Every year brings the famous Indian monsoon. Every monsoon brings a flood of talent and promise in Classical dance. This year is no different. On Saturday, The Sam Ved Society for Performing Arts in association with SAB Miller India will host its 23rd Raindrops Festival of Indian Classical Dance. Those looking for young and fresh musical traditional diversity, look no further.
“I started this festival when I was 33-years-old and an upcoming dancer,” says Uma Dogra (55), founder of Sam Ved. “My guruji Pandit Durga Lal had passed away early, and I was left alone with no idea as to how to advance on to the professional stage in the field of Katahak. So I decided to start this festival for two reasons — one, to carry on my guruji’s legacy, and two, to spare other dancers the struggle that I had to go through. Now, as I watch my festival growing to such prominent levels after 22 years and its performers escalating to renowned professional stages, I feel fulfilled and satisfied.” From a spiritual perspective, she comments, “I had to struggle to get it started but as a Buddhist, I believe that where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
“Every year brings a bigger crowd to the festival”, says Indrayana Mukherjee, the programme director. “What we have essentially achieved here is bridging the gap between dancers and the audience, those who understand and appreciate the art”, she adds proudly. The festival, which begins this Saturday, consists of six unique performances. According to Mukherjee, it is the eager receptiveness of the youngsters that has allowed Indian Classical dance to flourish so extensively. “They receive so much more exposure than before, and this makes them constantly hungry for more,” she says.
ON July 20, 5 pm onwards
AT Mini Theatre, Ravindra Natya Mandir, Prabhadevi.