The Kuchipudi Dance Festival 2018 at Bhavan showcased 60 inter-generational Indian classical dancers from the age of 4-60 years from across Britain and Europe. It was one of the largest festival of Kuchipudi dance in the region performed by locally trained dancers, a historic moment for the art lovers in Britain
London’s iconic Bharatiya Vidya BHavan hosts one of the largest cultural events of the year – The Kuchipudi dance Festival 2018. The event was organised by Arunima Kumar Dance Company (AKDC) in association with Bhavan UK, Infosys foundation, Arts council England, HDFC and The Nehru Centre.
The event showcased 60 inter-generational Indian classical dancers from the age of 4-60 years from across Britain and Europe. It was one of the largest festival of Kuchipudi dance in the region performed by locally trained dancers, a historic moment for the art lovers in Britain.
The festival is curated by Arunima Kumar, Bhavan’s head of faculty of Kuchipudi. Arunima is a recipient of Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskaar for Kuchipudi by Sangeet Natak Akademi. She is also a recipient of Global Icon award, Stardust award for Arts, She Inspires award, Wintrade award, Woman of substance award etc
The festival presented a revival of traditional forms with Britain’s first locally trained Stree Vesham artiste (where a man dresses up , impersonates and performs a female role ) by acclaimed dancer Ash Mukherjee who performed an excerpt from the famous role of Satyabhama from Bhamakalapam taught by Arunima Kumar. Other performances include Vachika Abhinaya by scholar, dancer, Professor Dr Avanthi Meduri, followed by Tharangam ( a complex dance on a brass plate ) by Arunima Kumar and her students.
The festival included special performances by Youth groups of other classical forms – Ananda Arts Bedford (Odissi), Nupur Arts Leicester who performed Kuchipudi , Bhavan Centre students , AKDC students and guest artistes Ranjitha Chowaloor, Archna Patel, Pragnya Dara, Aishwarya Kandukuri and International Natarang Group from Poland -Zofia Lichota, Kornelya ,Magda and Gosha .
Mr Rishi Sunak MP, Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government , Lord Gadhia , Dr Nanda Kumar (The Bhavan), Pam Johnson (Arts Council), Anita Srivastava (New Dimension Arts) , Eva Martinez (Sadlers Wells) , Akshata Murty , Bollywood actress Raageshwari were special guests who launched the festival.
The festival was highly successful with outstanding feedback, standing ovation to dancers.
Here & Now 365 MD Manish Tiwari presents a scholarship to 11-year-old Sahasra Bhongirwar for her dedication to Kuchipudi.
Arunima Kumar said that the festival raised important questions on role of gender fluidity, role of experienced and mature artists in Britain and its aim was to inspire the young generation to pursue Indian classical arts.