Press Release: “ The Poetry of Love”



Kalanidhi Dance Premieres The Poetry of Love on September 30, 2017

Five new dance works bring Kuchipudi into conversation with diverse influences from around the world

Contact: Anuradha Nehru, (202) 361-3067,

Concept by Anuradha Nehru

Choreography by Anuradha Nehru and Chitra Kalyandurg

Music composition by Raman Kalyan



Bethesda, MD ― Kalanidhi Dance captivates audiences with exquisitely conceptualized performances that push Kuchipudi, the ancient classical dance of Southern India, in new and exciting directions. The Financial Times calls Kalanidhi’s work “polished,” and “especially picturesque,” with “gorgeous tableaux featuring fanning fingers and angled limbs, and kaleidoscopic circles of young women skimming the floor and springing like gazelles.”


This September, Artistic Director Anuradha Nehru works with acclaimed composer and flute virtuoso Raman Kalyan to create The Poetry of Love, a one-of-a-kind production inspired by love poems that span tradition, time, and culture. From an eighteenth century Scottish lament, to a classical Tamil love poem of the sixth century, the production explores love’s complexity, revealing facets that are at once heartbreaking and healing:


Red Earth and Pouring Rain is drawn from the Kuruntokai, an ancient Tamil poetic work from the Sangam age. First-love blossoms as monsoon rains fall on the red-earthed hills of the Tamil landscape, mingling with the soil until the two are indistinguishable. The choreography evokes the concept of fate and destiny, as two hearts, at first unknown to each other, seamlessly merge.


Lament – inspired by the haunting Gaelic melodies of MacCrimmon’s Lament written in 1745, the company dancers invoke the imagery of deep waters both unforgiving and comforting, taking them on a melancholic journey through loss.


Raas Lila represents love in its most joyous form – the celestial dance between Krishna and the Gopis as described in the Bhaagavata Purana of the 8th century CE. Krishna’s love is so vast that he dances with every Gopi at once, yet each feels he is hers alone. The choreography unfolds into a festive exchange of sweeping movement punctuated by rhythmic footwork.


Saa Virahe – this duet finds a despondent Radha, suffering the pangs of separation as she meditates on the thought of her beloved Krishna. The two dancers move seamlessly between characters, capturing Radha’s blissful memories with her love, all the while tormented by Cupid’s incessant flower-tipped arrows.


Mast Qalandar takes inspiration from Amir Khusrow’s spiritual song celebrating the intoxicating bliss of complete devotion. The company dancers embody the rhythm and spirit of the Sufi practice of whirling –a spiritual ascent through love into the divine.


The Poetry of Love premieres Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 6pm at the Cultural Arts Center, Montgomery County in Silver Spring, MD. Tickets are priced at $25 and $50, and are available online at

The creation of The Poetry of Love is made possible in part by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council.


“This superb company bases its style in Kuchipudi, the rich genre from Andhra Pradesh (just north of Tamil Nadu); it has constantly beautiful choreography by Anuradha Nehru and Chitra Kalyandurg.”

- The New York Times, August 16, 2017

“I’ve never seen such a polished, professional display of Kuchipudi before. I was blown away. The attention to detail was impeccable.”

- Dance Metro DC, DC Dance Journalism Project, November 2016

“American-based Kalanidhi troupe took the audience by storm”

- The Hindu, October 2007

“It is an exciting development in Kuchipudi that this tradition can be remolded and rewritten for international audiences without any of the form’s essence being compromised. In this regard Kalanidhi has a great deal to be proud of.”

-, November 18, 2009 

Founded in 1991 by Anuradha Nehru, Kalanidhi Dance is a Maryland-based non-profit committed to the preservation, promotion and education of Kuchipudi, a classical South Indian dance style. Kalanidhi aims to create a community of passionate classical Indian dancers and dance lovers in the United States and serve as a cultural center to foster and present traditional classical Indian dance while pushing its boundaries and exploring new horizons.

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