World Arts West
SF Ethnic Dance Festival


Bhavajan Kumar

First Appearance in EDF:

Bhavajan Kumar is a rising male dancer in the discipline of bharatanatyam. A disciple of Gurus Sri. Shijith Nambiar and Smt. Parvathy Menon and Smt. Bragha Bessell, he is the first Canadian born male dancer to receive the Vazhuvoor Ramiah Pillai Endowment Award from the Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana. He also received the Pandit Durga Lal Endowment from Sri Krishna Gana Sabha; and Yuva Kala Bharathi Award from Bharath Kalachar. 


CHOREOGRAPHERS: Sri. Shijith Nambiar and Smt. Parvathy Shijith
SOLOIST: Bhavajan Kumar
MUSICAL COMPOSER: Vidwan Shaktala Govinda Marar
MUSICIANS: K.P. Yesodha (nattuwangam), K.P. Ramesh Babu (mridangam), Sreedev Rajagopalan (vocal), Easwar Ramakrishnan (violin), Vishnu Vijay (flute), Barbara Framm (tambura)

Bhavajan Kumar is a bharatanatyam soloist in the Kalakshetra tradition, which is the same lineage as that of Katherine and K.P. Kunhiraman, this year’s lifetime achievement awardees. He performs Chandramoule, which is an homage to Lord Chandramouleeshwara of Pandaripura, a manifestation of Lord Shiva. It is literally a
danced description of the Lord from head to toe, expressing the following praise:
Lord Shiva is the vital force in every action and aspect of primordial energy, protector of the universe, compassionate and merciful one who showers us with his benevolence. Loved by his devotees and feared by his enemies, worshiped by the gods and sages, he is indeed sachidanantha or the personification of the union of truth, knowledge, and endless joy.

His dreadlocks resemble the rising sun; from his locks flows the river Ganges; he is adorned with the crescent moon; on his forehead sits the third eye that if opened can destroy the universe with its flames; his body is smeared in
holy ash; his cheeks glow like the sun; on his ear is the rudraksha bead; he wears a necklace of skulls as victory over bad inner qualities; on his feet, anklets resound across the heavens as he dances; he wears tiger skin; he is adorned with snakes; he holds the axe and deer in his hands; he is seated in Kalisha with his wife Parvathi and his sons Muruga and Ganesha; and—most appropriate to this highly-skilled technical bharatanatyam performance— he blesses all sages and beings in this world through his cosmic dance.

This piece is a composition of Vidwan Shatkala Govinda Marar, with choreography by Sri. Shijith Nambiar and Smt.Parvathy Shijith. The live music ensemble—on cymbal, vocals, mridangam drum, violin, flute, and tamboura stringed drone—is improvised in melodic pattern ragam bowli; with rhythm mishra chapu talam. Bhavajan Kumar wears a traditional kanchipuram silk costume.

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