A rendezvous with Shubanjali
- where tradition and discipline meets the dancer
by Bhanu Iyer, NY
500 people joined in the gala 10th Anniversary celebrations of Shubanjali
School of Performing Arts, (a premier non-profit organization promoting
classical dances in the US) held at Terrill Middle School Auditorium, Scotch
Plains, NJ on Saturday, September 27, 2003. It was an evening of
pure traditional extravaganza as 50 or more students of Shubanjali performed
a grand repertoire of Bharatanatyam and folk dances specially choreographed
and produced by Guru Suba Ramesh Parmar. Great spiritual leaders
graced the occasion as they showered their blessings on the school and
its founder and choreographer Suba Ramesh Parmar for her exemplary contribution
to the promotion and preservation of Indian culture in the US.
Suba Ramesh Parmar, a well-known dancer and teacher of Bharatanatyam in the US, founded Shubanjali in 1993, and within a span of 10 years has created a praiseworthy reputation for the school in the tri-state area. She is a sought after performer and teacher in the tri-state. Her passion and experience combined with a rare faculty of the arts allows her to portray tradition making it understandable to the mainstream audiences. She has directed and produced several award winning mythological and contemporary dance dramas including “Dance of the Mind”, “Shakthi”, “Ramayana”, “Tales of Krishna” to name a few. Parmar has given a number of performances for leading organizations in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Washington DC, California, Bahamas, Canada, University of Rio etc.
Suba has mesmerized audiences around the world with her enthralling Bharatanatyam performances and has been an ambassador of Indian culture to countless western yoga students introducing the best of Hindu culture through her classical dances. Her spiritual approach is not just limited to teaching and sharing this art form, but has effectively created an environment that embodies a well-conceived methodology, for the systematic study of technique, culture and representation of Indian arts to a global audience.
Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati who blessed the school and Suba’s efforts, mentioned “I have known Suba from childhood and have seen her growing in her knowledge and performance of Bharatanatyam dance form. In her dance one can see distinctly the portrayal of various “karanas” – even the most difficult ones. Her abhinaya, which expounds the lyric, is very natural and mature. All these make her not only an accomplished dancer, but an inspiring teacher.”
Swami Srinivasananda, Director of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center, commended Suba’s contribution as invaluable to the countless yoga practitioners in the West where she regularly performs. Samani Charitra Pragyaji and Samani Sanga Prgyaji of Jain Viswa Bharati of NJ, Dr. and Mrs. Mahendra Jani of Vivekananda Vidyapith were some of the chief guests who felicitated and honored the school on this remarkable milestone.
The evening commenced with a sequence titled “Dance of the Mind” a theme from Vivekachudamani and Kathopanishad describing the journeys of the human soul. The body as the chariot and the sense organs as the five horses was beautifully visualized and choreographed by Suba Parmar. The next item was a medley of rhythm and jathis presented by the sub-juniors of Shubanjali. Various formations in time and space were executed with precision, symmetry and well-coordinated costumes.
The folk tune of Kavadi Chindu captivated the audience as the students danced to faster folk movements in praise of Lord Karthikeya. The program concluded with a very vibrant tillana concluding in a mangalam in prayers for world peace and happiness. James DeFillipps assisted Suba Parmar in nattuvangam. The whole evening was meticulously organized and there was great joy and contentment in the hearts of the audience as they commended Suba Parmar for presenting a memorable event. In the words of Suba, “It has been my dream to bring Indian classical dances closer to hearts of the western audience, and in this program, we have made that possible with the support and best wishes from our Governor Mr. James E. McGreevey and the local Government of Scotch Plains and Union County. Our classical arts are the backbone of our culture, and it is very important to create the right image for our country through proper representation of our Fine Arts, and in today’s program we have successfully accomplished that.”