July 27, 2010
School of Engineering, Bengaluru
Engineering students and Indian classical dance? The combination seems unlikely, and yet students of the Amrita School of Engineering, Bengaluru, recently organized a week-long festival Mudra in honor of Indian classical dance forms.
Even though the semester was nearing its end, and students were busy preparing for upcoming exams, many welcomed this as a refreshing break from their hectic schedules.
Large numbers of students attended graceful performances by renowned artists, each depicting a different dance form on successive days of the week.
“The highlight of the week was undoubtedly the inaugural performance by Padmashri Darshana Jhaveri, a Manipuri dance exponent,” stated Sreevidya B., Assistant Professor, who coordinated the festival, with the help of student members of the SPICMACAY club.
“Ms. Jhaveri and her troupe depicted the elements of Manipuri dance and playing drums through their performances.”
An internationally renowned artist, Ms. Jhaveri learned Manipuri dance from Guru Bipin Singh. She specializes in Tandav Lasya elements of Manipuri dance.
Through her illustrious dance career, Ms. Jhaveri has received many honors and awards including the prestigious National Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and the Padmashri.
“As the artists performed, the elements, meaning and significance of each movement and expressions were explained to the audience,” Sreevidya informed.
The inaugural program saw a very good audience turnout in spite of the fact that it had rained heavily in Bengaluru that evening.
“The rain did not deter students from attending,” Sreevidya said. “Everyone at Amrita was keen to witness the performance. This fact was acknowledged and appreciated by Ms. Jhaveri.”
The performance was followed by an interaction between the artists and the audience; students wanted to learn more and understand this dance form better.
The inaugural performance on April 21 was followed by performances by other artists every single day until April 30.
On April 29, SPICMACAY student members and others who attended the performance on campus, also commemorated World Dance Day.
“SPIC MACAY aims to introduce traditional Indian culture to the youth of this country,” stated Sreevidya. “Their hope is that the beauty, grace and wisdom embodied in it, dating back to antiquity, will become an integral part of the life of the youth, whatever be their dreams and aspirations.”