Mumbai’s leading cultural organisation, Sam Ved Society for Performing Arts has organised the much-awaited Raindrops Festival of classical dances for two days at Bhavan’s SPJIMR Auditorium in collaboration with Bhavan’s Cultural Centre. The festival will be held on Friday 21st July and Saturday 22 July at 6.45pm. This is one of the most popular festivals of classical dance featuring dancers from India and abroad.
Sam Ved Society for Performing Arts is headed by veteran Kathak danseuse and mentor, Guru Uma Dogra, who has been organising this festival for over three decades to encourage young talent and propagate classical arts.
Festival Director Indrayanee Mukherjee says, “I have been associated with Raindrops festival right from my early days as Uma Didi’s disciple. I used to watch how Uma Didi tirelessly and selflessly went of her way to curate festivals which would celebrate young artists. The spirit of the festival was instilled at its inception and continues to do so till date. About six years back Uma Didi gave me and Suhani the reins of the festival as programme directors, she guides us and makes sure that we are on the right track. It has been a very elevating experience every year. We receive applications from all over India and abroad too, in fact, we have a backlog of artists from previous years who we would look forward to inviting to our future festivals. When we say that Sam Ved’s festivals are an icon on the cultural calendar of Mumbai, we are not boasting about it. It is really true, and we are humbled by the extent of which Guru Pandit Durgalalji’s blessings have brought us. Every year that we sift through the applications of dancers, it’s an eye opener for me, my respect for the dancers and dance itself and my Guru Ma’s dedication towards her source of inspiration goes in abundance”.
Another program director of the festival, Suhani Singh says “The beauty of putting together a festival like Raindrops year after for three decades, is to witness the community of rasikas we have built, who come together to celebrate the bright stars of Indian classical dance. For me the biggest challenge continues to be funding the endeavour of ours, I wish we could organise the festival for three days and have more artists because there is an abundance of talent but getting a sponsor or a generous patron is still an ongoing search, That we still manage to pull it off is largely due to my mother and guru, Uma Dogra’s never say die spirit and her mission to ensure that young artists today know that there are opportunities. This part of Sam Ved has really taught me that being an organiser and promoter of Indian classical dance is anything but an easy job but no job gives as much satisfaction as it does”.
On the first day Dakshina Vaidynathan Baghel, granddaughter of Padmashri and Padma Bhushan awardee Dr Saroja Vaidyanathan, and daughter of Sangeet Natak Akademi Awardee Rama Vaidyanathan, would perform Bharatanatyam, Amruta Paranjape, a pre-eminent Kathak dancer and choreographer, and disciple of Guru Shambhavi Dandekar, will perform Kathak, while accomplished Bharatnatyam & Mohiniattam dancer Divya Warrier will perform Mohiniattam. Young dancer Dipti Routray will perform Odissi solo on day one.
On the second and final day of the festival will witness an exciting duet of Bharatanatyam and Yakshagana by Shravan (disciples of Guru Sri Ullal Mohan Kumar) and Kiran Ullal, followed by Bharatanatyam by Arupa Lahiri, a disciple of legendary dancer-guru Smt. Chitra Visweswaran, Kuchipudi by dynamic dancer from Bangalore, Avijit Das and the finale Kathak performer from Guwahati will be the charming Meghranjani. A must-watch for classical dance lovers.