Depicting Swamiji’s thoughts and the divine onstage at the Valley High School Auditorium, were three of SoCal’s well known classical dance schools. It began with guru Nandita Behera’s Odissi Dance Circle, where the performers beautifully performed the slaying of the demon Mahisha. Viji Prakash’s Shakti School of Dance in the Bharata Natyam style began their presentation with “Ya Devi Sarvebhuteshu” and went on to do some fast paced pieces invoking the mother goddess in her various manifestations. The smallest group of dancers belonged to Ramya Harishankar’s Arpana Dance Company but their coordination and attention to detail in ‘Nithyakalyani’ was equally engaging. The folk element was provided by UCLA’s Raas-Garba team Bataaka Nu Shaak who did a lively dandiya number that had the audience responding and clapping along.
The resounding final number was the coming together of all the dance groups to the strains of the patriotic “Vande Mataram” in salute to Mother India. The program was interspersed with a few speeches including one by the head of the Foundation Committee of CMLA, Dr.Shashi Acharya who announced that over $200,000 had been raised in support of the organization’s myriad community activities and spiritual and religious events. Navitha and Krishna Rao, longtime and active members of CMLA spoke of their continuing ties with the institution and the benefits they had accrued over the years as a family. Acharya P.Mahadevji thanked volunteers for their time and donors for their ongoing support.