My Perspective on Yavanika: Veiled Perspectives

Jan 15, 2014

By Gauri Shringarpure

"We do not see people the way they are. We see people the way we are." She couldn't have been more right, Anaïs Nin.

     Another person had somewhat of an epiphany a few years ago. A confident, strong woman; always stepping up for what's right, speaking up for the meek, rooting for the underdogs. She knew she had a good life, and it tore her heart when she came to face someone who didn't. "There has to be something I could do to help," she believed. And almost every time, there was -- if it wasn't monetary support, it was knowing the right people; if it wasn’t the right people, it was offering a place to stay -- at the very least, she'd motivate them with her words and make them believe in their own selves. She'd urge them to rise from their "plight" and change their life. Yes, there was always some way she could help them, and she was happy that their life changed for the better, and that she had a role to play in it.

     What she didn't ask herself was, were they happy that their life was changed? Did they really want it to change? Why did some people seem so comfortable in their discomfort? Did they even perceive it as "discomfort" to begin with? Here you are, holding the ace of spades and the queen of hearts, feeling sorry for the poor dears who have been dealt three deuces -- but what if they saw life as a game of Flush, not Bridge? What if life was in fact a game of Flush? What seems warped to one mind, could very well seem just perfect to another. These are all just perspectives, and we all have our own. The thing is, when it comes to other people and their lives, they tend to be a wee bit clouded -- or should we say veiled -- these perspectives.

     This is what Yavanika is all about – it’s about veiled perspectives. Conceived and produced by Joyce Paul Siamak – creator, script writer, choreographer, lead dancer -- and the girl with the epiphany some years ago. Joined on stage by the multi-talented Meera Krishna, also lead dancer, and music advisor. Original music by Murali Pavithran, written with every movement, expression and emotion in mind.

Art lovers in the Seattle community need no introduction to the very talented Joyce and Meera: one runs a popular school of Bharatanatyam, the other runs a popular school of Carnatic music. If you know them personally, you will agree they are made of three things: exceptional talent, grace and perfection. Yes, these two are taskmasters, and they will not settle for the second-best –- there’s no better testimony to that than their hand-picked team of six artistes, two of whom hold their own prominent place in the Seattle dance scene. Tanvee, Prashanti, Prajakta, Gayatri, Meera and Nivedita, soon to be known as the Elements of Life, complement the leads with precision and finesse. Their confidence, grace and solid technique, not to mention a fun, open attitude make it easy for them to meet the exactitude Meera and Joyce hold them (and themselves) to. 

      Yavanika is a story that speaks to you. It speaks with the vibrant colors of its costumes, it speaks with Murali’s soulful score, and it speaks with the ebb and flow of the artistes' movements. The only thing it does not speak with, is words - because those will be spoken by the voices in our heads, compelling us to ask questions to ourselves as we watch these gifted danseuses work their magic on stage. Because no matter how well-conceived or brilliant a performance is, what ultimately completes it is a discerning audience that can recognize and savor its brilliance. 

     The Yavanika team is working hard to keep their end of the deal, and from what I've seen and known of it, they will. For now, it's time to act on keeping ours. 

Yavanika is an Arpan production in partnership with the Kirkland Performance Center. Tickets can be bought here 

For more details on Yavanika, visit:






Category: YAVANIKA

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Posted by sweetyshinde on
As expected, a fantastic review .
It was like a parallel un-veiled perspective. Your words added that final dimension .
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