Classical nights at the Soorya India Festival

Indian classical dance and a world of shadow play take centrestage at the Soorya India Festival in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Leading Bharatanatyam dancer Rama Vaidyanathan who will be performing as part of the Soorya India Festival, this is for an advance story 20March2013.
credit: Courtesy Rama Vaidyanathan
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Traditional Indian classical dances by renowned artists and skilful shadow play is what the Soorya India Festival brings this week to Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Featuring a cross--section of Indian culture, the festival presents the South Indian classical dance style of bharatnatyam by the dancer Rama Vaidyanathan, while the kathak exponent Rani Khanam brings a North Indian flavour.

Vaidyanathan is popular for her fresh approach and innovations to bharatnatyam but without forsaking its traditional roots, while Khanam is known for her subtle footwork and rhythmic patterns, both integral to kathak.

The highlight, however, is a ballet of hands creating shadows that bring to life stories from Indian folklore.

Titled Speaking Shadows, the show by the shadow-play artist Prahlad Acharya tells ancient tales through the use of light and shade.

The programme has been conceived by Soorya Krishnamoorthy, the founder of the Soorya Stage and Film Society, an organisation that aims to promote Indian traditional arts among a global audience.

Rama Vaidyanathan, Rani Khanam and Prahlad Acharya will perform at the Soorya India Festival at the India Social and Cultural Centre in Abu Dhabi today at 8pm, and at the Sheikh Rashid Auditorium, Indian High School, in Dubai at 8pm tomorrow