Shakthi: Program highlights (Dec 27, 2003) 
by Shyamala Shivakumar 

January 6, 2004   
The evening started with Mr. K Kumar, president of the Indian Fine Arts Society, welcoming the audience and artiste. Ranjani Jaidev rendered a soulful prayer song, and compeered the show along with Deepa.

The theme was Shakti, interpreted as the power of love and devotion to the Almighty. The pieces were classical masterpieces.

For the next two hours, the 300 strong audience was riveted to the stage. The program was in four segments, each delineating a different facet of Shakti. The brilliance of the performance and the intense emotions it evoked in the audience as they immersed themselves in Shakti, was itself a sight to behold. The stage shook as it resounded with the rhythmic patterns at such speed that evoked gasps from the wonderstruck audience. The powerful portrayal of emotions was remarkable as it drew the audience into a journey of love and devotion. The rigor of the performance was impressive with all the actions performed in their fullness.

Renowned playback singer S Janaki, made a graceful appearance on stage, and recollected with emotion how she had seen Deepa growing as an artiste over the past 20 years. Even as a young girl, Deepa would give excellent performances, and she was happy that Deepa did not give up her dance after marriage. She mentioned that it was the strong support of her husband Mr. R Ganesh, Vice President – Citibank, which has enabled Deepa to pursue her vocation.

At the end of the performance, the heartfelt ovation said it all. Many in the audience had tears in their eyes, so shaken were they by the soul stirring program. A sampling of the feedback from the audience:

“ It is rare to have seen such a performance in Dubai, especially from a local artiste”

“Deepa, we thought we knew you well, but we didn’t expect this level of performance”

“It is such a pity that you are leaving Dubai. We will miss you so much.”

“What was very unique in this program was that you conveyed most of the message through your facial expressions rather than concentrating too much on rhythmic patterns and dance movements. Your confidence was so visible that you took long virutham where you only have the verse and the meaning to assist you to convey the message. Well done!”

Deepa adds, “It was very satisfying for me personally to have performed for the Dubai audience, at a time when I am bidding goodbye to this lovely city. It was indeed a big challenge for me to prepare for this program at this busy time, it was possible only because of the depth of teaching from my gurus, that has left such a deep imprint in me.”