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A Spectacular Event for a Special Cause

October 2009
A Spectacular Event for a Special Cause

The dance schools and regional communities in Atlanta came together to produce Rhythms of India 2009, an evening of enchanting dance and music, to raise funds for the Indian American Cultural Association's India Center project.

The event showcased traditional dance forms like Kuchipudi, Bharatnatyam, Kathak and Odissi along with regional folk dances like Gondhal (Maharashtra) and Thiruvathira (Kerala).

The traditional forms were contrasted with newer evolutions based on modern tunes and themes. The dances were orchestrated around the story of Apu, who, encouraged by Lord Ganesha, travels around India to learn about the rhythms and dance forms of India to impress his fiancé, who is an expert dancer.

The lighting, visuals, choreography and coordination were breathtakingly pulled together by a band of dedicated volunteers. The event provided the audience with the unique opportunity of witnessing several dance forms performed by talented artists on one stage in one night.

The participants included Shiv’s Institute of Dance, Odissi USA, the Telugu Association of Metro Atlanta, Kalaivani Dance and Music, Tandav Themes Dance Academy, Academy of Kuchipudi Dance, Natyanjali, Nritya Natya Kala Bharti, Maharashtra Mandal of Atlanta, Deeksha School of Performing Arts, Srivani Kuchipudi Dance Academy, Greater Atlanta Malayali Association, Georgia Atlanta Tamil Sangam, and Kruti Dance Academy.

The chief guest of the evening was Dr. Jag Seth. Rhythms of India 2009 was organized by Dr. Raktim Sen, Chand Akkineni, Nivedita Garabadu, Shweta Shetty, Abir Guha

Thakurta, Shankar Sengupta, Prasad Shetty, Neeta Shenvi, Pritesh Patel and Isha Vandanam. The primary speakers included Dr. Anatha Kamath, President of IACA, Dr. Paddy Sharma, Chairman, and Chand Akkineni and Vir Nanda, co-chairs of the India Center Committee.

The IACA has acquired 10.2 acres of land north of downtown Atlanta, on Cooper Lake Drive in Smyrna, for its India Center project. The plan is to build a temple and a center that will meet the burgeoning needs of metro Atlanta's Indian-American community for conventions, seminars, festivals, and banquets, and also provide a convenient home for daily activities like tutoring, music and art lessons.

The IACA has planned similar fundraisers in the future that will highlight the diversity and vibrance of the South Asian diaspora in Atlanta.

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