YUVA NARTAN UTSAV: CLASSICAL INDIAN DANCE AT CURVE, LEICESTER
I have been a fan of Indian classical dance for as long as I remember and thus you can imagine my joy when Curve theatre in Leicester had a production of Nurpur Arts’ Yuva Nartan Utsav. It was part of the New Work Festival, which took over spaces around the Curve, with theatre productions and activities for all ages.
THE NEW WORK FESTIVAL
Leicester’s Curve theatre has curated the New Work festival to both support and showcase the most dynamic and exciting talent from the Midlands. The line-up included several performances direct from runs at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer, plus informal gigs, musical comedy, dance, drama and more.
Yuva Nartan Utsav is an Indian classical dance and music showcasing quality work and performances by several emerging artists from around the country. This nationally recognised festival ‘Utsav’, meaning festival or celebration in Marathi and the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, celebrates youth and provides a platform for them to thrive and display their talent.
Nupur Arts was established 25 years ago, back in 1991 by Artistic Director Smita Vadnerkar. Smita is a professional artist in the South Indian classical dance style of Bharat Natyam.
Through outreach workshops and performances, now over 200 students learn at the classes and over the 25 years many young leaders following Smita’s backing and dedication, have been involved in production, script-writing, teaching, media documentation, composing and administration of the classes and productions. Through Nupur Arts, hundreds of young people have become culturally aware, confident, creative and energetic adults making a positive contribution to Leicestershire and beyond.
Weekly dance classes are regularly run throughout term time at local venues and popular stage productions and performances are delivered several times a year.
Smita was awarded The Special Vishva Lanka Award for her outstanding contribution to dance in the community 2010.
YUVA NARTAN UTSAV: THE PERFORMACE
The evening opened with a tabla performance from Pulkit Sharma, who was accompanied by Saurav Bellary providing melodic complement by Harmonium, Pulkit educated the audience on the selection of compositions he played within a defined time-cycle, which is also known as Taal. A truly talented and classical start to the show.
The rest of the evening showcased different classical Indian dances comprising of solos and group with nationally recognised talent from around the country as well as those from Leicestershire.
A duet by Pallavi Anand and Daniella Varghese. The duet performance was On Namo Bhagavathey, a prayer to Lord Ganesha. A beautiful display of synchronicity and artistry.
Pallavi and Daniella treated us to a second piece where they impersonated two devotees at a festival, watching a procession of an unknown deity.
This was a kuchipudi performance by a group from Nupur including, Shreya Vadnerker, Shree Savani, Sakshi Vadya, Alisha Vaghela, Deepa Nair and Nidhi Joshi.
Bhama Kalpa, is an ancient and iconic traditional form of the Kuchipudi dance and tells the romantic love quarrel between Lord Krishna and Satyabhama. It depicts the unity of the south and the great spirit. An uplifting and happy dance and a true feast of colour and joy for the audience.
A stunning and charming solo Kathak performance by Parbati Chaudhury
A Bharatanatyam performed by the compere of the evening, Swati Seshadri, this dance depicted the tale of swapping places of Radhika and Shyam, a devotee to Lord Krishna.
Another group dance performed by Shreya Vadnerkar, Sakshi Vaidya, Alisha Vaghela, Deepa Nair, Shree Savani and Nanditha Raghavan, is a Bharatnatyam about a poet who questions his faith and can be related to modern times.
Parbati Chaudhury performed another Kathak about the monsoon and the imminent union of love between two beloveds.
LEELA NIDI HAI
An Odissi solo performance by Elena Catalano was a perfect penultimate piece, showing us of the secretive and tender relationship between a young Radha and Lord Krishna. Elena truly showed the romantic nature of Radha, a mythological woman in Indian history.
HARI TUM HARO
The show closed with a solo performance by Shree Savani, specialising in BharataNatyam, performing a powerful story from the ancient India scripture of Mahabharata about Draupadi. Shree is one of many talents here and was the winner of BBC young dancer 2019 in the South Asian Categories.
A truly skill full and captivating evening showcasing the talent of Indian dance in the UK and the tireless efforts of Nupur Arts and its founder Smitha. Have a look out on Nupur Arts website for more productions as they celebrate their 30th anniversary in 2020.
Disclaimer: I received a press invite for the performance of Yuva Nartan Utsav, however all views and opinions are my own therefore remain a copyright of be-lavie
Photography was kindly provided by The Curve in Leicester (unless otherwise stated) and should be reproduced by obtaining consent from the press office.
Tell me, have you ever experienced Indian classical dance?
60 Rutland Street
Box Office Tel. 0116 242 3595
The performance of Yuva Nartan Utsav was a one-off on Saturday 19 October 2019. You can still book tickets for other performances who are part of the New Work Festival up until 26th October 2019 on the Curve website
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