4th Indo European Dance Festival
Pics courtesy: AIPA

March 14, 2013

The first evening of performances of the 4th Indo European Dance Festival on Feb 24 presented by Alaknanda Institute for Performing Arts at India International Centre, Delhi, showcased classical and folk dances by some fine dancers who are an established institution in themselves. They perform, teach, direct and travel the world as ambassadors of their own dance styles.  

The evening got off to a good start with the Baroque dance from Poland by Romana Agnel, a renowned dancer, choreographer, art historian and founder of the only professional Court Ballet in Poland, Ardente Sole. She is currently the Managing and Artistic Director of the Cracovia Danza Court Ballet – the Municipal Institution of Culture, Poland.  Romana Agnel and the Cracovia Danza group dancers Magdalena Zumda, Krzysztof Antkowiak and Dariusz Brojek presented Maazourka, Polonez and Polish Air choreographed by Romana Agnel and Leszek Rembowski. This was a combination of Baroque and Polish steps and gestures with typical theatrical characters which are present in Polish dance. The dancers presented different stories inspired by the carnival in Venice. With music of the legendary Archangello Corelli, the dancers depicted masks and different characters which are an important part of the carnival.

Baroque dance

Alaknanda & group


Kathak dancer Alaknanda, Founder - Director of Alaknanda Institute for Performing Arts,   presented Shiva Stuti. She was joined on stage by her dance troupe Sanskriti with Divya Raturi, Saumya Shukla, Kavisha Khandelwal, Radhika Gosain, Shubha Valsangar and Nupur Jain. The accompanists were Maneshwar Parihar on tabla and dholak, Lavanya Kumar on sitar, Pawan Parihar on pakhawaj and Vijay Parihar on vocals, paranth and also conducting the entire music ensemble.

Flamenco, the Spanish folk dance, was by the Founder - Director of Flamenco Absoluto, Paola Santa Cruz. She performed different styles of traditional Flamenco rhythms (called Palos in Spanish) as well as modern pieces.  Accompanying her on stage was Christopher on the guitar, Nandita and Charlene for Palmas. Sufi music is the devotional music inspired by the works of Sufi poets like Rumi, Hafiz, Bulleh Shah Amir Khusro and Khwaja Ghulam Farid. For her next item, Alaknanda expressed her devotion to spirituality, art and humanity by performing Kathak to an Amir Khusro composition ‘Chhaap Tilak.’ The show ended with Rajasthani folk dance and music by Imamddin and group.

This year at the 4th IEDF people rose in support of the world wide campaign, One Billion Rising - a voice to end violence against women.  The One Billion Rising Dance took place at the end where the audience got on to the stage and joined the international artistes to raise their concern against the violence on women. The special guest for the evening was Sanjay Abhigyan, Editor, Amar Ujala. He has taken up such issues through his media and also contributed widely to change the current mindset.

Feb 25 featured the 4th IEDF Youth Festival. The evening was graced by Kathak exponent Ram Mohan Maharaj. Alaknanda’s vision to bring international and Indian dances on one stage inspired her to organize a Youth Festival on the 2nd day of IEDF. This day brought an opportunity to young talents to perform at the Russian Centre for Science and Culture. The show began with an elegant Russian Round Dance, performed by the young students of Ballet from RCSC. Next was the Sailor Dance presented by the students of DPS Dwarka, who presented this in its pure fun form. The girls and boys who performed this seemed to have double the fun as the audiences didn't stop cheering for them till the end.

Russian Round Dance

Russian Sailor Dance

The festival then took a classical turn with Romana Angel and the dancers from Cracovia Danza performing various dance pieces set during the classical court periods of Poland. They mesmerized the audience with their beautiful dance moves and equally expressive facial expressions. The classical mood was set and Alaknanda’s Junior Sanskriti group presented a lightning Tarana set in Raag Malkauns.  After this energetic performance, the evening was brought to a close by separate performances of Odissi, Bharatanatyam and Kathak by Nrityasangam led by Raksha Singh David and group. Their group presentation bringing all three dances together on one stage beautifully and doing complete justice to each impressed the audience.