Dance of Heritage
Review of Dhirana Feb. 15th 2014 Indian Classical Dance Competition
From: Roving Pittsburgher Report and PositivePittsburghLiveMagazine.com
Written By: Stephanie Curtice | Feb. 16 2014
Stories of the Indian culture and Hindus religion were brought to life Saturday night with lively dancing, bright costumes, and ethnic music. Eight college teams from across the country gathered at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall on the University of Pittsburgh campus for Dhirana 2014, an Indian classical dance competition. The very unique routines included grace like a ballet, transitioning floor work similar to a marching band, dramatic energy akin to Broadway musicals, and multi-level formations that were almost cheerleader-like. The dancing was amazing and unlike anything I have ever seen.
|Natya from Rutgers University|
Indian classical dance is very different from Western styles. Compared to ballet, which emphasizes leg action, a still upper body, lightness, high jumps, and pointed toes, Indian dance utilizes very active upper body movement, expressive hand and facial gestures, bent legs, low jumps, flat feet and intricate stamping foot work. Both styles have one very important aspect in common though. They both require masterful control to execute the dances with fluidity and grace.
|Moksha from University of Maryland|
University of Pittsburgh
The dancing was amazing and unlike anything I had ever seen before, but also impressive were the students who hosted the event. Not only did they plan, produce, and dance at the event, but the hosting Pitt University students also chose to donate the proceeds to Birmingham Free Clinic, the only local free healthcare provider. They also honored the memory of “Vasu” Srinivasa Prasad Gutti, who was not only a local, but worldwide champion of South Asian Performing Arts. Srinivasa Prasad International Fund for the Performing Arts (SPIFPA), the foundation created in tribute to his legacy, was the lead sponsor of Dhirana 2014.
I’d like to say a great big “Thank You!” to Mrs. Cardiology, Sunita Pandit and her husband Dr. Santosh Pandit for not only the invitation to attend this great event, but also sharing their cultural and religious insight throughout the show.
By: Stephanie Curtice
Good News and Cultural Reporter
(c) PositivelyPittsburghLiveMagazine.com 2014