Republic Day - A Fine Talent Showcase
The India Association of Greater Boston’s Republic and Independence celebrations have been some of the largest crowd pullers in the Boston area. A showcase featuring classical dance music, Bollywood and folk numbers, it attracts different Indian ethnic groups to participate.
The event this year, held on Jan 22 at the Burlington High School was a well-run event that got rave reviews from attendees. The executive committee members Saurabh Saksena, Amrit Soni and Zehra Khan pulled together a fabulous event that included a central musical showcase featuring famous bollywood songs presented by senior artists, Meena Sundaram, Shraddha Agarwal, Shuchita Rao, Parag Joshi, Rahul Bhardwaj and Shirish Nimgaonkar. They were accompanied by an Orchestra that featured Amol Khanapurkar (Tabla), Christy Mathew (Keyboard), Hiral Parikh (Drums) and Ishaan Capila (Guitar). These artists brought a high level of professionalism and class to the event and were the highlight of the show. The mcees Preetesh Shrivastav and Dr. Sonali Pakala did a fine job weaving a tale through the presentation.
For years, IAGB has been refining the audition process to try to bring a quality program while allowing for broad participation. The successes of the IAGB programs had helped bring a lot of applications to the event and the culture committee worked hard to pick the finest based on the audition videos that were sent in. The MCEES Shirin Bakre, Ranjani Saigal, Ashwin Panda and Umesh Rao did a fine job knitting the event together.
Quality was the hallmark of the event from the first moment when Priyasha Chaturvedi delivered a brilliant rendition of the US National Anthem. Following the welcome address by Dr. Anil Saigal, and invocation by a Tibetian monk, the talent showcase began right in earnest. In the kid’s section, choreographers Mangai Raghavan and Ranjani Saigal presented fine classical items. Choreographers Irtika Kumari . Manvi Sharma , Vipra Bhasin, Shivani Patel . Reena Patel , Santosh Sapkal, Sunita Malhotra, Deepa Tawalkar . Sonal Bakre, Viji Sathya, Monisha Prakash and Nikita Punjabi had tiny tots dance to a variety of folk and bollywood tunes. Kids as little as 4 years old gave a fine performance.
A wonderful tribute to Gurudev was presented under the direction of Bharti Biswas in recognition of the 150th anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. Following the tribute the musical showcase was featured.
The second half opened with a brilliant Pallavi in Odissi style under the direction of Guru Mouli Pal. Bollywood agan took center stage with Navin Rajayya’s Disco Wale Khiskho, Amulya Deepak’s Unity in Diversity, Kanganare by a team of teenages dancers who choreographed the number and Jugalbandi chorographed by Nikita Punjabi.
Creative fusion items that blurred the lines between classical and contemporary were some of the finest items of the evening. Thrastam by choreographer Sheethal Dwaraka, Tal Tarang choreographed by Deepa Rajesh and Elephunk Theme by Udaya Rani and Deepa Arun were very well received by the audience.
Chunari a folk dance with Chunaris added a lovely touch to the event. Mithali Biswas and her team brought the event to a conclusion with a wonderful medley that ended with the ever-popular Lal Meri.
With a large number of talented dancers and choreographers moving into the area and with the second generation youngsters bringing their group choreography skills the level of artistry in dance has risen considerably over the years and that was reflected in the showcase.
The digital backdrop for each event created by Dr. Sonali Pakala added a lovely new touch to the event. Rajesh Shah presented the presidential address on behalf of President Mohan Dali while Rita Shah presented Saheli. Zehra Khan gave the vote of thanks.
Kudos to Saurabh Saksena and his team for raising the bar on the IAGB event!
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