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I hope you dance

I hope you dance
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There are days when certain celebrations bring forth a burst of memories. That’s what World Dance Day does to me. Celebrated on 29 April worldwide, International Dance Day was introduced in 1982 by the International Dance Council (CID, Conseil International de la Danse), a UNESCO partner NGO. The date is not linked to a particular person or a particular form of dance, although incidentally it is also the day when the French dancer and balletmaster Jean-Georges Noverre was born. The main purpose of Dance Day events is to attract the attention of the wider public to the art of dance. Emphasis is usually given to addressing a new public, people who do not follow dance events during the course of the year’ (says Wikipedia).

Dance is an integral part of Indian culture and growing up in Kolkata, learning dance was almost a pre-requisite to being a good Bengali girl - the other option was music. I chose the former and thus the memories of sequences, performances, rehearsals and of course the stage are intrinsic to who I am today and World Dance Day celebrations in the Capital give all dancers and ex-dancers a chance to live it up.

This year the celebrations of World Dance Day (which started in Delhi in 2011) were held over two days across two very unique venues in the city. The Meghdoot Theatre and Sangeet Natak Akademi and at the Plaza Steps of the India Habitat Centre (IHC). Initiated by Santosh Nair (Artistic Director, Sadhya) the celebrations were held in an association with Sangeet Natak Akademi.

The first day, 27 April, witnessed solo, duet and trio performances from a host of artistes at the Meghdoot Theatre. The spectacular show included Odissi by Guru Ranjana Gauhar’s students, Kathak by disciples of Guru Rajendra Gangani - Piyush Chauhan and Preeti Sharma, Contemporary by disciples of Santosh Nair, Bharatanatyam by disciples of Guru Jayalakshmi Eshwar, Saraikela Chhau by disciples of Shashadhar Acharya - Shagun Bhutani, Shubham Acharya, Mohiniyattam by disciples of Guru Jayprabha Menon, Contemporary by Bhavini Misra, Urshila Dance Company, Vishnupriya Mara and Kathakali bydisciple of Guru Evoor Rajendran Pillai.

Day 2 (29 April) witnessed more than 130 artist in a seamless performance. The programme started with  Manipuri by Sanjib Bhattacharya and Group, Odissi by disciples of Guru Ranjana Gauhar, Contemporary by Bhavini Misra-Urshila Dance company, Bharatanatyam by disciples of Guru Saroja Vidyanathan, Mayurbhanj Chhau by Santosh Nair’s Sadhya, Hip Hop by Charlie, Popinticko and Sandeep, Puppetry and dance by Vikram Mohan, Belly Dance by Mehar Malik and her group, Kathak and disciples of Rani Khanam, Contemporary performances by Yuko Harada, Sadhya, Delhi Dance Theatre, Danceworx and others.

‘World Dance Day, presents an eclectic mix of traditional, classical and contemporary dance styles performed together by various dance companies under one roof as a token of love and appreciation to all passionate followers of the art called dance. After the successful completion of this year, we are looking forward to more participation from artist and funders next year,’ said Santosh Nair.

With packed audience cheering on the dancers, World Dance Day was a high of its own and we are definitely looking forward to next year!
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