Editor's Note: This is one of a series of features about the Morristown's Got Talent Finalists. Check back with Patch as more are posted leading up to the Feb. 26 event.
As one of the few acts to feature dance, Morristown High School student Uma Kantheti has a good chance of standing out. Of course, the highly colorful and stylized dance of Bharatanatyam that Kantheti will be performing will be hard to forget.
"My dance will be a highly stylized, rhythmic sequence called the Thillana that will test my strength, stamina, coordination, and footwork, all designed to showcase the craft of Bharatanatyam in its most energetic form," Kantheti said. "The inspiration for this act came as a result of watching performances by leading exponents of the Bharatanatyam form who typically culminate their stage performances with the Thillana. The dance movements, the costume and the makeup are designed to be visually appealing, and when combined with the music and rhythmic patterns will allow me to narrate the underlying theme of my piece, which is the symbolic striving of man’s soul trying to unite with the eternal."
Kantheti made the decision to showcase her art to the community as part of the seventh annual Morristown's Got Talent, the fundraiser for the Morris Educational Foundation. Kantheti joins 15 other acts that will compete for top prize, as well as for the admiration and praise of the regularly-sold out event. Tara Bernie, a Morristown resident who serves as senior producer for NBC’s Access Hollywood and Access Hollywood LIVE, will preside over Feb. 26 contest at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown.
Kantheti said that he audition process was "very smooth."
"The Morris Educational Foundation team members and support staff are very friendly, supportive and easy going," Kantheti said.
The young dancer has a larger network of support backing her as well.
"My parents are always very supportive of my artistic endeavors. I have been learning Bharatanatyam for over eleven years now from Mrs. Chandrika Chandran of Atlanta," Kantheti said. "I started training under Mrs. Chandran when I was five and continued lessons with her via Skype after we moved from Atlanta to Morristown two years ago."
This year's show is not the first time Kantheti has shared her talents with the community, and the Morristown High School students said the community has been both accepting and
appreciative of her art.
Besides dancing and being a full time student, Kantheti also competes as a member of the Colonials track team and cross county team.
"I also like to read books and watch movies in my free time," Kantheti said.
As for her chances to take home the top prize? Kantheti isn't hedging any bets, but said the effort will be there.
"I hope I can win," Kantheti said. "I will give it my best."
Tickets will go on sale Jan. 27 for the event at the Mayo Peforming Arts Center, 100 South Street, Morristown. Those interested can call 973-539-8008 or purchase online at www.mayoarts.org.
Those interested in sponsoring the event or purchasing an advertisement in the event’s playbill to cheer on the contestants and to benefit the Morris Educational Foundation can download forms at www.morristownsgottalent.com.