Bharatanatyam is an Indian classical dance form that provides the artiste an avenue to express a myriad of emotions. The themes explored through this art form and both worldly and spiritual. Legend has it that Brahma created it as the 5th Veda by extracting its core elements from the 4 Vedas- music from Samaveda, words or expressions from Rigveda, movement from Yajurveda and emotions from Atharvaveda.

The Flowering Tree is a part of a collection and documentation of oral tales from India by A.K. Ramanujan, a scholar from Mysore, India, who also obtained a Ph. D from Indiana University. The story centers around a girl Kumuda who strives to improve the quality of life for her family members. She and her sister conceive of a secret, mystical plan to earn a living for their family, where Kumuda transforms herself into a tree in the night, produces flowers which her sister gently plucks. Later on, she becomes a human being once again. The sisters sell the flowers and make money. A local prince learns of Kumuda and marries her. The rest of the story is about what transpires when Kumuda begins her life in the royal family. Through the excellent use of metaphors, the poem explores many themes-of ecology, of the prevailing status of women in India, and of human relationships.

Natya Dance Theater promises to delight the audience with its interpretation of this powerful story by interweaving several art forms-dance, poetry and theater.

After bringing some of the greatest performers in Indian classical music to Fort Wayne, Shruthi and IPFW will showcase yet another Indian classical art form, which promises to be a visual and aural treat!