Jhelum Paranjape, Vaibhav Arekar, Daksha Mashruwala — these are just a few names among the many dancers who have performed at the Raindrops Festival in its earlier years. On the eve of the 22nd edition of Raindrops Festival, Kathak exponent Uma Dogra takes pride in the fact that many such dancers who have performed at the stage of Raindrops have gone on to become popular names in the field of Indian classical dance.
“For the last 22 years, I have been given space to new generation of dancers who are good. It is a festival for young dancers,” emphasises Dogra, who had organised the first Raindrops Festival back in 1991. “It was soon after my guru’s demise. I knew I had to struggle a lot, as it is difficult for young dancers to get a stage to showcase their talent. I did not want others to struggle, so I started this festival to provide a platform for them. The name also signifies that, Raindrops — shower of new talent,” she explains.
Among the many talented artists who will be performing at the festival starting tomorrow, Rahul Acharya is the only male dancer to take on the stage and also perhaps the only one who Dogra had to chase to be a part of the festival: “I have been trying to reach him for three years. Every year, when I would call him, he would say he is in Japan or America. And I wondered when does this boy perform in India?” says Dogra, breaking into a laugh.
“He is a very talented artist and has performed in numerous festivals across the world. Many have spoken highly of him. His style is not Kelucharan Mohapatra’s, but he is from the school of Durga Charan Ranbir, which also makes his style a little different,” adds Dogra. Finally, this year she managed to get in touch with the talented Odissi dancer who readily agreed to perform at the festival.
Apart from Odissi, the three-day festival will witness, Kathak, Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi and Mohiniattam performances. Anuradha Singh and Richa Gupta will be performing Kathak, Ritwika Ghosh will be rendering a classical Bharatanatyam, Sanchita Bhattacharya and Rahul Acharya will be performing Odissi and Hithaishy Dhanan will be performing Kuchipudi. Along with the Paramparik Kathak, Richa Gupta will also be performing to a Radha Krishna Thumri and a ghazal by Mehdi Hassan. “This festival provides an opportunity to new and upcoming dancers who are blossoming in their career,” reiterates 30-year-old Gupta. “It is a recognised platform and showcases great quality work,” adds Guru Sanchita Bhattacharya.
On 5th to 7th July, 7.30 pm onwards
At Mini Theatre, PL Deshpande Maharashtra Kala Academy/Ravindra Natya Mandir, next to Siddhivinayak Temple, Prabhadevi.
Entry Donor passes R100 and R50 available at the venue.