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Dulhan - celebrated at academy’s recital

August 2009
Dulhan - celebrated at academy’s recital

Kruti Dance Academy (KDA) hosted “Dulhan,” its 14th annual dance recital, on June 7 at Atlanta Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center. “Dulhan represents not just the making of a bride, but the various roles a contemporary woman will embark on during her lifetime,” said Kruti founder Dina Sheth, explaining her thought process behind this year’s theme.

She added that the past 13 recitals have afforded her the privilege to teach dancing and watch little girls evolve into graceful, confident teen-agers and, subsequently, accomplished adults.

Backstage before the show, 15-year-old Ishani Patel expressed her eagerness to perform in her 7th KDA recital: “Even though I am nervous, I cannot wait to get up on stage and perform.” She added that her interpretation of “Dulhan” is the manner in which dance has shaped her emotionally and her appreciation, as she matures, for both her abilities as a dancer and appreciation of her culture.

With the auditorium packed to capacity with family, friends and sponsors, the recital began promptly with an energetic performance to the title track “Jai Ho” from the 2008 movie Slumdog Millionaire. In keeping with KDA tradition, the first half of the program encompassed prayer – recited by KDA’s youngest participants – and classical Bharat Natyam dances.

Adorned in customary temple costumes, jewelry and meticulously applied theatrical make-up, both junior and senior dancers took command of each classical dance with absolute poise. Noticeably unique to this year’s classical segment was the inclusion of male dancers, who danced skillfully and confidently. The Bharat Natyam segment concluded with two fusion dances performed by the more proficient Arangetram students. The audience watched in silence as these dances were expertly executed to pulsating music, further enhanced by the sound of ‘ghungroos’ and precision synchronicity.

The second half of the program conveyed “Dulhan” via the song selection, costumes and stage décor. Ragini Patel, responsible for designing the stage, said that her objective was to keep the stage simple, yet elegant, perfectly showcasing “Dulhan” without taking away from the splendor of the dancers or the vibrancy of their costumes.

Junior and senior dancers, both male and female, delivered terrific performances to strategically selected Bollywood songs. Each dance had an added playful and romantic element, to which the audience responded in either thunderous applause or laughter. The Bollywood segment closed with two high energy dances, brilliantly choreographed by instructors Sissy Simmons and Shemoni Sheth and spectacularly performed by KDA’s skilled, senior students.

As the curtain closed on KDA’s 14th recital, parents and well-wishers echoed satisfaction with the recital and anticipation that Dina Sheth, together with her dedicated and accomplished students, will deliver another successful dance recital in 2010.

- Mogie Naidu

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