An Evening of Poise and Skilful Dancing by Kusum Sharma’s Shri Dance School

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Photos: Anusha Rajagopalan

By Runmee Barbara

HOUSTON: On August 30, Shri Natraj School presented an enchanting evening of a dance recital at the Kaplan theatre, Houston. The program was choreographed by Kusum Sharma. The students of Shrinatraj School presented Indian classical dances of Bharatnatyam and Kathak. The age group of the dancers ranged from 4 to 35 years. The show was attended by well-wishers, friends and families of all performers.

The show started at 3pm with a lovely prayer dance ‘Mooshika Vahan’ in Bharatnatyam style. The dainty dancers looked gorgeous in their pink and green costume and enthralled the audience by their sublime performance.

It was followed by the Kathak performance by the 1st year junior kids. They showed some simple Kathak steps and tatkar. This was followed by tukdas and 21 spins (moving in round circles) performed by the 2nd year kids. The stage was dazzling in beautiful golden kathak costumes worn by the students. The sound produced by the ghungroos (foot bells), stomping of the foot and beats of the tabla created a beautiful flow of rhythm.

The next performance was by Kusum Sharma herself on a song called ‘Aaj jaane ki zid na karo’. The live music and her graceful dance moves captivated the audience to the core. After her dance, she explained the various emotions that were used by her facial expression and body language in the song.  Every performance had a unique style and she explained about the dance techniques that were being used by her students.

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The show then progressed with the elegant recital consisting of tatkar, chakradhar tukdas and toras by the 3rd and 4th year Kathak students. The students took 108 spins and then continued to show versatility on “gat bhav” on an instrumental song dedicated to Lord Krishna. Lastly, they presented a candle lit dance called “Jhoothe Naina”.

Shhyam Moorthy and Nikita Khambe emceed the show.  They kept the audience entertained by asking Ramleela related questions. Winners of the correct answers were given free tickets for the upcoming grand musical opera ‘Ramleela 2015’. The Hindustani classical music team had Aruna Gurujada, Chandra and Veena Watve as Vocal singers, Chidanand played the Tabla (hand drum) and Ram Sharma played the harmonium. Photographs and Videography were taken care by Sri Ram and Dhawal. Thanks to all the assistant teachers Aparna Krishnan, Nithya Ram Krishnan, Runmee Barbara and Tanya Rashi Sharma for co-ordinating and managing the team with high spirit.

The show came to an end with a fantastic performance by the graceful Kusum Sharma on a song ‘Thare Rahiyo’.  All the performers were called on stage and thanked for their hard work and virtuosity which lead to an amazing performance and a visual delight for the audience.

Like every year, this year also Kusum Sharma’s Shri Natraj School along with Kalakriti Performing Arts will present its 11th Annual Ramleela in Houston on Oct 18 at  VPSS Srinath ji Haveli . This spectacular broadway style Ramleela 2015 is something you don’t want to miss !!!

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