Sonali Skandan & Jiva Dance premiere
Mayura: Blue Peacock
Chen Dance Centre, 7pm
Sept 18 - 20, 2014 NYC

August 15, 2014

Mayura is the Sanskrit word for peacock, the beautiful bird indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. Throughout history, it has been featured in poetry, literature, sculpture, painting, music, dance, mythology, and so on.  The new evening-length work created by Sonali Skandan & Jiva Dance titled Mayura: Blue Peacock uses classical poetry and literature to weave vivid images of the peacock from Indian myths and legends – from the powerful ancient Mayil Virutham which praises the peacock as Lord Muruga’s vehicle, to the lilting epics of Kalidasa describing the peacock in the rains and as a reminder of Ram’s longing for Sita, to the love songs of Andal and Mirabhai.

The original music score has been composed by the renowned composer Rajkumar Bharathi and features original choreography by Sonali Skandan and guest choreographer Bragha Bessell. The cast comprises six talented energetic dancers.

My Beloved has come home with the rains, and the fire of longing is doused. Now is the time for singing, the time of union. At the first thunderclap, even the peacocks open their tails with pleasure and dance.
- Meerabhai, 15th century

He remembers with extreme pain the very hills where during his stay in exile with Sita, the peacock had danced to his great delight.
- Raghuvamsa, Kalidasa, 5th century

The peacock- whose Lord is Muruga, who destroyed the Asuraas and broke the Krouncha Mountain and whose consort is the beautiful Deivaanai- dances with its green-hued feathers and darkness engulfs the entire Universe and the Heavens.
-Mayil Virrutham, Arunagirinathar, 15th century

Dancers: Sonali Skandan, Njideka Emenogu, Maya Kappil, Bavani Pillai, Sangita Sahasranaman, Mallika Bhargava

Lighting Design: Tim Cryan

Direction: Shruti Ramachandran

Dates: September 18, 19, 20, 2014  (Opening night reception on Sept. 18)

Venue: Chen Dance Center, 70 Mulbery St, New York, NY 10013 (

Time: 7pm
Tickets: $22 / $18 Seniors and Students (  

Sonali Skandan and Jiva Dance is the professional dance company of Jiva Performing Arts, an organization based in NYC, which seeks to educate and present the classical music and dance of India. Jiva Dance began in 2008 under the artistic direction of Sonali Skandan. Jiva Dance sees the importance of preserving and promoting the traditional arts, yet also understands the need to incorporate innovative techniques to reach diverse audiences. They have presented at Universities, Colleges, and Festivals in the East coast to tremendous audience acclaim.


Mayura: Blue Peacock is made possible in part with funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.