Surrounded by beautiful and colorful artwork, Shehnaaz Dance Academy put on a Holi themed performance for the Art and the Holi event hosted by Maria Arts at the Barrow Mansion this past Sunday, March 4th. Marking the arrival of spring, Holi is a Hindu festival of color celebrating fertility, color, love and the triumph of good over evil. In the Braj region of India, where the Hindu deity Krishna grew up, the festival is celebrated until Rangpanchami (celebrated 5 days after Holi) in commemoration of the divine love of Radha for Krishna.
Our first act recreated the magic of Raas Leela, the joyful dance of Radha, Krishna and the gopis that has been immortalized in legend. Set to the number Radha Kaise na Jale, the dance started with focusing on the flirtations between Krishna and the gopis and ended with showcasing the love between Krishna and Radha. The act ended with a more westernized number, Mein Bani Teri Radha, depicting the current day Radhas who live life on their own terms.
Set to the song Holi Khele Raghuveera, our next number was performed by our PAW Bollywood II students and is again about colors and the season of love. Dressed in white with multicolored scarfs, our students did an amazing job bringing the joy of playing holi to the stage.
Performed by two of our squad members, Udi Udi Jaye is a festive song highlights the festival of Makar Sankranti which is one of the most celebrated festivals of the state of Gujarat. The choreography is based on the energetic dance form garba which is a big part of Gujarati culture.
The next acts are our interpretation of the transition in the festival of Holi through the years in Hindi Cinema with emphasis on the changes in choreography over the years. Performing the historic number Are Ja Re Hat Natkhat from 1959, our Junior Squad did a wonderful job highlighting the brilliance of yesteryears Holi with this dance. The squad followed this up with Rang Barse, the iconic Holi number and a Bollywood classic. Their synchronized moves and beautiful facial expressions left you wanting more. The last act was a modern Bollywood style Holi dance track, Badri Ki Dulhania, and our young soloist stole our hearts with her thumkas and energetic moves.
Our final performance was set to the song Ghoomar. A traditional Folk Dance of the Bhil tribe of Rajasthan, Ghoomar is performed to worship Goddess Saraswati and is typically performed by women on special occasions, such as at weddings, festivals and religious occasions. Our six squad ladies did a beautiful job staying authentic to this dance form and earned their well deserved applause.
We want to thank all our participants for their hard work and amazing performances. A special thank you to Maria Arts and the Barrow Mansion for having Shehnaaz Dance Academy celebrate Holi with you. A big thanks to our photographer, P.N Photos for capturing the beautiful moments. And lastly to our wonderful audience and supporters, thank you so much for your thunderous applause and appreciation. We are thankful for your continued support.