Sarika | March 26, 2015

A Post from Shreya

Our amazing dancer, Shreya Kundur, wrote a blog post on preparing for our upcoming Cherry Blossom Performance!

Images Courtesy of Preet Mandavia

Winter hibernation mode is over and we’ve made the abrupt shift to spring. From a federal government declared snow day/work from home day/catch up on House of Cards day on Thursday to drinking beers on a sunny U Street rooftop on Sunday. Time to get out the transitional light jackets and stop freaking out if you don’t have Chapstick and hand cream on you at all times.  

Springtime in DC means we all once again have the chance of seeing our beautiful cherry blossoms in action. This means tracking progress on the cherry blossom live cam, adjusting your personal schedule according to the peak bloom forecast and staying optimistic when the moment you choose to walk down to the Tidal Basin is too early or too late…it’s a lot of work. This year, I have the added timing complexity of hoping that the cherry blossoms are in full bloom during the Cherry Blossom Festival weekend that SAPAN will be performing (March 27th-29th) (everyone reading this should come :) ).  

Like spring, the date of the performance has snuck up on us. We’ve been slowly choreographing new pieces and brushing up on our repertoire, but now that we’re three weeks out, it’s time to kick it into high gear. Thankfully, our fearless leaders Trisha and Ahsin have put together an action plan to get us into performance ready shape. I’ll be seeing my dance crew 4/7 days of the week to commit steps to memory, coordinate formations and perfect difficult sequences.  

I’m particularly excited for a collaboration piece between flutist Anand and two dancers Anishi and Silky. I’m also looking forward to performing pieces to hip-hop songs with English lyrics. I have never danced any hip-hop in my life (we won’t count my moves on the Kabin dance floor), which is scary and exciting at the same time. You can bet I’ll be practicing to the over-the-door hanging mirror in my tiny bedroom a lot these next three weeks. I know our rigor during practices will pay off on stage during our performance. The only thing left uncertain is if the cherry blossoms will cooperate!

Photo Credit: Nate Moulton / The Hoya

About the Author

Sarika began learning Bharatanatyam at the age of 6 and performed her Arangetram (solo dance debut) in 2000 under the tutelage of the Kunhiramans. Throughout her training, Sarika also attended the Natya-Adyayana-Gurukula (summer dance camp) conducted by the world renowned Dhananjayans. She has performed in multiple venues within California and was a part of the Dhananjayan dance drama, Satya Shivam Sundaram which toured through the East Coast. Although Bharatanatyam was Sarika’s first exposure to dance, she has since developed a love for other South Asian performing arts by performing with the UC Davis Girls Bhangra Team, Ronak Punjab Ki. She has also used her expressive talent to perform Bollywood film songs at weddings, at the University of Maryland Cultural Shows and a Virginia-based dance company. Sarika continues to pursue all forms of dance and has found that it has shaped many other aspects of her professional and personal life. Professionally, Sarika is a consultant specializing in Program Management and Strategy.

Photography courtesy of Sardar Aziz and Shan Jalla
sapan dancers
sapan member playing guitar

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