Abu Dhabi: Indian classical dance performances to regale residents this weekend

Literary work of vedic scholar Adi Shankaracharya to be presented by artists from Kerala Kalamandalam on stage


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Thu 5 Jan 2023, 3:46 PM

Last updated: Fri 6 Jan 2023, 6:24 PM

The UAE capital is set to get a taste of the rich artistic heritage of India presented through classical performances during an event at a dance institute this weekend.

‘Natya 2023’, an annual day event of Natya Dance Training Institute, will feature artists from Kerala Kalamandalam – a premier school for training traditional art forms in the south Indian state.

The event will take place on Saturday and Sunday at two different venues, the highlight will be the bharatanatyam production, ‘Soundarya Lahari’, a famous literary work of Indian vedic scholar Adi Shankaracharya, performed by senior students of the institute.

The concept and choreography is by Kalamandalam Krishna Sreejith, the Abu Dhabi resident who has been running the institute in Mussafah.

On Saturday, there will be ‘arangetram’ – the debut performance by the institute's 10 students following more than five years of training in classical dance forms. The musical ensemble includes Kalamandalam Krishna Sreejith, Kalamandalam Karthikeyan, Kalamandalam Kiran Gopinath and Padma Kumar Mancheri.

As many as 60 students will be performing during the event to be held at Private International English School popularly known as Bhavans International (4pm to 9pm).

“Our 10 girl students will be performing on stage for the first time. It’s their ‘arangetram’. It will be with a bharatanatyam dance performance. It will be a different and a special experience for everyone,” Krishna, the teacher of these girl students, said during a press conference.

On Sunday, Kalamandhir Melolsavam 2023 – a programme by Kalamandhir, an associate of Natya Dance Training Institute, will be held at India Social and Cultural Centre Abu Dhabi (4pm to 9pm).

As many as 12 adults, including a woman, will make their stage debut with ‘chenda’ – a drum used as a percussion instrument.

“Panchari melam (a percussion ensemble) is one of the major forms of chenda melam. There will be performances by 60 artists led by Kalamandalam Shivadas, who is a reputed ‘chenda’ artist from Kerala,” said Kaali Kannan from Kalamandhir.

“Entry is free on both days. This is a great opportunity for the residents to enjoy and understand India’s traditional art forms,” noted Biju from Kalamandhir.

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