Premiered June 26, 2004
Madrid Theatre, 21622 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, Ca 91303.
Musicians from India – Balasubramanyam Sharma (vocal), Gurumurthy (Percussion), & A. P. Sarvothama (Flute), Sankara Subramaniam (Violin).
Rangoli Dance Company – Shivani Aysola, Dimple Bhasin, Lakshmi Iyengar, Hema Iyer, Mary Khetani, Shyamala Moorty, Sangeetha Rao, Shaheen Sheik, Padmini Sirish, & Soumya Sundaresh.
Dancers from India – Ranjith Babu & Sudarsan Sibi
‘Tulasi’, known as the Holy Basil, is a sacred plant indigenous to India and south Asia. ‘Tulasi’, portrays a rich tapestry of visual imagery that draws attention to the righteous earth goddess who embodies beauty, strength, and virtue. The performance features descriptive and narrative dances set to the divine compositions of 18th century poet, saint Thyagaraja and new compositions by contemporary composer, Rajkumar Bharathi. ‘Tulasi’ believed to be an incarnation of goddess Lakshmi, is associated with several legends that explain how and why she was converted into a plant. Iyengar with her vivid imagination choreographs episodes relating to Tulasi playing the vital role of demonstrating to the world that even a small object offered with devotion means more to the Lord than all the wealth in the world. In Sanskrit (ancient language of India), the word ’Tulasi’ means matchless or that which is incomparable in its qualities (tulaana nasti athaiva tulasi). ’Tulasi’ plant is also believed to have significant medicinal, environmental and spiritual values in addition to being used in various culinary delicacies.
Other Tulasi performances
January 3, 2006, Bhrathiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai, India. Presented by Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan
Cast: Ranjith Babu, Lakshmi Iyengar, Swarna R., Kirti Ramgopal, Krishnakshi Sharma, T. K. Thiruchelvam, & Padmini Upadhya
September 25, 2005, Madrid Theatre, Canoga Park, California
Featured event of the 2005 World Festival of Sacred Music – Los Angeles
Cast: Shivani Aysola, Dimple Bhasin, Shayan Chalan, Lakshmi Iyengar, Hema Iyer, Sheel Jagani, Mary Khetani, Sandhya Rajan, Aarti Rao, Soumya Sundaresh, & Shaheen Sheik
August 13, 2005, California Center for the Arts, Escondido, California
Presented by Federation of Indian Associations, San Diego in honor of India’s Independence Day Celebrations
Orchestra: Malathi Iyengar (Dance Conductor), S. R. Veeraraghavan (Vocal),
Gurumurthy (Percussion), A. P. Sarvotham (Flute), & Shankar S. (Violin)
Rangoli Dancers: Shivani Aysola, Dimple Bhasin, Rosina Didyk, Lakshmi Iyengar, Hema Iyer, Mary Khetani, Shaheen Sheik, and Soumya Sundaresh
Dancers from India: Ranjith Babu, Neewin Hershall, & K. Murali Mohan
December 27, 2004, Kannada Bhavana, Bangalore, India
Presented by Shivapriya Dance Academy
Cast: Ranjith Babu, Fahil Bikmoulline, Lakshmi Iyengar, Malathi Iyengar, Hema Iyer, Deepa Narayan Narendra, Kirti Ramgopal, Swarna R., Padmini Upadhya