The Indian Dance Educators Association (IDEA), a community of dance professionals, dedicated to community service through increased artistic opportunities, celebrated its biennial festival “Silver Screen- 75 years of classical dance in Indian cinema” on May 13, 2023, at Olney Theater Center in Washington DC.
IDEA’s biennial event was sponsored by the Embassy of India in Washington DC. The day-long event featured four-panel discussions and six mesmerizing thematic Indian classical dance performances, according to a release.
In the inaugural session, a group of experts discussed topics including KahaniKePeeche–The importance of symbolic messages hidden in traditional stories portrayed in Indian dances; NatyaPravaha – Exploring dance through the years – what does classical dance mean today? Balancing the Indian traditions today; Sa Re Ga Ma – Musical influences on dance and film over 75 years and Aaja Nachle – Exploring dance in Indian cinema.
The second half of the event showcased a set of themed dance performances including an ode to classical dancers in Indian cinema through Kathak and Kuchipudi dance by Bratati Saha, Krishnaveni Gurrapu, and their students. A Bharathanatyam performance’ Journey to the Villages of Karnataka’ through the songs of Kannada Cinema was presented by students of Deepti Mukund.
Additionally, attendees of the event enjoyed Kathak performances by a group of students of Arpita Roy, Kuchipudi by students of Arpita Roy, Odissi, Kathak, Bharathanatyam by Arpita Sabud, Srabanti Roya and, Praneetha Akula, Bharathanatyam by students of Vani Ramesh.
Deputy Chief of the Indian Mission in Washington DC, Ambassador Sripriya Ranganathan participated in the event and appreciated IDEA presenting diverse genres of Indian cinema over 75 years as part of celebrations of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.