The presentations were an ensemble of folk and classical dances representing the culture and traditions of various parts of India intertwined with golden Bollywood melodies followed by a colour full and delicious feast….reports Asian Lite News
The Cultural Wing of the High Commission of India, London, hosted an artistic evening entitled ‘Shades of India’ at the Nehru Centre. This is for the first time that such an event highlighting India’s incredible cultural diversity with song and dance concert by the staff and family members of India House was held in the premises.
The event was inspired after the fantastic Onam festival at the High Commission which showcased the talent by the Staff members of the High Commission.
Another highlight of the event was sumptuous feast organised by Mr T Haridas, owner of Kerala Group of Restaurants.
The presentations were an ensemble of folk and classical dances representing the culture and traditions of various parts of India intertwined with golden Bollywood melodies followed by a colour full and delicious feast.
The cultural journey started from the southernmost state of India, Kerala, with dancers performing the extremely elegant dance form called Kaikottikali. The dance started with paying obeisance to Lord Ganesha and invoking Lord Krishna, which continued as a dance story from Aranyakand in Ramayan concluding with thanksgiving to Lord Shiva. Dancers: Ms. Anu Ansil, Ms. Gayatri Iyer, Ms. Jyothi KR, Ms. Pushpa Mohan, Ms. Ratnamala Chalamcharla and Ms. Reshma Rajani
The singers of the evening included a soulful rendition of gazal by Ms. Surjeet Kaur Sethi, a Hindi song by Mrs. Meena Patel, ‘Chinna china asai’ karaoke by Ms. Revathy Kirubaraj and a Bollywood song by Mr. Trilok Sharma. Mr. Subhash Sharma rendered a patriotic poetry and Hindi shayari penned by himself. A medley of evergreen Bollywood songs by singers, Ms. Aparna Sharma, Ms. Deepti Dhabalia, Ms. Gayatri Iyer and Ms. Rohini Menon spiced up the evening.
Mrs. Sankari Mridha presented a charming Bharatnatyam recital. She commenced her dance narration with a Natesha Kauthuvam, an ancient hymn in praise of Lord Nataraja, the Cosmic dancer. Varnam was the story of Lord Venkateshwara and his consort Lakshmi wherein Bhigu Maharshi’s arrogance and ego is pacified along with an episode of Draupadi vastraharan and Vamanaavatharam.
North of India was represented by the vibrant and lively Giddha, a popular folk dance performed by women of Punjab which captures the feminine grace and elegance with dancers singing and clapping in a semi circle. Dancers: Ms. Aparna Sharma, Ms. Gayatri Challa, Ms. Namita Varshneya, Ms. Nirmal Thiara, Ms. Surjeet Kaur Sethi, Ms. Upma Sharma and Ms. Vijeta Krishna.
An equally captivating Bharatnatyam performance was by danseur Mr. Vinod Nair. He enthralled the audience with his unique presentation of Kauthavam in praise of Lord Narasimha, one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu. The dance story depicted how King Hiranyskashipu gets angry and upset at his son, Prahalada’s devotion to Lord Vishu and how Lord Vishu protects him in the form of Narasimha. His artistic expressions were cheered by the packed audience.
The next performance took the audience to east of India all the way to Assam to witness the joyous harvest dance of Bihu characterised by brisk shoulder movements, rapid hand movements and rhythmic swaying of hips representing youthfulness and passion. This Bihu dance was a beautiful mix of original folk music of Assam woven with harmonious Bollywood song by dancers, Ms. Anu Ansil, Ms. Gayatri Chall, Ms. Jyothi KR, Ms. Prabha Shibu, Ms. Pushpa Mohan, Ms. Ratnamala Chalamcharla and Ms. Suparna Mitra.
One of the oldest classical dance forms of north India which incorporates Hindu and Islamic influence, the Kathak with fast footwork, crisp body movements was presented by Mr. Sanjay Shetty. He mesmerised the audience dancing to Tarana in Raag Bageshri in Jhaptaal, a 10 beat time-cycle to the music and choreography of Rani Khanam Ji.
The penultimate performance of the evening was a showcase of intertwined folk dance of Ghoomar, Garba and Dandiya from the culturally rich states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. It was a splendid assortment of three cheerfully vibrant dance forms with a twist of Bollywood blended in. The performers Ms. Anupama Vasanth, Ms. Aparna Sharma, Ms. Deepti N Dhabalia, Mr. Ramjith Raghavan, Ms. Rohini Menon, Ms. Sapna Surendranath Shrma and Ms. Shikha Sharda delightfully captivated the audience to sing and clap along.
The Grand Finale of evening was everyone’s patriotic favourite ‘Vande Mataram’ performed by Ms. Reshma Rajani with all the performers on the stage. Another attraction of the event was fine food carving with fruits and vegetables by Mr. Ramjith Raghavan. (Please click the pic to view the gallery)
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