INDRADHANUSH DILLI – A festival of Indian Classical Dances


Makarshankaranti marks the flavor of youth and vibrant energy. Every year in the month of January to mark this energetic and young feeling SUNAINA- Society for the Upliftment of National Arts of India hosts INDRADHANUSH DILLI a 3 day festival of Indian classical and folk dances by youth artistes who come to participate in this festival from all over the world. 

This festival that started in 2008 has completed its 5 years in Delhi and been instrumental in hosting and giving a platform to more than a hundred artistes till now. A concept of Guru Smt Kanaka Sudhakar – the Founder President of SUNAINA and co sponsored by Ministry of Culture and the ICCR this year.- INDRDHANUSH DILLI 2013 ‘s first day at the ICCR strated with a gay spirit.

The festival started off as per tradition with an inaugural dance by Akshita pillai a disciple of Kanaka Sudhakar who performed the Ganesha Vandana – Gananayakaya Ganadevataya dimahi” 

This was followed by a seminar on a new theme:” The co existence and interdependence of Indian Classical Dances and Youth in the modern days” The speaker were Sohini Ray a Manipuri artiste from USA, Swagata Pillai from Kalakshetra and Nalini ji one of the Kathak Duo. In this seminar Sohini was of the opinion that dance can transform youth and make them think ethically free from abuses .Swagata was of the opinion that classical dance forms are to be handed down to the net generation in tact and that they should take the mythological stories symbolically.and Nalini was of the opinion that the youth enjoy the technique of dance.In the end Guru Kanaka Sudhakar who was the moderator of the seminar summed up the talks by stating that in this fast paced world youngsters are taking up the art forms of classical dance and learning it for years together to attain perfection She also stated the therapeutic benefits of the dance form on the mind and body of the learner . She talked abut long term endurance, gross and fine motor coordination and muscular trigger, and food for the brain. 
This was followed by a special semi classical inaugural dance by the junior disciples of the academy INDRADHANUSH in which the dancers showed the rainbow with colored cloth and classical movements set to fusion music.

The festival was graced by Sh Suresh Goel DG ICCR who felicitated the speakers . This was followed by a very special felicitation award GURU SAMMAN AWARD THAT was conferred on Padmashree Guru Vanashree Rao and Jayarama Rao. For their selfless and dedicated service to the art of Kuchpudi. 
The master of ceremonies of the festival Sh Munish Jolly and anchor Aishwarya were very efficient in performing their roles of soothradar in the festival. The first performance was the Odissi dance by Sarita Misra. Her performace Abhinaya Ganga- which is about the most interesting legend about River Ganga that revolves around king: Sagara, his sons, grandson (Ansuman) and the great grandson, Bhagirath. Sarita’s Abhinaya dance depicted with great involvement the descent of the river Ganga from the heavens into the earth.The energy with which she depicted the flow of the Ganga was remarkable and captured the audience due to her visual depiction. 

This was followed by the very remarkable Kuchipudi performance by Ranjini Nair and Sahana Kumar who started the Kuchipudi performance with the piece JAI DURGE in Raaga: Durga and Taala: Adi. In this The Woman becomes a symbol of “Shakti.” Drawing energy from each other, the Gods create “Shakti” or the Goddess who destroyed evil. This song depicts the different images of the Goddess as she protects her devotees and destroys the demons.This was followed by a powerful Jatiswarram and concluded with the TARANGAM in Raagamalika and Tala: Adi—wherein it combines mime and rhythm of the artist who dances on the edge of a brass plate to show total concentration of the mind. The performance received a wide round of applause from the audience. 
The first day of the festival ended with a very special performance by Youth artiste Sohini Ray who is a Manipuri Ariste from USA. Dr. Ray, a rare combination of an outstanding performer and a prolific scholar, has won the prestigious Lestor Horton award in 2008 for her production “Gita Govinda” She presented ‘Bhaktirasgi maangal khonjel: Sounds and lights of devotion.’ a production by Dr. Sohini Ray to be performed in India for the first time. This production was a finalist nominee for the 2010 Margaret Mead award given by the Society of Applied Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association for successfully establishing dance as an application of anthropology. It featured live dance pieces from classical Manipuri dance and film segments shot in the temples of Manipur showing the ritual roots of the dance form. She showcased with perfect timing, ease and perfection the Manipuri dancer in Vesh, as Krishna then as Radha and finally the drummer. All the artistes were felicitated with a memento, bouquet, and souvenirs from SUNAINA . 
Indradhanush Dilli 2013, a festival of Indian Classical and Folk Dances, kick started with a vibrant Kathak performance by Natalia Dits from Russia on the second day of the National event. Hosted by SUNAINA Regd. in association with ICCR and Ministry of Culture, the evening included scintillating performances of the Indian Classical Dances. Highly acclaimed Bharatanaytam artists, Naatyacharya Dr. V P Dhananjayan and Naatyacharya Shanta Dhananjayans (Padmabhushan Awardees) were honoured with the Guru Samman Award. A very verstaile and old artiste Tara Bala Gopal was honored with the Paras Mani Award. Kuchipudi performance by Pranamya Suri was a visual treat to the audience. She performeed “Swagatam Krishna” . Lavanya Devi and group, disciples of Guru Prof. Dr. Deepti Omchery Bhalla, presented a divine Mohiniattam performance. Divya Shivasundar, Bharatanatyam artiste from Chennai, presented beautifully ‘Chaliye Kunjan me’ , a Swati Thirunal’s composition. 
The festival also showcased performance by Richa Jain, an accomplished Kathak artiste, who drew appreciation from the audience by rendering the vocals herself while dancing. The most attractive performance of the evening was that of the well-coordinated and sculputuresque Odissi performance by Maneesha Haldar, Shobha Bhisht, Shalakaha Rai and Prerna Agarwal, disciples of Guru Madhavi Mudgal. They started with the Mangalacharan dedicated to Lord Jagannath. They concluded their performance with Kha Champu, a choreography of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra. The second day of the Indradhanush Dilli festival 2013 was eventful with a house full auditorium.

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