Maestros of the Next Gen

Cultural Diplomacy

An Evening of Cultural Dance by the Disciples of Dr. Sonal Mansingh, Padma Vibhushan & Saroja Viadyanathan, Padma Bhushan

The Indo-American Friendship Association, New Delhi is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious, non-sectarian and non-commercial organisation with sole objectives to stress points of convergence and commonality; points which bind and connect rather than those which divide and antagonise, and help enlarge horizons of friendship and understanding between India and the United States. The endeavours of IAFA include organising talks, discussions, brainstorming sessions, seminars, symposiums, art exhibitions and performances by acclaimed artists from different spheres, film screenings, book readings, fashion shows, sports meets, lectures and conclaves. Visit their website at to learn much more.

One such endeavour was an evening of Odissi and Bharatnatyam dance performance called the ‘Maestros of the Next Gen’ on the 30th of August. The Chief Guest was Shri Najeeb Jung, the Honourable Lt. Governor of Delhi, and the Guest of Honour was Shri C. Rajasekhar, DG ICCR. The event was supported by the Ministry of Culture and the India Habitat Centre, (where it was hosted).

Performance One

Odissi Classical Dance: The Odissi dance of Odisha (Orissa) is one of the six acknowledged classical dance forms of India. Like all other Indian classical dances, it also has its initiation in religion and philosophy with an origin in the temples of Odisha. The rhythm, Bhangis and Mudras used in Odissi dance have a distinct style of its own. The dance is performed mainly with the theme of Infinite love of Lord Krishna and Radha.

The allied art of this dance and music is more

popularly known as the Panchama Veda that was cultivated with success from a very ancient period in Odisha. It was King Mahameghavahan Kharvela, a proficient master in the art of dance and music himself, who provided a strong footing for further development of this art through his royal patronage.

Performance Two

Bharatanatyan Classical Dance: Bharatanatyam is one of the oldest classical dance forms from Tamil Nadu, originally centred in Tanjore. Earlier it evolved as a temple dance form called Devadasi Attam under the patronage of the Chola dynasty and later under the Maratha rulers it was called as Saddir Attam.

It is so called because it strictly follows the rules of Bharatha’s Natya Shastra and also it is an acronym of Bhava (Bha) meaning Expressions, Raga (Ra) meaning Melody and Tala (Ta) meaning Rhythm. Bha + Ra+Ta and Natyam means dance. This dance places equal emphasis on both Nritta (abstract movements) and Nritya (expressional, soft movements). In short it is a composite dance of mood, mode and measure. However, the community which played the greatest role in popularizing this art by giving it a news sprit, a new hope and horizon, was the community of the temple maidens or Devadasis.

All in All

It was a wonderful and enriching evening in front of a packed audience. The Publisher and Managing Editor of the Diplomatist Magazine thank Amb. Surendra Kumar (Ret’d), Founding President of the Indo-American Friendship Association, for his kind invitation to the event, which brought a little sunshine into the lives of many Delhites during the abundant 2016 Monsoon.

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Diplomatist Magazine was launched in October of 1996 as the signature magazine of L.B. Associates (Pvt) Ltd, a contract publishing house based in Noida, a satellite town of New Delhi, India, the National Capital.