The Bhavan's WORLD DANCE DAY 2023 celebrations - Report

The Bhavan, London celebrated the International World Dance Day on Saturday 29th of April 2023.

It was cause for much celebration for The Bhavan as well as the dancers as we were reviving this event at The Bhavan auditorium after a two-year break due to the pandemic.
The event proved a massive and unique success and saw performances by dancers and dance schools who travelled from across England who performed to a sold-out auditorium. We had curated performances as well as a general and folk-dance strand, offering the audience a plethora of dance forms to engage with and enjoy.
Initially, we put an open call for dancers and choreographers to respond to two themes we had chosen for this year – ‘Dance in response to the climate change and the natural environment’, and ‘Dance in response to the increasing digitalisation of every aspect of today’s life’. We had an overwhelming response to the open call, to say the least, and 16 pieces were chosen for the event.

The day began with an inaugural Bharatanatyam performance by Kavya Muralidharan, who presented an excerpt of her solo choreography ‘Thryambak’.
The evening session began with a prayer by The Bhavan’s Director Dr. Nandakumara MBE, and a symbolic lighting of the lamp by him and two of Bhavan’s Executive committee members Smt. Jayshree Rajkotia and Smt. Ruby Bunker.

The thematic choreographies, showcasing thought-provoking works. Katrina Rute and team presented a classical Odissi piece after which we had a keynote address by Ragasudha Vinjamuri, who spoke about the importance of presenting art that reflected the current social conditions, and how the world dance day pieces were important aspects of these thoughts. She also spoke briefly about how Indian classical have adapted through the ages.
This was followed by performances by Amritha Jayakrishnan and team, Satyam school of dance and music, Debanjali Biswas & Manipuri dance ensemble, Samarpana classical arts, Cambridge, Divya Kasturi company young talents, Asmitha Keer and team, Monidipa Seal and team and Abhinav Mishra and Amun Bhachu team.

The general and folk segment began with a Bharatanatyam presentation by The Upahaar School of Dance, followed by a heart-warming semiclassical/Bollywood performance by Edgware dance group of women over 50's.
After this the audience was treated to energetic folk dances by Ragasudha & Sanskruti centre for cultural excellence (Tribal), Garba folk dance group (Garba), London school of Hula and 'Ori (Hawaiian), Ponsita school of dance (Tamil harvest folk), and Sarjan Nartan Academy (Rajasthani folk).

We at The Bhavan were thrilled that the event brought together dancers who came from all over England, dancers of all age groups from 8–10-year-olds to dancers of a more mature age, and dancers who had performed previously at The Bhavan and dancers who were coming here for the first time.
We received an immensely positive response from the performers and the audience who thought the event was extremely well-handled and organised.
One of our audience members gushed ‘Spectacular costumes, superb dancing – what a treat!’; and one of our performers said, ‘We loved each & every performance - I thought the line-up was just fantastic!’

We are grateful to all the artists and the audience for the massive support. We also thank our caterers for the event The Goenka sisters Jyoti and Sandhya who provided mouth-watering chat items; The Bhavan’s tech support team Sivahami, Raghu, Jermy, and Mr. Shankar for their excellent lighting and sound; and Mr. Gopi for photography.

We already look forward to the next year celebrations which we only hope will be bigger, better, and grander.