Dazzling Dance Show to mark Diwali in London
kavita | October 20, 2008 at 11:54 pmby
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Simultaneously, a senior Indian-origin leader in the UK has urged the youngsters of Indian community to participate in the festivities of Diwali.
Lord Navneet Dholakia, senior leader of the Liberal Democrats, urged the community youths to "not only understand but also participate" in the festivities of Diwali.
"Our culture and values have stood the test of time. That is why we are playing an important role in the civic life of our adopted homeland," he said.
According to 2001 census, UK is home to more than half a million Hindus where Diwali is celebrated by a large section of the non-Hindu population as well.
In a message to the London-based organisation, Nrityakala The Rhythm, which launched the biggest ever study of Manipuri and Tagore dances recently, Lord Dholakia, said, "The first generation of the vibrant Indian community had the privilege to witness our culture which spans both India and Britain.
"However, it is important that the subsequent generations of our youth have the opportunity not only to understand but also participate in such activities," he said.
Bithika Raha Basu, director of Nrityakala, said the organisation had organised an evening of dances with India's renowned Manipuri dancer Bimbavati Devi and others, including dance theatre 'Karna Kunti' and Tagore dances.
Scheduled for October 25 at Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan in London, actors Shabana Azmi, Farouque Shaikh, and one of India's prominent classical singers Pandit Ajay Chakraborty have recorded recitations for the event in their own inimitable voices.
Nrityakala The Rhythm - School of Dance and Institute of Indian Culture was founded by Bithika Raha 'Basu' in 1986. Now, Nrityakala operates from the borough of Barnet in North London.
It is one of the foremost proponents of Classical, Folk and Contemporary Indian dance, music, art and culture in the UK.
Bithika Raha Basu says she has got plans to produce two documentary films as part of her ambitious 'Legacy' project.
Mrs Raha has created dance theatre based on the works of Tagore in English, Hindi and Bengali for the benefit of the Asian youth in the U.K as well as non-Asians.
Nrityakala recently produced 'At Home in London', a 50-minute documentary film in English, as part of a project “A glimpse of Bengal”. The film charts the lives of first generation British Bengalis and reveals how they came to be living in London.
The film is being offered to secondary schools across the capital in a bid to help the next generation of Londoners understand what makes their city tick. Directed by Tapash Sen Gupta and produced by Bithika Raha 'Basu', the film is made up of interviews with Indian and Bangladeshi Bengalis from all walks of life that came to Britain from the 1950s to the 1980s. They have been recorded talking about their memories and personal experiences as the film explores their language and cultural background.
After the success of 'At Home in London' followed a much talked about album 'In Many Moods,' consisting of two audio CDs, based on the writings of Tagore in English, produced and released by Nrityakala The Rhythm in 2006. The CDs contain acclaimed stories such as 'The Hungry Stones' and 'Karna-Kunti', and some memorable poems from 'Gitanjali'.
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