UK -Europe
2017-10-09 / By Dr.Cyriac Maprayil

Indian Independence Gala at South Bank Centre brings out the best of both worlds

On the 4th of October the South Bank Centre in conjunction with the Indian High Commission's Nehru Centre, presented a celebration of cultural talent showcasing the best that India and Britain can offer. The vibrant and colourful festival of songs and dances was held in the context of 70th year of Indian Independence celebrations and served as a testament to the continuing bond between the two countries. It is a relationship that has stood the test of time and flourished, not out of necessity but out of a continued affection and mutual respect between India and Britain.

The evening opened with a rousing performance from Indian born British Soprano, Patricia Rozario whose duet with classical singer Deepa Nair Rasiya set the tone for the evening.

The evening's highlights included a performance from the Natyasri Dance Company, the group's classical Indian dance is rooted in the South Indian dance of Bharatanatyam. The delicate control and precise movements of the dancers revealed a passion and commitment to the ancient art, costumes designed to draw the eye and a beat that spoke to the heart mesmerised the audience under the careful creative direction of Geetha Sridhar.

London Contemporary Voices who are known across the arts scene for their collaborations with pioneering artistes formed an acoustic backdrop to the celebrations, their voices harmonising with the movement, indulging the audience in a sensory feast.

Sanjoy Roy who directed the event is a prominent figure on the literary and cultural festival scene, across Europe and his experience was clearly evident in the seamless fusion of artistic expression across the continents that kept the audience captivated.

Not only was this a thrilling night for the London arts scene but it was a beacon that drew both young and old from across Britain, the Indian subcontinent and indeed the world to shine a light upon what diversity and integration should mean. It was a chance to bring the beauty of multiculturalism in action to a new generation and a fitting tribute to the value of a friendship that rose against the odds to fly from the ashes of colonialism.

Britain has never witnessed such an enjoyable artistic , musical and inter cultural coming together. Although only the Indian High Commissioner and his colleague the Minister for Culture and Director of Nehru Centre would know the hard work and efforts that has gone in to the staging of the event, such events will immensely promote inter cultural interactions ,understanding and obviously international understanding between nations.

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