Uma Dogra’s Indian Classical Dance Raindrops Festival Returns to the Physical Stage


This monsoon, the famous classical dance festival of Uma Dogra, representative of kathak, returns to the physical scene after two long years

Harinie Jeevitha and Bhairavi Venkatesan

Away from the public, for most performing artists, the past two years have been like a parched summer. Like the first showers of the season, for kathak exponent Uma Dogra, the return of her much-loved Raindrops Festival of Indian Classical Dance, in her physical avatar, brings with it a touch of euphoria. “The last two editions took place online. I’m so glad we’re going back to the physical format because performers need the audience in front of them. That sense of connection with viewers cannot be replicated online,” confesses the founder and director of the SamVed Society for Performing Arts, amid a rush of preparations for the festival which opens today.

Nair Dimple
Nair Dimple

Now in its 32nd edition, the Raindrops Festival of Classical Dance brings together not only kathak dancers, but also young and emerging performers from different classical dance forms. For two days viewers can see dancers Dimple Nair (mohiniattam), Ruchi Krishna (kuchipudi), Harshini T and Meera Shree Dhandapani (duo bharatanatyam), Varsha Dasgupta (kathak), Swapnokalpa Dasgupta (odissi), Trina Roy (kathak) , T Reddi Lakshmi (kuchipudi), and Harinie Jeevitha and Bhairavi Venkatesan (bharatanatyam duo) take the stage at Juhu. “It’s an interesting formation of 10 dancers, of which only one artist is from the city. The others come from different parts of India, such as Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and elsewhere. We have always tried to showcase young artists from Mumbai and beyond,”
Dogra shares.

Swapnokalpa Dasgupta
Swapnokalpa Dasgupta

The shows, she tells us, are made accessible to dance lovers and students at affordable tickets as an ode to Mumbai’s cultural spirit. “It’s the only city where I see people buying tickets. The public here are real art lovers. So I make sure my tickets aren’t too expensive so people can’t get away with it. pay them,” she adds.The funds raised from the two-day event will go towards animal welfare, reveals the animal lover, who regularly takes care of stray animals.

Uma Dogra
Uma Dogra

The Monsoon Festival – now a regular part of the city’s cultural calendar – also marks the start of the dance season, shares Dogra, telling us why she calls it Raindrops. “The rains have a significant relationship with Mumbai and Maharashtra; our lives here depend on it. And when these young dancers come to perform, they bring with them the freshness of raindrops after a long summer,” she concludes.

On: Today and tomorrow; 6:30 p.m.
To: Kanaka Sabha, Nalanda Dance Research Center, Juhu
Call: 9820204951
Cost: Rs 100 (daily pass); Rs 150 (festival pass)


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