There is only one woman, only one dynamic dancer who could do this and is the graceful and elegant Kalashri Lata Surendra.
As a dancer and a performer, I get calls from different people and organisations to put up a show or a dance act that suits their theme or motto. There are times in an artist’s life when there are some shows we await to perform for and then there are some we have to perform with no choice left. My performance, talk and a workshop at the prestigious 49th World Congress of Dance was one to remember forever.
Recently the world of dance got linked together and Mumbai dance lovers witnessed a cultural extravaganza not only with their eyes wide open but even with dropped jaws. There is only one woman, only one dynamic dancer who could do this and is the graceful and elegant Kalashri Lata Surendra.
It was an event that had the global icon of Bollywood, our very own Aishwarya Rai Bachchan light the inaugural lamp and Amruta Fadnavis, wife of Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis make a closing speech. Two dynamic personalities coming to celebrate the bonding of dance on an international scale, would make any event memorable. This was no exception.
It was the first time that the International Dance Council (CID) was organising its world famous Congress in India. The Congress endorses the harmony, peace and goodwill linking worlds through the didactic potency of dance and is open to all forms of dance: classical, ballet, modern, folk, ballroom, oriental, tango, therapeutical, recreational, revival etc.
Like all Congresses, it engenders a sense of reaching out to belong to a larger dance fraternity, ‘The CID family’ — that absolutely shares everyone’s trials and tribulations. The event was even more special because of the presence of the president of International Dance Council, professor Dr Alkis Raftis and Dr Constantin Kontogiannis the vice-president, Paris section CID, who handed over the International Certification participation to students and dancers.
The five-day dance Congress also invited performers who would truly highlight the significance of ‘dancing into meaningful moments’. I performed the opening act of the Congress with my gorgeous dance partner supermodel Alesia Raut depicting the everlasting love between a man and his woman using the Cuban dance of Love Rumba.
Apart from us there was performance by Ashley Lobo’s Navdhara India Dance Theatre. So I can clearly say that the World Congress on Dance Research is the best opportunity for professionals and amateurs to interact and highlight the cycle of “growing as we learn and learning as we grow”.
The finale dance got Aishwarya Rai Bachchan so emotional that she had tears in her eyes when she saw her guru, Lata Surendra, dance with her students. Aishwarya got up from her comfortable chief guest chair, rushed to her Bharatnatyum guru like a little girl, touched her feet like a true shisya and hugged her tightly, saying “I love you Lata akka”.
When I spoke to Lataji after a hectic five days of dance, she said, “The launch of the first section of the International Dance Council can only happen when a persona whose beauty gathers the world, whose name gathers the dance and whose commitment to the cause of the underprivileged highlights the tenets of the umbrella of the council of international dance — the official dance partner of UNESCO. We were honoured to have Aishwarya Rai Bachchan inaugurate our festival and glad we have her support to promote the art of dance.”
She further added, “I am also overwhelmed that Mrs Amruta Fadnavis came for the closing ceremony and spoke about development of dance and art along with encouraging the importance and need of seminars and workshops of various dance styles which we had though out the five days of the World Congress of Dance, which actually marked a cultural trade fair of dance with dance maestros from all over the world”. The Congress was informative and enlightening. I came out of the 49th World Congress of Dance feeling more educated towards my love for dance and now I leave to you to decide how you feel just reading about it.
Sandip Soparrkar is a well-known ballroom dancer and a Bollywood choreographer who has been honoured with National Achievement and National Excellence Award by the Govt of India. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org