Friday, February 03, 2023 | Rajab 11, 1444 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Muscat resident set to perform at Meydenbauer Center in the US

@kabeeryousef -


It’s nothing short of an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ feeling for Bhavya Asha Renchi Mathew, a Muscat resident who migrated to the US with her husband to pursue her passion for dance and music.


Her troupe at ‘Mohini Dance School’ will be performing at the historic Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue WA which is a theatre in high demand that hosts 250 events with nearly 150,000 guests each year, on April 30.


“Honestly, ‘I’m on top of the world’ kind of feeling for the entire troupe members and I’m thankful to my parents, my friends and relatives in Oman, India and the US. Really excited to be performing at Meydenbauer'', an overwhelmed Bhavya told the 'Observer' on phone from Washington.


A danseuse by passion, Bhavya has always found pleasure in experimenting and fusing different dance forms and merging a variety of music, and incorporating odd rhythms and steps each other to derive a musical wonder all anew.


“NIRVANA, revisioning the mythical Medusa” is a new journey into an ancient story of the formidable snaked-haired Gorgon, Medusa. The troupe is attempting to reveal the lost truth behind antiquity’s most infamous monster for the first time in the Pacific Northwest through the medium of Indian Classical Dance.


“This powerful retelling is an attempt to shed a unique light on how the cursed monster is instrumental in leading the eternal Goddess of Wisdom and War, Athena, on a path of self-realisation. It echoes the truth that beauty is a reflection of our inner purity and greatness lies not in perfection but the strength to rise from a fall.”


According to her, it will be a perfect treat to all senses when Indian classical dancers juxtaposed with magnificent sets, dazzling costumes and originally composed music breathes life into this ancient story on April 30.


A journey par excellence in dance


Bhavya completed her schooling in Indian School Muscat before she did her B.Tech in Electronics and Communication from Rajagiri School of Engineering and Technology and her MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California.


She grew up watching her mother, Asha Renchi Mathew, an accomplished dancer perform. She has trained under stalwarts like kalamandalam Sugandhi, Kalamandalam Mohana Thulasi, Kalamandalam Saraswathi and also at Regatta Natya Sangeetha Kendra.


She took her baby steps in dance when she was just four under the tutelage of Dr Neena Prasad, a renowned Mohiniyattam dancer after which she was formally trained in Bharatnatyam, Mohiniyattam and Kuchippudi by Kalamandalam Mohana Thulasi. She received training from Rajesh Master, an instructor at RDI Performing Arts who moulded her in cinematic classes.


It was after she settled in Seattle in 2017 that she joined Mohini Dance School, founded by Smitha Krishnan, who is a disciple of Guru Kala Vijayan, daughter of Guru Kalyanikuttiyamma, who is considered the mother of Mohiniyattam.


“Although I have trained in Bharatnatyam, Mohiniyattam and Kuchipudi, Mohiniyattam so far remains my favourite and what excites me about dancing is the ability to creatively collaborate with so many other artists and bring stories to life. Drama, comedy and romance are just some of the facets of those stories and I find all equally enthralling'', she turned verbal.


She has had the unique opportunity to perform as part of the crew for the prestigious Soorya Festival, an acclaimed dance and music fest, and the second being the opportunity to perform at the Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM).


Medusa on stage


Guru Smitha Krishnan conceived the idea of performing Medusa and her origin story as a classical dance ballet in Seattle. The production, titled “NIRVANA, revisioning the mythical Medusa”, is significant since this is the first time in the Pacific Northwest that the troupe is portraying this story through the medium of Indian Classical Dance.


The work on this production began in 2020, with several dancers and musicians working round the clock to make it happen.


Meydenbauer Hall is the premier convention center in Bellevue which has hosted over 5,000,000 guests in its lifetime and three hydroplanes in the Center Hall.


The Meydenbauer Center Theatre whose unofficial mascot is the rubber duck can see 212 performers on its stage.


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