Celebrating 29 years of dance

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Art and multiculturalism came together at Culture 2016

On Sunday, 27 November Sri Raghavan Nair’s Indian Dance Centre presented ‘Culture 2016’ at the Wentworthville Community Centre to celebrate and commemorate 29 years of teaching traditional and Bollywood style dancing to aspiring students from all age groups in Sydney.

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It was also their attempt to showcase dance styles from various multicultural communities that make up the fabric of the Australian landscape. This is the first time something of this nature is being organised by an Indian dance school in Sydney. While the students of the Indian Dance Centre led by Poornima Sharma presented a classical, Ganesha Vandana along with a couple of very well-choreographed Bollywood numbers, Sheila Nair, a well-known dancer who has won many accolades at home and abroad presented two beautifully choreographed semi-classical numbers.

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The audience were also treated to a beautiful presentation of the traditional Legong dance from Indonesia. I found the hand and eye movements fascinating. The dance routine reminded me of the Odissi dance style though the two are quite different. The movements that require a high level of agility from the dancers were lucid, smooth, and very graceful. It is believed to be one of the most visually alluring court dances of Bali. The choreography is set to a pattern with the finest details and like any classical dance form it has been well-preserved through generations. A group of belly dancers also put on a great show using swords as props, a performance I have never seen before. This was a welcome change from the usual belly dancing performances. The dexterity, grace and balance portrayed by the dancers were noteworthy. And the finale of the evening was the robust and feisty bhangra performance.

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Culture 2016 was a great effort by the Indian Dance Centre and it is slated to be bigger and better in the future. This program also served as a curtain-raiser for their next massive venture after Ramayana, Moksha which will be performed at the UNSW Science Theatre on 18 February 2017. We wish you all the best and look forward to a mind-blowing performance.

 

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