By Asian Media USA ©
Chicago IL: The Consulate General of India organized 4th edition of “Kala-Utsav” the Annual Cultural Festival on August 26, 2017, at Yellow Box, Naperville with 19 different Indian Cultural Organizations to promote the rich heritage of Indian Art and Culture in the US Mid-west. The event provided a platform for over 200 renowned as well as new Indian artists, from across the US Midwest to showcase their talents through various performances.
Hon’ble Cogressman from 8th District of Illinois Raja Krishmoorthi was Chief Guest and Mr. Juan Ochoa, Special Advisor to Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emmanuel and Board of Director of MPEA [Metropolitan Exposition Authority] was the Special Guest on the occasion. The festival was inaugurated by Consul General of India, Ms. Neeta Bhushan, by lighting of the lamp as per the traditional Indian customs. The Chief Guest, Special Guest, prominent community leaders and volunteers participated in the lighting of the lamp. This was followed by the Indian and the US National Anthems.
Nearly 700 people comprising of the Indian-American Diaspora hailing from different parts of US Midwest, including many US nationals and different ethnic groups attended the event.
In her inaugural address, Consul General Ms. Neeta Bhushan underlined the ancient, rich and diverse culture of India. She added that the objective of the annual ‘Kala-Utsav’ festival, which was launched by the consulate in August 2014, is not only to encourage and showcase the extraordinary talents in the Indian-American community but also to reiterate and celebrate India’s unity in diversity.
During his address, Hon’ble Congressmnan Raja Krishmoorthi also appreciated the efforts of Consulate in providing a platform for showcasing India’s various folks and classical dance forms as well rich musical tradition through the local talents.
The function started with a stunning performance of “ChendaMelam” by the Chicago Kalashetra which is the best –known and most popular kshetram vadyam (temple percussion) genre followed by a sequence of captivating dance performances representing the classical, folk and modern dance forms of India from different dance schools.
The classical dance segment included Kathak performances presented by Anila Sinha Foundation, Bharatnatyam performance presented by Natya Dance School, Kuchupudi by Nrityamala Dance Academy, Odissi dance presented by Utkalaa Dance Group, Adardhnareshwar by Rina Rockers, Jugalbani and Bharatnatyam by Yakshagana from Indiana.
The folk dance segment was quite large. There were 6 folk dance representing six States of India. The Bengali Folk Dance presented by Jhankaar Dance, Shingari Dance School presented Kerala Folk Dance, Rhythms & Grace Dance Studio presented Rajasthani folk dance, the Assam Association of Greater Chicago presented Assam’s Folk dance and high energy Punjabi folk dance “Gidda” by Bollywood Dance Academy. The performance of “Garba”, Gujrati folk dance, by MAFS Seniors Dance Group enthralled the audience.
The kids from Bolly Dance Fit and Fun creative kids also participated and performed in the festival.
There were four presentations under the Contemporary/Fusion dance category in which over twenty five artists participated. The presentation ‘Rain , Drought & Flood’ by Soorya Dance School captured the hearts of the audience. “Bollywood Dance ” was presented by Bollywood Rhythm and Rhythm of Kerala by Team Ghunguru. Mythilli Dance Academy attempted to keep the flame of vibrancy in the heart by presenting “ Parai Drum Dance”. Lakshmi Parmeswaran and Ms. Tanvi Bhatt ably anchored the event as emcee and kept the audience engaged. Mr OP Meena, Consul [HOC], proposed a vote of thanks.