Pitt’s Nrityamala Wins in Competition

By Sushma Kola and Indrani Kar, University of Pittsburgh, PA

As Pitt students and veteran members of Nrityamala (founded 2006), the only student organization in the area dedicated to Indian classical dances, we are pleased that Nrityamala won 1st place at Laasya 2011 competitive event. Each year, we choreograph our own pieces to selected music. This year, the team comprised of nine post-arangetram dancers in Bharatanatyam or Kuchipudi. Shobhitha Ravi, a senior, has been captain of Nrityamala for the past two years.

L to R Standing Swarna Sunkara, Santhiya Mahikanthan, Indrani Kar, Shobhitha Ravi, Pranathi Kaki, and Sudha Mokkapati. Sitting Sushma Kola, Shipra Kumar, and Anita Rao.

The team competed at Laasya 2011 hosted by the University of Maryland on February 26th, where they walked away champions. Laasya is the only collegiate Indian classical dance competition on the East Coast, and eight teams are selected to perform following review of their audition video. The winning team gets to host the competition the following year, and Nrityamala is honored and looks forward to welcome teams from across the country to Laasya 2012 in Pittsburgh.

Pitt’s Nrityamala strives to keep the classical tradition alive by consistently performing at cultural shows on campus. This past November, they were thrilled to perform off campus for the first time at Johns Hopkins University for the classical exhibition show Nritya Mala 2010.

After humble beginnings, we have grown into a widely recognized collegiate dance team. We are excited to host Laasya 2012 and invite the Pittsburgh community to be on the lookout for Laasya promotional events. Finally, we would like to thank our respective Gurus from across the nation who have taught us so much not only in dance, but also in dedication and discipline.

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