Of empathy and aesthetics

  • By Hindu
  • | Thursday | 12th October, 2017

Aikyam Foundation partnered with Morgan Adams Foundation, a non-profit organisation committed to raising awareness and funds to combat DIPG. Sulakshana collaborated with Carnatic and Hindustani musicians, Bharatanatyam, Odissi and Kathak dancers and also Classical Harp musicians and Irish Step dancers to present Aikyam 2016 in Denver last year. The event was a mosaic of Bharatanatyam, Carnatic and Western classical music and Japanese Taiko drums. This year she curated a mega fundraiser, Aikyam 2017, which was presented on September 17, at the D.L. Working with zealThe positive response and cooperation she has received for her initiative, has reinforced Sulakshana’s zeal to work for a cause.

Malcolm Forbes said “Diversity is the art of thinking independently together.” This best describes multi-cultural collaborative efforts in the diaspora especially when artistes of different genres come together for a cause and find a unique common identity.

Sulakshana Jayaram, disciple of renowned gurus, Indira Rajan and the late Pandanallur Srinivasan, established Shivoham School of Dance in 2011 after she relocated to the U.S.

Traumatised by the December 2015 floods that devastated her home town, Chennai, she started the Aikyam Foundation to help with the rehabilitation efforts.

Sulakshana collaborated with Carnatic and Hindustani musicians, Bharatanatyam, Odissi and Kathak dancers and also Classical Harp musicians and Irish Step dancers to present Aikyam 2016 in Denver last year. Collectively, they raised $18,802 which was given to the Association for India’s Development (AID ) to construct six houses for flood-affected families as part of their Eureka ‘Hut to Home’ initiative.

Working with zeal

The positive response and cooperation she has received for her initiative, has reinforced Sulakshana’s zeal to work for a cause. This year she curated a mega fundraiser, Aikyam 2017, which was presented on September 17, at the D.L. Parsons Theatre, Denver, Colorado. The event was a mosaic of Bharatanatyam, Carnatic and Western classical music and Japanese Taiko drums. It also featured an ‘Art and Dine’ segment showcasing the works of talented artistes and photographers — all united to fight against Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a rare paediatric brain tumour. Aikyam Foundation partnered with Morgan Adams Foundation, a non-profit organisation committed to raising awareness and funds to combat DIPG. “By funding research, we are ‘funding hope’ for children who battle this tumour,” says Sulakshana.

The line-up of artistes this year included Leela Samson and her company Spanda which presented ‘Nadi,’ Chamber Ensemble from Avanti Music Academy with its founder Amra Tomsic on the piano, One world Taiko Japanese Drummers led by Gary Tsujimoto and Nancy Ozaki, Carnatic ensemble with Suma Venkatesh from India on the vocals and Sulakshana Jayaram (Bharatanatyam) and a host of dancers and musicians.

Sulakshana adds with conviction: “We can be ‘that’ difference. And it matters that we care. And because no effort is too small, no contribution is insignificant.” Stay updated with all the Chennai Latest News headlines here. For more exclusive & live news updates from all around India, stay connected with NYOOOZ.

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