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OCTOBER 7, 2010 • ISSUE 98

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Srimati Shyamala Mohanraj
(photo by Werner Elmker)


Shyamala performed a program of lyrical storytelling at MUM’s Argiro Student Center (photo by Werner Elmker)


Vedic Dance classes with Shyamala

Maharishi College of Enlightenment Hosts Vedic Dance Workshops

MUM’s newly established college, Maharishi College of Enlightenment (MCE), hosted Vedic Dance workshops in September with over 60 ladies in attendance. Presenting at the workshops was guest artist Srimati Shyamala Mohanraj from Chennai, India, a master in the T. Balasaraswati lineage of Bharata Natyam dance.

Traditional Bharata Natyam dance originated over 2000 years ago in the temples of South India. Using a language of gesture and storytelling called Abhinaya, and rhythmic steps called Adavus, the dancer conveys desire for spiritual awakening, culminating in the experience of unity. Based in Vedic knowledge and the postures of Yoga, the dance enlivens bliss, harmony, integration, and good health.

“It is an honor to have Shyamala come to our community,” said Cathy Gorini, Dean of MCE and Dean of Faculty at MUM. “We invited her to collaborate with Maharishi College of Enlightenment to create a Vedic Dance curriculum for schools and colleges.”

Srimati Shyamala started dancing at the age of seven, and at fourteen began her studies with the legendary dance master Srimati T. Balasaraswati. As Balasaraswati’s leading student, Shyamala is highly respected for her dedication to the preservation of this dance form. She teaches, lectures, and performs internationally and is the director of The Koothambalam School of Traditional Bharata Natyam in Chennai, India, and Boulder, Colorado.

Shyamala is part of a small group of dance masters who are striving to keep this art alive, and has an extraordinary skill for sharing the depth and beauty of the temple arts of South India. Shyamala also performed at the Indigenous Grandmothers’ Conference and was honored for her dedication to preserving the sacred temple arts of India.

For more information on upcoming Vedic Dance workshops email:

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