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West meets east...

art-and-culture Updated: May 19, 2013 22:59 IST
Vaishali Bhambri
Vaishali Bhambri
Hindustan Times
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Be it music or dance, lately Delhi has been witnessing a host of events that focus on fusion of Indian and western cultures. While on one hand, mythological tales are being staged as a ballet, there are bands playing Indian tunes garnished with jazz and funk on the other.

Adding to the trend is one such event called the International Ancient Arts Festival being held in the city this week. Organised by Rays of Wisdom Society, the festival will bring together Romanian ballet performers from Bucharest National Opera House come together with Odissi danseuse and spiritualist Reela Hota, who is also the festival director.

“Fusion of different cultures has been around for quite some time now. Pandit Ravi Shankar used to do it in music. The main reason is that its gives a creative challenge,” says the dancer, who is known to present the unique dance pieces on the philosophy of Yoga and Tantra. As the first ballet company of the Bucharest National Opera House established in 1924, it prides itself for its great ballet performers including Bogdan Canila, Andra Ionete, and Cristina Dijmaru.

“As performers we want to express the newness and feel the excitement to start fresh,” Hota adds. The Ballet-Odissi performance will begin with Mangalacharana, an invocation to the primordial sound. This will be followed by pure dance that will depict the splitting of primordial sound energy into two forces. “According to the great scholarly Yoga Guru, Paramahansha Swami Satyananda Sarwaswati of the Bihar School of Yoga, these sound waves can rectify certain defects in the human genes,” she adds.

While the last and third edition of the festival highlighted the therapeutic benefits of music and dance in restoring individual health and harmony, this time, the special focus will be on ancient languages, in particular Sanskrit.