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Dancing back to Indian beats!

THEY ARE here to have a reunion with the Indian culture. In some way they are more Indian than Indians themselves. They look like any one of us, they follow our religions, they wear Indian clothes, they eat similar kind of food, they follow similar culture and traditions but they live in Reunion Islands, a small island country in Indian Ocean, near Mauritius.

india Updated: Jan 13, 2006 00:28 IST

THEY ARE here to have a reunion with the Indian culture. In some way they are more Indian than Indians themselves. They look like any one of us, they follow our religions, they wear Indian clothes, they eat similar kind of food, they follow similar culture and traditions but they live in Reunion Islands, a small island country in Indian Ocean, near Mauritius.

The Indian Council for Cultural Relations presented Shakti Reunion Group from Reunion Islands to perform classical and contemporary ballet at Ravindralaya on Thursday. Their presentation named ‘Shringara’ is about eternal love that features Lord Vishnu, his incarnation Krishna, Goddess Lakshmi and Radha Sabine Paulic, leader of the group says, “Most of the people who have come here are of the Indian origin. Everybody is very Indian at heart. Most of us in the group are either Hindus or Catholics. We visits temples regularly and follow all Indian festivals.”

The French govern the Reunion Islands. “French culture is deeply imbibed in our country. But we are trying to revive our lost Indian culture that we lost years back,” says a group member. “Our academy in Reunion Islands teaches yoga, Indian dance and music and ayurvedic medicine,” says Sabine.

Their passion for India becomes evident when they say that they want to learn Indian languages like Hindi and Tamil and are in search for teachers who would be ready to go and teach these languages in Reunion Islands. Gopika Varma, choreographer of the group says, “The two prominent dance forms that we’ve used in this ballet are Bharatnatyam and Mohiniattam. Ours is a twelve member troupe that consists of dancers aged 8 to 35.” She further adds, “All Indian dance forms are very famous in Reunion Islands. The people are eager to learn these dance forms.”