hari are among those that have imbibed in their children the values that are important in life. These are learning, caring, sharing and dancing. Most of us teach our kids to give what little they can to help those who do not have anything. This deed of sharing when young gave rise to blossoming of a young girl like Samyuktha who performed to collect money for “Helping Hands “Udavaum karangal” rightfully named, is more than merely helping. It transforms lives of many old and young. Recent floods affected the institution that needs much support and which will reach them directly in a timely manner and make a difference in their rehabilitation work. Samyuktha Hari raised a total of $18000/ for Udavum karangal through generous donation from the community.

Guru Rathna Kumar who emceed the evening performance has also shaped Samyuktha’s artistic abilities that enhanced her performance as full-fledged Bharatanatyam dancer.


Petite, pretty, and perfect as a performing artist Samyuktha executed the intricate rhythmic sequences with general ease and grace. The repertoire for Samyu’s dance was chosen ideally by her dance guru Rathna Kumar with five unique pieces, each one included for its aesthetic appeal and spiritual and celestial significance. Samyuktha’s performance was par excellence, as always an added ability of the teacher is reflected in the fine performances of her pupils.

Celebrating the three divine forms of Sri Ganesha, Sri Hanuman and Sri Krishna was the first invocatory piece seeking the blessings in “Trideva Sthuthi”. This was followed by a beautiful piece in Raga Shanmugapriya, “Murugan Kavuthuvam”.  The Varnam, the elaborate centerpiece in a Bharatanatyam recital was a composition of Dr. Balamuralikrishna “Amma Anandadayini” in Gambhira Nattai raga. Samyuktha’s rendition of Abhinaya (expression) and Nritya (body movements to portray emotions and footwork) was outstanding bringing out the attributes of Mother Goddess in her many forms. The Shiva Panchakshara Stotram was brilliantly presented in a Ragamalika of five ragas set to Khanda Chapu Thalam. The grand finale came with a vibrant Thillana in Kannada raga by Maha Vaidyanatha Iyer that was stimulating with soaring steps of a ballerina. Samyu’s friend Caroline Courtney talked about Samyuktha’s involvement and dedication in presenting a program to support a good cause. Dr. Padmini Ranganathan, President of Udavum Karangal commended on the admirable dance performance and efforts she took to fulfill her philanthropic commitment. Aditya Hari welcomed the gathering and Vibhan K.Emmi rendered a short prayer.  Rajee Hari was indeed the proud mother who announced that the target they set multiplied three fold and thanked all the donors who contributed their time, support and donation.  She thanked The Hindu Temple of the Woodlands and Anjali Center for performing arts for their help. She also acknowledged thanks to Venu Josyula, dance teacher at the Anjali Center for expertly handling lighting effects to the program and to Krishna Kumar for the audio.  The Woodlands Indo-American group is closely knit who helped make the event a grand success. Samyuktha Hari thanked all her friends who enthusiastically helped her in the cause as well. She acknowledged a whole lot of volunteers that helped them bring an exceedingly exclusive entertaining evening.