Indian forms, international hues

Indian forms, international hues

Indian forms, international hues

Lo and behold, the audience sat astonished witnessing the prowess of international artistes performing classical dances and music at the 4th International Dance and Music festival.

Organised by Indian Council for Cultural Relations at Kamani Auditorium on 14 and 15 October, the festival featured artistes from Kazakhstan to France to celebrate the culture of India.

With artistes from six different countries bedazzling the audience with their interest in Indian culture, the festival affirmed that national boundaries are for nations, and a strong culture spreads its wings across the globe.

Zhang Xiaoqing, the Kathak performer whose feet tapped to the sound of Thumri in one of her acts on the second day of performances, reiterates the opinion, “Learning Kathak makes me more curious about Indian culture, its people and their life. Just like I am attracted to the dance form, I am also attracted to the Indian way of life through it.”

On the first day, Akmaral Kainazarova and her group from Kazakhstan heralded the festival with a Bharatnatyam performance. Beginning with the worship of Lord Ganesha, they presented a pushpanjali to set the tone. Decked in traditional attire, they presented an act relating it to the mythology behind Tandava. Seeing them perform, it was difficult to figure that they were foreign artistes.

Next came the sitar and tabla duo, Sylvie Hiely and Laurent Gherzi from France. They call themselves ‘Saaz’ – a word signifying musical instruments. The two have been sharing stage since the early 90s. Explaining their act ahead of the performance, Sylvie said, “I chose to perform this raag as it evokes the spirit of dance in me,” and went onto perform with a sense of cheerfulness throughout her act. The evening closed with the performance of the Odissi trio - Sumathi Chandra, Nritta Ganeshi Manoharan and Shangita Manoharan.

These foreign artistes are cultural ambassadors and promote Indian culture and dance in their countries as they are the recipients of ICCR’s scholarships. After three consecutive years of exclusive dance festivals, this year’s edition included musicians as well.

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