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Range Of Emotions At Kruti Annual Concert

June 2004
Range Of Emotions At Kruti Annual Concert

Range Of Emotions At Kruti Annual Concert

An exuberant extravaganza- the 9th Annual Dance Concert of Kruti Dance Academy was held at the Atlanta Symphony Hall (Woodruff Arts Center) on Sunday, May 16. This year's glittering concert was based on the theme Nava Rasa (Nine emotions of dance), and focused on ?Fusion', a major trend fast gaining momentum in Indian dance.

The academy took on the challenge of balancing this new wave with the traditional Indian dance form of Bharatanatyam. Judging by the results, it definitely succeeded in creatively choreographing classical movements into contemporary numbers.

The stage turned into a gushing fountain of fetching colors, shimmering costumes, facial and hair adornments, youthful exuberance, extraordinary depth and range of music and a breathtaking panorama of almost forty dances with innovative and creative choreography that left the audience mesmerized. About 350 students of diverse nationalities and all age groups, from pre-schoolers to adults, showcased their arduous training and talents in presenting scintillating dances reflecting the Nava Rasas of peace, anger, laughter, love, disgust, fear, astonishment, courage and compassion.���

While the traditional invocatory prayers of Ganesh Stuti, Ganesh Vandana and Vishnu Vandana were being performed, director of Kruti Academy Dina Sheth gracefully offered her prayers to Ganesh and lighted the auspicious lamp (diya). Following the prayer, the Nava Rasa was introduced, each Rasa comprising bharatnatyam, folk, Bollywood and fusion.

Dance after dance followed in quick succession, and the pace quickened with each item. There were dances depicting episodes from the Mahabharata (Draupadi's Vastraharan), to Lord Krishna's Nag daman, to Lord Shiva's Tandava nritya. Under Hasya rasa, there were hilarious performances to old songs Tel malish and Gore gore. Then there was floor thumping, fast paced Bhangra and Bollywood dances. The Holi dance depicted the rustic joy of holi celebrations. A huge cast of 50 dancers dressed in white pants and sequined tops gyrated energetically to the tune of It's Time To Disco, the popular song from the movie Kal Ho Na Ho.

And to top these all was the finale, performed by the academy's teachers, assistants, former Arangetram students and director Dina Sheth. The high-octane fusion dance to the song Nava Rasa from the Hollywood hit Matrix was a big hit with the audience.

The two guest speakers for the evening paid glowing tributes to Kruti Dance Academy. Hina Trivedi, who flew in from London so that her eight-year-old daughter Namrata could participate in the concert, said her daughter who had attended the Kruti Dance Academy for three years had learnt not only to dance but also discipline, music, Indian culture and sanskaar.

The other guest speaker, Suchita Vadamalani, the co-host of Fox 5's Good Day Atlanta applauded parents for instilling cultural values in their children and exposing them to the arts, which, she said, was critical to their overall development. The world has started to recognize South Asian culture, especially its rich dance forms, she said, adding that her one regret in life was that she did not learn Bharatnatyam.

Following the finale, teaching assistants and volunteers were recognized with trophies. The student award of the year winners were also named. This year, the award was shared by Tanya Anderson and Nishi Patel.

In her address, Sheth said it was gratifying to see parents travel from far off places, and even neighboring states so that their children could be part of the academy. She referred to former First Lady Hillary Clinton's book It Takes a Village and said that she was inspired by that book, and her academy, in a small way, is trying to spread cultural awareness and instill good values in a child, and help the child overcome inhibitions, cultivate self esteem and make friends. She gave full credit to her students for running the show and making it a success.

The foyer and stage were decorated by Mandap. The stage with the backdrop of the Kruti Dance Academy banner and cutouts of faces adorned with bindi, ear and nose-rings reflecting the Nava Rasa were imaginative. The stage props were designed by Vasu and Nita Govan. The program was emceed by svelte, sari-clad Nishat Nizam and Shemoni Sheth, who introduced each rasa and the related dances in a crisp and confident manner. The latter, who is an accomplished dancer, also performed in several dances.

Even as the 350 performers of the evening took a final bow and the packed to capacity audience rose to its feet for a resounding wave of applause, the evening promised a treasure of colorful memories for everyone to cherish for a long time.

-Mahadev Desai & Veena Rao

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