"The Reflection of a Decade & Beyond"

@Copyright 2010. Sudha Krishnan. All Rights Reserved. 

#10yearsofNLD #DecennaryYear #10thyear@NLD #NrityaLayaDarpan #DarpanaaTheReflectorSeries 

With the blessings of Lord Almighty, I humbly offer my salutations at the feet of all my gurus and share with you all a glimpse into the decade long journey of Nritya Laya Darpan. I am also very grateful for the continuous support of my family and my very near and dear friends throughout this time.

In 1983, as a 5 year old I started my journey of learning this beautiful art form of Bharatanatyam. A decade later, I completed my Arangetram under Guru Shri. K.J.Govindarajan Pillai of Bharata Natya Niketan, New Delhi. In the decade following that, I performed extensively under various banners in and around the capital city of India as well as in Chennai and Chidambaram.

After moving to the USA, in 2000, I started teaching young children, all the while envisioning about spreading this art form to larger recipients. The vision became a reality in 2010 and Nritya Laya Darpan ~ Reflecting the Art of Dance and Rhythm, my vision started to take form. It has been a very gratifying and enriching journey with learnings along the way. Having started from less than a handful to a good number of students today, from an apartment patio to a garage to rented spaces and now to a studio of our own, this decade has been eventful and for that I am extremely humbled and indebted to Him for having bestowed His grace upon me. To read more about the initiative, click here.

In 2018, I was fortunate to showcase my very first student Arangetram, a milestone in every teacher's journey in the presence of my Guru Smt. Vidhya Subramaniam and esteemed guests of honor. 

Nritya Laya Darpan continues to cater to the students of today bringing along several accomplishments through dedicated learning of the art form. 10 years since the school's inception, it stays true to its core principles and values, offering plenty of opportunities and platforms for our students to shine and showcase their passion.

The decennary year gives me an opportunity to reminisce upon some memorable accomplishments and to reflect upon the goals and vision of NLD. Some key highlights of this 10th year -

Early 2020 -

We kicked off 2020 with a grand Natya Aradhana for Arudra Celebrations at the Pancha Mukha Hanuman Temple, Dublin, CA where all the students of Nritya Laya Darpan - beginners to advanced performed their seva to the dancing lord.

I was also blessed with the opportunity to perform on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri Natyarchana celebrations at the Sanathan Dharma Kendra, San Jose. With the cooperation and support of the NLD families, we were quick to transition to online platform of learning soon as the shelter was put in place due to the prevailing pandemic. 

Yet another dream that came to fulfillment this year is, Darpana Reflector Series that was launched in March 2020 as a platform for aspiring learners through topic based workshops conducted under esteemed artistes like Sri. Vaibhav Arekar and Dr. Sridhar Vasudevan. Additionally, Darpana also serves as a platform for young aspirants to showcase their learning and passion. All the sessions were very well received leaving the participants yearning for more. We also took the opportunity to give back to the artiste community by donating a portion of the honorarium to professionals in this field who have been affected by the pandemic.

Spring 2020 -

In May, a handful of students of Nritya Laya Darpan got together to publish its very first internal newsletter, The Darpan Gazette, bringing together all the students and  families with interesting updates, topics on mythology, theory and much more. It has already released 3 issues since and is a permanent feature at NLD making every edition interesting with newer ideas each time. For this decennary month edition, the newsletter team, has put together a video footage titled ~ "A Candid Conversation - Smt. Sudha Krishnan, Artistic Director of Nritya Laya Darpan talks to The Darpan Gazette Team" specially for the students and families of NLD. 

Summer 2020 -

Through the summer months of July, August and September, some of the students of Nritya Laya Darpan and myself got opportunities through various organizations to perform live virtual concerts.

Fall 2020 -

Yet another vision that came to fruition, Nritya Sudharnava ~ Nectarine Ocean of Dance, was inaugurated under the esteemed presence of Dr. Sridhar Vasudevan. The maiden performance of the series was by my student Kum. Varsha Punati.

NLD was also proud to present two more student performances on the platform of NatyAkademi in the month of October. 

I would like to thank every organization and my dear dancing friends and peers for giving our school several opportunities over this past decade to present what we are passionate about.

All this would be unimaginable without the trust and support of my dearest NLD family. Every student makes NLD what it is today and I am ever grateful to the Lord for this blessing.