Divya Unni’s Brilliant Narration of Bhavana, Enchants Hundreds of Art Lovers


Photos: Reflection Media

By Chittoor Ramachandran

STAFFORD: The annual grand production of Sreepadam School of Arts once again exhilarated both the audience and the participating of students (participation of students/participating students).  The fabulous presentation on November 7 at Stafford Civic Center was knitted around freshness, perfection and an inspiring theme.

The Stafford Center auditorium greeted the audience with melodious music and soothing lights as an assurance of a professional stage management and a perfect sound system. The stunning pictures of last year’s annual event projected on the gigantic screen prompted “ WOW” in the every one in the audience settling on their seat.  The flawless ambiance was maintained throughout the show before a packed music lovers.audience.


The participants (students and associates of Divyaa Unni, the Director) of various levels of training which exceeded one hundred twenty fifty in number immensely engrossed the audience throughout the three hours.

Divyaa Unni is known for creating freshness in every show she organizes.  Her immense years of knowledge in classical dance together with her experience inexposure to theatrical production together with her knowledge in classical dance makes her distinctive.    One can notice that, on stage, her associates (students) pay close attention to every minute details.  The immense wealth of knowledge she shares with her students and associates may be credited for the success of all her productions.

One can imagine the extent of efforts that has gone into the concept development and the creation of the production of Bhavana.  The vast collection of puranic literature must have been referred to isolate the essence to focus on this theme.  Choreography suitable to each group of students with various degrees of training must also have been a tremendous task.

To the general audience, especially the children, the personified style of introducing each distinct item was very helpful.  The script was well written and was capable to keep the audience engaged till the end.


The fabulous opening scene was an honor to the Goddess of wisdom and learning Saraswathi who instilled the stream of vision (Bhavana) into the living beings. It was also a tribute to the ancient texts from which the theme, the art form, and the message (is derived ?) that forms the basis of this production.

Divyaa Unni won the hearts of the audience by selecting and bringing out several easily noticeable imaginative elements imbedded in human minds.  Although the astute use of legends from Indian mythology to demonstrate such elements is an idea frequently used by Indian classical dancers, presenting distinct Bhavanas as a theme of an event of this magnitude is was very interesting. Primarily because this presentation allowed easy comparison of distinct emotions we experience in our daily life. Some of the frequently referred categories of Bhavanas like Sankalpa, Pratipaksha, Bhakti, Pramoda, Iswara were expressed as the examples.  Brevity, perhaps helped in comprehending the distinction between various Bhavana effectively.  Melodious, appropriate and meaningful songs in the background also helped in understanding the examples.

In one of the superbly emotional scenes, the vision of an expectant mother (as she feels the kick for the first time) was presented.  A mother’s imaginative concerns and anxieties about the unborn baby who would be born to this cruel world.  The creativity of the director (par excellence) was much evident in this piece.

The series of dances enchanted the mass with visually impressive dance styles, spectacular costumes and with enthusiastic children of various age groups.  Although legends were the basis of the items presented, understandably, for want of time, some of the stories remained superficial.  However, the much needed skill of time management was evident throughout the show that featured so many participants.

I could recognize several senior students of Sreepadam School of Arts who performed extremely well in this event. They are the role models to hundreds of new aspiring students as a link to sustain the valuable art of Indian classical dance and drama as an inseparable part of a great civilization.  In an interview, one of the parents of a student at Sreepadam School of Arts said “Here the students enjoy learning the basic lessons in classical dance. In addition, the inspiration and the creativity the students enjoy while they are associated with Divyaa Unni- is remarkable”.

Although Bhavana may did not appear to fall in the category of a traditional clichéd classical dance performance and , the production reached way beyond to incorporate several aspects of theatrical and informative elements to ignite the spirit of joy in the audience.

A generous portion of proceeds of this program benefitted AIM FOR SEVA funds.