The San Francisco Bay Area is rich in artists devoted to classical Indian dance forms. There are performances throughout the year, especially in Bharatanatyam, yet, the concert, Mother & Child, performed by Usha Srinivasan and her daughter, Urmila Vudali, Aug. 24, 2014, De Anza College, Cupertino, stands out. They danced a full, classical program from the opening invocation Pushpanjali to an exuberant concluding Thillana. Clarity of movement and communication of deep emotions characterized the performance. It was beautiful and very moving. Themes of motherhood and a child’s relationship to her mother were expressed through stories of Krishna, Parvati, Ganesha, and others from the human realm. For example, in a Padam selection which called upon the performers’ dramatic skills, a mother questions her daughter’s choice of a boy friend. He has wild hair and his outfit is hardly Brooks Brothers. The daughter has fallen in love with Shiva. That match is far beyond exceptional, but the situation is universal in human families. The Varnum selection was a major effort combining three aspects of Bharatanatyam: Nritta, pure dance (abstract rhythmic movements), Nritya, expressive dance, and Natya, dramatic art. It was a premiere work drawing from an array of religious/mythological stories. It demanded focus and energy from the dancers, and they were more than equal to the challenge. In fact, Ms Srinivasan’s solo piece called out such emotional connection that this viewer felt tears come to her eyes. The program included musical compositions by M.S. Sukhi for the delightful Pushpanjali, the Varnum, Amba Stuthi, and the extraordinary Thillana. The music added extra perceptions to the event. Amba Stuthi was “an ode to Mother Amba, Goddess Parvati, consort of Lord Shiva.” The folk melody, Madu Meikkum Kanne, added texture to this well-rounded performance. The musicians, seated onstage in the traditional way, were outstanding: Sri Murali Parthasarathy(vocal), N. Veeramani(violin), M.S. Sukhi(mridangam), Navia Natarajan Menon(nattuvangam and also a dance guru to the artists). The joy obviously shared by this mother and child enveloped the audience. Eleven year old Ms Vudali has studied Bharatanatyam for five years. She danced with energy and precision. One must wonder where she goes from here as her dancing is already well formed artistry. Ms Srinivasan studied Bharatanatyam with her daughter. She proclaims herself an amateur. Being an amateur means she is a lover of this multi-layered, heart shaking art. So much of the dance, music, lyrics is devotional. It is appropriate: this was a performance suffused with love.Photos: Usha Srinivasan & Urmila Vudali, top & below, courtesy Ms Srinivasan; dancer’s ankle bells, file photo.