Geet-Rung's annual recital supports Ekal
(Photos: Lavanya Palaparthy, Lavs Portraits)
Geet-Rung School of Dance and Music presented its annual recital, a 3-hour “Bollywood Musical Extravaganza,” on Saturday February 23, 2013 at North Gwinnett High School. A fundraiser for Ekal Vidyalaya, it aimed to help educate children in remote rural areas of India.
Founder, choreographer, and instructor Divya Srivastava.
Founder, choreographer, and instructor Divya Srivastava and executive director Pankaj Bhargava presented a program of dance, song, and instrumental music by students from different cultures and regions of Asia. The husband and wife team of emcees Sunny Sachdeva and Aqsa Farooqui kept the audience informed throughout the show, and Sunny also entertained with jokes and shayaris.
Mrs. Swapna Kumthekar with her young singers.
A prayer-offering to Lord Ganesha, sung by Pankaj Bhargava and danced by students Ananya, Esha, Khyati, and Noemi, began the program. Then came Hindustani vocals under the guidance of Mrs. Swapna Kumthekar, in raga Sargam and chhota khayal. Farah Zaman sang “Joyti Kalash Chhalke” in raga Bhupali. Tabla was played by Zen Bakshi.
Teacher Jon Batt led his young guitarists.
Young students with large guitars performed tunes, e.g. “Au Clair de la Lune,” “Time Is on My Side” and “Love Me Tender” under the guidance of their teacher Jon Batt. Next came Golden Era songs sung by four semi-professional singers, in karaoke, the recorded music blending nicely with singers’ voices. Pankaj gave his signature song “Nakhrewali” (film New Delhi) in Kishore Kumar’s style, including yodeling. Pankaj also sang Manna De’s qawali “Yari Hai.” Vandana Upadhyaya sang Lata’s famous song “Ek Radha, Ek Meera.” Divya performed a classical dance similar to the one in the film. Purnima Mathur stirred emotions by rendering film Mera Saaya’s song “Naino Mein Badra Chhaye” in raga Bhimpalasi. Yash Warke sang “Main Zindagi ka Saath” in Mohammad Rafi’s style.
Geet-Rung's 2013 recital was a fundraiser for Ekal Vidyalaya, for rural education.
A video during intermission presented Ekal Vidyalaya’s activities. While most of the audience enjoyed warm food catered by Praveena Ben, Ajay Upadhyaya and Rachna Gupta spoke about Ekal and gave special touches about songs and Ekal events. Geet-Rung also extended thanks to Shiv Aggarwal for his support and inspiration.
Yash Warke, Geet Bhargava, Glenda Sevilla Macawile-Farook, and Rashid Farook.
After intermission came a series of English songs with Glenda and Rashid Farook on keyboard, with Geet Bhargava, son of Divya and Pankaj, on keyboard for the last two songs. Older boys then played guitar under the supervision of Marcus Pittman. Dances were presented with the songs “Mujhe Rang De” by students Anjali Maggan, Mira Patel, and Noemi Nath; “Tere Naina” by Savitha Anand, Archana Gururaj and “Pakeezah” and “Umrao Jaan” by Shweta Shetty, Archana Gururaj, and “Chilman Uthegi Nahin.” Pankaj sang another Kishore Kumar song “Chhookar Mere Man Ko.” Yash charmed the audience with Mohd. Rafi’s song “Dard-e-dil, Dard-e-jigar.” Pankaj and Purnima sang a melodius duet “Wada Raha Sanam.” Yash and Pankaj sang a peppy “Humka Peeni Hai,” and “Chale Jaise Hawaien” was sung by a young karaoke student of Pankaj, Sanjana Rao.
Drums were well played by young teenaged boys, Abhinav, Adit, Dilip, Dylan, and Maanas, as taught by Zack Boland. Lastly, singers presented a medley of songs such as “Main Jat Yamala Pagala,” “Aapka Kya Hoga Janabewali,” “Koi Kahe Kehta Rahe” while boys and girls clad in tight jeans and t-shirts showed off electrifying Bollywood dance moves to the peppy beats.
After a grand finale all the dancers came on stage and took a bow. Divya Srivastava thanked all and presented trophies to all the music students. Student of the Year medals were awarded to Ishaan Sharma for guitar, Abhinav Gaddipati for drums, and Natasha Das for vocal. Plaques were given to singers and emcees, and gifts to stage manager Vikram Mathur, light technician Sam Baraban, and sound manager Navin Tyagi of Saragam music group. Divya happily observed that the children, who come from different backgrounds, soon mix with each other and develop friendliness, team work, discipline, and law-abiding citizenship.
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