Indian Council for Cultural Relations holds classical dance event to celebrate queer expression of Indian artists


For the first time ever in Hyderabad, LGBTQ + communities were offered a space to showcase their art by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), the Indian government’s Foreign Ministry. It was “Samantha”, an event organized by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Samanvay, Shilparamam and the LGBTQ + communities of Hyderabad. The event was held in Shilparamam, Madhapur, attended by various audiences. The Ethnic Hall in Shilparamam was the venue for a personalized breast cancer awareness seminar adapted to transgender people by Dr Ridhima Bindlish, followed by an exclusive handloom and handloom accessories show by people from LGBTQ + communities.

It was designed and executed by Ms. Sudha Rani, Abhihara’s social entrepreneur. The ramp show featured the plural and fluid fashion of many hues from LGBTQ + organizations, viz. Mobbera and Telangana Hijra Intersex Transgender Samiti, Telangana Hijra Transgender Samiti and many other LGBTQ + people and foreign students. The ramp celebrated ethnicity, fashion and gender fluidity and pluralism, all on one platform. The show was composed and hosted by Ms. Madhu Chebiyam, an associate of Ms. Sudha Rani.

Evening Kuchipudi, Bharatanatyam and Kathak dance performances were held at the Amphitheater. Starting with Ganesha Stuti, Mx. Patruni Chidananda Sastry presented a unique article where the masks of Cherial and Patha Chitra were used with dance to convey the importance of the art forms of traditional painting. This was then followed by a Javali. Sastry performed all of the Javali with austere, vivid reflections and re-imaginations of the self by a man, his emotions while disguising himself in the privacy of his bedroom within the larger context of societal non-acceptance. There was also a Padam and a Kuchipudi object “marakata manimaya chela” which captivated the audience. This was followed by a performance by transgender activist and Bharatanatyam dancer, Ms. Chandramukhi Muvvala. She introduced Alarippu to a clean nritta and a sharp technique of Bharatanatyam. The next point was Bho Shambo where his performance also portrayed Arthanariswara as one of the many forms of Shiva. Chandramukhi’s performance was immersive and marked by precision. The artist recruited by the ICCR who was to perform the Kathak that evening, Ms. Devika Devendra S. Mangalamukhi, was unable to come to Hyderabad due to personal requirements. Therefore, the organizers were forced to play Vaibhav Kumar Modi in place of Ms. Devika Devendra S. Mangalamukhi. The final performance was given by Mr. Vaibhav Kumar Modi who presented a Sargam in Kathak in raag Bageshree in teentaal, a technical piece of the Jaipur gharaana of Kathak. The clean lines and strict tatkaar delighted the audience in the melody of its intricate footwork.

Subsequently, the Director of ICCR, Hyderabad, Sri Lakshmaji Rao Yesentarao ji appreciated all the artists with certificates. He also thanked them, the international students, all the artists and the larger LGBTQ + communities. Ms. Vyjayanti Vasanta Mogli, transgender activist and art connoisseur from Hyderabad, also concluded the evening with her thank you note by urging ICCR and the Indian government to introduce more such initiatives to include communities and communities. LGBTQ + people. The whole dance event was very tastefully organized and hosted by well-known dancer Mohiniattam and Malayalam actress, Ms. Anita Peter and the assembly thanked her for her contribution.


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