The Indian cultural night
Friday, June 20, 2008
The Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the High Commssion of India to the Gambia, in collaboration with the Indian Community in the Gambia, last Saturday, held a massive cultural night dance at the Jama Hall, Kairaba Beach Hotel in Kololi.
The cultural night brought together high profile dignitaries such as Fatim Badji, SOS Communication, Information and Information Technology; SOS Youth Sports, Max Axi Gay; and SOS Works and Infrastructure, Lamin Bojang, a cross section of the Indian community in the Gambia, Senior Government Officials, traditional cultural music lovers, media practitioners, among others. The night long traditional cultural dance Jamboree featured performances in ''BHARATNATYAM'', a classical Indian dance performed by Padmashri SAROJA VAIDYANATHAN et al.
The classical Indian dance was characterised by an extensive exhibition of deep rooted traditional cultural norms and values. Mr Mogarn Ram Mohan,the honorary consul of India to the Gambia, welcomed audience to the programme. He gave a brief but touching historical background of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the performing artists.
According to Mr Ram,the Indian Council for Cultural Relations was founded on 9th April 1950 by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the first education minister of independent India. Since then the council has registered considerable and unpredented progress in all aspects of India.He spoke at length on the role of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations towards promotion,development and preservation of arts and culture in India as well as promotion and development of India's political, economic, human and international relations.
The Indian honorary consul to the Gambi described the performing artists ''Padmashri Saroja Vaidyanathan'' as the famous and chereshed musians of their time in India.
According to him, Sroja is one of India''s prominent Bharatanatyam exponents earning her fame while travelling and performing widely at home and abroad. She established a leading fine arts institution in 1974 based in South Delhi. This institution, he noted, has trained out over hundred and seventy graduates who have performed their arangetrams, He added that the artists have received numerous national and international awards and that, " Bharatanatyam" is one of the oldest dance forms in India.
It was documented as a performing art in the 19th century by the Tanjore Quartet, whose musical compositions for dance form the bulk of the Bhararanatyam reertoire even today. This art was handed down as a living tradition through generations under the devadasi system under which women were dedicated to temples to serve the deity as dancers and musicians forming part of the elaborate rituals.
Author: by Sanna Jawara