Southern California based Arpana Dance Company (ADC) has had the honor of performing in the US, Europe and India under the guidance of Ramya Harishankar. Dance Conversations 2016 brought ‘communities’ together in a unique collaboration between the company and students of Irvine Valley College. Summer tours of the East Coast/Canada by ADC continued in 2015 as well as creative collaborations as part of Dance Conversations 3 Part 1 with UCI’s student musicians and Diaspora singers. The year 2014 ended with a very successful tour of Hawaii with Kinnara Taiko. ADC also had the unique opportunity to opportunity to participate in an experiment on perception called One song, many dances. Summer of 2013 took ADC to Germany and Croatia for performances and workshops. In December 2011, ADC travelled to Japan performing with Kinnara Taiko in Hiroshima, Kure and Nara raising over $20000 for Tsunami relief.

Ganga….life as a river, the provocative post modern production premiered in ‘05 and was partly funded by a ‘Creativity’ grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the ‘Artist’s support’ program of the Fund for Folk Culture. It has since toured several venues in California, Nevada and Texas and also received grants from unknown Theatre, South Coast Repertory and the Treasures Award from the California Society for Traditional Music and the LA County Department of Cultural Affairs.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the school, ADC presented a retrospective Classic Arpana 25 to a sold out audience at the Irvine Barclay Theatre followed by a 6 city tour of India accompanied by LA based Kinnara Taiko in ‘07. Named a LA Milestone Dance Company by the Dance Resource Center of Los Angeles, the Arpana Dance Company received citations from the cities if Irvine and Anaheim, from the County of Orange and the State of California. Spring ‘05, ADC dancers placed first in their category for dancing and the 2nd prize for costumes at the International Danz Grand Prix in Barcelona, Spain.

The Company has presented over 15 full length productions, many raising funds of charities world wide. In ‘03, Pancha Bhootam choreographed by Prof. C.V. Chandrasekhar was successfully presented in LA followed by performances in Phoenix, the Cleveland Tyagaraja Festival and more recently in Portland, Detroit, San Diego and Salt Lake City. Celluloid Classics, an exploration of film music using the classical and folk dance idiom was collaboration between Harishankar and Radhika Shurajit. ADC received a several Traditional Folk Arts grants from the California Arts Council including one for a unique program of interpretive dance called Women in E’motion. Margam was the culmination of the Master/Apprentice project supported by the Alliance for California Traditional Arts.

In July ‘02, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Arpana School, the Company revived Maya Manusha- the illusive One and also, presented Woman Divine with dancer/choreographer, G. Narendra. The Company won the 2nd prize at the ‘00 and ‘03 International Dance Grand Prix in Prague, Czech Republic. In 2000 …new beginnings...featured for the first time the work of guest choreographers. A collaborative presentation with LA Ole, a Flamenco dance company and Pouian Music Conservatory, a Persian group titled Triveni - an ocean of harmony (‘99) raised funds for the American Red Cross. Sangam - many rhythms, one beat (‘98) an interesting collaboration with Thanjavur, an Indo-American Jazz fusion ensemble and Kinnara Taiko, a Japanese drumming group was a fund raiser for the American Cancer Society.

Nritya Saram - the essence of dance
(‘97) was a unique program using contemporary elements to communicate traditional repertoire and also toured N. California and Oregon. The same year Company toured Europe with performances in Germany and Austria. Nirvana - the pathways (‘96) was presented in aid of Child Reach and Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Summer 1995, the Company successfully undertook a tour of 7 Indian cities raising monies for needy children there. The California Arts Council awarded ADC the Multi Cultural Entry grant from’89 through ‘01. Besides participating in several major festivals and venues in S. California, the Company has toured major cities of California, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kansas, Texas, Oregon and Washington D.C

In ‘94, a new version of Uthsava, a benefit for the Children’s Hospital of OC. Eka: Nyka: One & Many (‘93) and Maya Manusha - the illusive One (‘92) benefited Pediatric AIDS Foundation and Make-A-Wish Foundation respectively. The other productions of ADC include Uthsava: a glorious celebration (‘90), Gita Govinda (‘88) and Epics of India (‘88), an official event of the Orange County Centennial and Krshnarpanam (‘85) in aid of the Malibu Temple.