sacred carnatic music and dance

indu balachandran sydney sacred music festival

Sunday 10 September 3pm, Mahratta Wahroonga

Ātma: Music and Movement

A journey into the Carnatic music tradition of South India, Ātma presents the liberating power of music and movement.

Carnatic music is a complex system of classical music with a heritage spanning thousands of years. Bharatha Natyam is a dance form traced back to an ancient Sanskrit text from about 200 BCE.  Both are art forms deeply entwined with Hindu spirituality and worship. These traditions are a means of connecting with the individual and collective soul, through the universality of art.

Ātma presents an afternoon of voice, instrument, percussion and rhythm through South Asian music and movement.  An ensemble of dancers and musicians will take the audience on a journey: of free-flowing raga elaboration, the love lyric of a padam, the vigorous pace of a thillana.

The performance will be staged in the heritage gardens of Mahratta in Wahroonga. The Art Deco building and gardens designed by Danish landscape architect Paul Sorenson creates an an ideal backdrop where nature and art combine for a joyful afternoon.

The afternoon will culminate with tea and sweets, the opportunity to converse, enjoyment of the beautiful space and the lingering memory of music and movement.






The entrance to the venue 'Friends of Mahratta' is on Fox Valley Road near the corner of Pacific Highway in Wahroonga.

Car: Parking is available on Fox Valley Road. There is limited parking on the driveways inside Mahratta.

Train: The venue is a 9 minute walk from Warrawee Station


Indu Balachandran
Indu Balachandran is a third-generation exponent of the veena, the ancient stringed instrument of South India.  She has imbibed the best of a formidable tradition, from her grandmother and mother who both mastered the instrument in India and performed internationally.  She has been recognised for her virtuosity and for working to propagate the art form in her home city of Sydney.

Indu is a veena and vocal artist, with performances at the Conservatorium of Music, Bellingen Festival, Sacred Music Festival, Women of the World (WOW) Festival and others. Indu's Tamil documentary film 'Her Inner Song' has screened nationally and internationallyIt explores how older female musicians navigated talent, traditions and passions in a gendered society. Her work in community has received extensive recognition including the UTS Human Rights Award for Reconciliation and the Tamil Manram Women's Award.

Arjunan Puveendran
Arjun is one of the leading Australian male performers of Carnatic vocal music.  Born in Melbourne to parents of Sri Lankan Tamil origin and now living in Sydney, he trained in both vocal and mridangam (percussion) largely under the auspices of the Chandrabhanu Bharatalaya Academy.  He has given solo performances and accompanied Bharatha Natyam dance recitals and productions in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth across a number of venues including the Victorian Parliament House and Sidney Myer Music Bowl.

Arjun has lent his voice to various social causes in addition to classical performances.  He has been involved in music composition borne from a knowledge of both music, dance and rhythm.  Arjun also helps to produce and perform in various Indian arts projects, particularly through 'Taste of India' in Melbourne.  Most recently, their performances have been highlights of the Darebin Music Festival and Castlemaine State Festival.