|When? June 1 | Event? Dance performance | Venue? Cultural Hall
Culture vultures looking for a high dose of traditional dance forms are in for a treat this month. Save the date for the island’s biggest kathak festival yet.
The Indian Fine Arts Society (IFAS) in collaboration with the Indian Institute for Performing Arts (IIPA) provides a chance to witness some of the brightest talents Bahrain has to offer.
Kathak is a classical dance from India used as a dynamic storytelling art. It combines lyrical grace, subtle expressions and meaningful hand gestures with intricate footwork, rhythmic intensity, swift turns and elegant stances. Wearing rows of small brass bells on each ankle, performers mesmerise the audience as they alternate between recitations, footwork, fixed compositions and improvisation.
“The Mughlai dance form is a fusion of Muslim and Hindu cultures with music and poetry. The Darbar E Kathak event will be a unique combination of many styles. The first half of the performance will be traditional, in which viewers will experience a journey from the Bhakti era to the Mughal era,” explains event choreographer Bushra Sultana.
The first presentation will include segments such as the popular kailashvandana, ganapativandana and nrittapaksh. To portray the Mughal era, artists showcase the ghazal and darbari. This is followed by tarana, a move in which the beauty of rhythm is explained through various movements and a combination of phrases and stances. The second half hits closer to home for both locals and expatriates alike as the contemporary ballet style depicts the story of Dastaan e Qyas, which is based on the popular Arabic tale of Layla and Majnun.
“Indian art forms, made of both music and dance, are widely appreciated globally. Events such as this will bring together all art appreciators. I believe art is an important platform to bring people closer,” Bushra continues.
Behind the scenes
Bushra, who is a known name in the kathak world, started learning the art and other classical dances at the age of eight. She later obtained a bachelor of fine arts degree and a diploma and master’s in the dance form. In 2007 she joined the faculty of IIPA as an instructor and has since been engaged in bringing forth the talents of her countless students, strictly adhering to the traditional way of Indian classical dance training.
Bushra also teaches classic cinematic dance with a traditional base. Before joining IIPA she had been a teacher, choreographer and drama artist with a number of schools in India.
The IFAS has been promoting Indian fine arts in the Kingdom since its establishment in 1974. Over the years, the institute has been involved in staging many events involving renowned artists from India and this time it aims to promote local talent.
Call 36 063-303, 39 331-094 or 39 617-094 (IFAS).