Geet-Rung pays tribute to ‘Naari’ – annual dance show
(Left) A fusion piece with the mesmerizing incorporation of ballet with Kathak. (Photo: Lavanya Palaparthy)
Atlanta’s Geet-Rung School of Dance and Music presented its sixth annual program to coincide with Mother’s Day, “Naari: a Tribute to Woman,” on May 10, 2015 at Gwinnett Performing Arts Center. As always, all proceeds were donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where no child is denied treatment, to help find cures for childhood cancer.
Divya Srivastava, founder and director of Geet-Rung, put together Kathak, folk, fusion, and Bollywood choreographies for “Naari.” Naar’ jisme Radha hai, Sita hai, Mohini hai, Laxmi hai, Parvati hai, Durga hai, duniya ki har Shakti hai—Naari, the ultimate of all creation and bearer of all humans. Emcees Aqsa Farooqui and Sunny Sachdeva kept the audience informed and entertained throughout the show.
Divya Srivastava, founder and director of Geet-Rung, dancing in “Naari.” (Photo: Lavanya Palaparthy)
The evening started with the invocation song “Om namah Shivayh” gracefully danced by Divya herself with advanced level students. Then followed dances by students of various ages and levels, that portrayed the love of Radha and all brijbalas for Krishna; longing and never-ending wait of Meera for Krishna; Laxmi as goddess of wealth or Grahlaxmi as goddess of the home; and how uncontrolled passion for either can lead to destruction.
Then came the modern woman. With changing times, woman has taken on countless other roles in the fast paced, ever challenging technical world. Naari completes a full circle from creation to creator, to be loved, respected, and cherished for her gentleness, compassion, strength, and motherhood. Much appreciated were “Tarana,” “Liquid Dance,” and a fusion piece with the mesmerizing incorporation of ballet along with Kathak. Narration by Rachna Gupta linked the entire presentation, and stunning backdrops by Lavanya Palaparthy further enhanced it.
Stunning backdrops by Lavanya Palaparthy enhanced the effect. (Photo: Lavanya Palaparthy)
Students from four-year-olds and up then came on stage to show their talent and what they have achieved all year long. The groups successfully captured the cheerfulness and exuberance of the Indian culture through the kaleidoscope of hit Bollywood dances. Back-to-back outstanding performances by students on a medley of songs paid tribute to Bollywood divas. Then the stage got vibrant as students in varying formations, in masks, full of energy, bought the house down with the finale “hoton me aisi baat.” The sequences in this dance were challenging, as they needed to reflect the gamut of moods, and express the mystery and tensed expression of the song. Very well executed by Divya and her skilled students, with numerous spins in the end, a characteristic feature of Kathak dance, this left the audience cheering, excited, and full of applause.
Geet-Rung also regularly supports Ekal Vidyalaya: it hosted a musical evening ‘Shaam-E- Sangeet’ on December 7, 2014 and set a record by raising funds for a hundred Ekal schools for children in rural parts of India. Ekal representative Ajay Upadhyaya gave a slide presentation and thanked Divya and Pankaj for their continued support. Divya Srivastava emphasizes community service to her students so that they know how they can use their talents to help others in need—a great value for life and also good for the students, giving them self-confidence, motivation, and leadership skills.
Glimpses of past Geet-Rung events were shown during the program to keep the new audience informed of past performances and activities.
After the grand finale, Divya extended her thanks to parents and volunteers whose support and hard work made the program a huge success. With each year the students’ caliber is pushed to the next level as Divya challenges them to perfect more complex choreographies and achieve the set goal by the time of the stage performance. She wished happy Mother’s Day to all the women.
Trophies were awarded to all students, participants, and volunteers. Student of the Year medals were awarded to Pooja Sharma (Madhyama Purna), Kareena Kumar (Praveshika Purna), Samiksha Gaherwar (Praveshika Pratham), and Shivangi Panda (Prarambhik) for highest scores earned in the Kathak exams. Certificates were awarded to the top 5 fundraising students, Devika Sharma, Manika Bhatia, Aafreen Anjum, Milee Patel, and Aria Upadhyaya, whom Divya called ‘five little angels’ who can bring light in the dark life of children fighting for their lives.
She acknowledged Geet-Rung manager Shweta Dubey for her constant help round the year and outstanding support during the recital. Lighting was creatively done by Shweta Shetty; backstage management by Anar Sharma, Varsha Ariyakulab and Shreya Dubey; photography by Lavanya Palaparthy; sound and visuals by Pankaj Bhargava, Divya’s equally talented husband and Atlanta’s well known singer.
This year’s show boasts to be one of the best: According to one of the student’s parents, Divya’s creativity knows no bound; slow or fast, Kathak or fusion, Divya can bring life to any kind of composition. According to another, there was no time to blink and every moment of it was immensely enjoyable—overall, a magnificent show for a noble cause!
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