Conference at Durban (South Africa)

A Conference for Indian Dance
The Playhouse, Smith Street, Durban, May 5 - 7, 2000
Presented by:
Nateshwar Dance Academy & Kwa-Zulu Natal Dance Theatre, South Africa

National Arts Council of South Africa
The Playhouse Company
ICCR (New Delhi)
The Indian Consulate (Durban)
Lotus FM
Technikon Natal

Conference contact: girish@lantic.co.za

Day One:
Official Launch
Dance Performance by National Delegates

Day Two:
Keynote Presentations: Global Overview
Traditional Indian Dance in South Africa

"Indian Dance: An International Perspective"
by ANITA RATNAM, Artistic Director, Arangham Dance Theatre,India

"Indian Dance: A British Perspective"
by PRATAP PAWAR, Artistic Director, Triveni Dance Company, London

"Indian Dance: An Indian Perspective"
by Sreekala Bharath, Chennai, India

"Indian Dance: An Overview of Indian Dance Drama"
by Kalaimani K Narendran, Abhinaya Natyalaya, Chennai, India

Day Three:
New Directions in Indian Dance in South Africa
Resolutions & Closure
Playhouse Drama
Dance Performance by International Delegates
- Anita Ratnam
- Pratap Pawar
- Vaibhav Joshi

NRITYA SAMMELAN - An Excerpt from Anita Ratnam's Report on the Conference
Nritya Sammelan 2000 : May 5 - 7, Durban, South Africa
By Anita Ratnam

Kudos and applause to the two brave Conveners Smeetha Maharaj and Vasugi Singh for their courage, determination and persistence in making Nritya Sammelan 2000 an outstanding conference. The landmark inernational conference saw the morning sessions juxtaposed with two evenings of performances at the Playhouse Theatre, Durban. These performances were very unusual because it brought all the nine major classical and contemporary dance companies from the various provinces of South Africa onto the same stage.

The first day featured dance performances by Bharatanatyam Dancers from Kwa Zulu Natal, Kathak by Nateshwar Dance Company, Modern Dance by Siwela Sonke Dance Company, Contemporary Folk by Jhankaar School of Dance, Traditional Folk by Gujarati Hindu Sanskruti Kendra and a fusion of Bharatanatyam and traditional Zulu dance by Surialanga Dance Company.

The morning session of the second day featured seminars in three sessions. The guest speakers gave a Global Overview in the first session were Pratap Pawar, SreekalaBharat, Krishnakumari Narendran and I. Vasugi Singh, Smeetha Maharaj, Vaibhav Joshi and Srithevi Padmanathan spoke in the second session about Traditional Indian Dance in South Africa. The final session on Indian Dance and Education in South Africa were elaborated by Suria Govender, Gerard Samuel and Sumagy Paideya.

The topic for the concluding day seminar was New Directions in Indian Dance in South Africa. The participants were Dr. Ranjith Lalloo, Jeyesperi Moopen, Jay Pather and Lilane Loots. International delegates who performed in the evening were Pratap Pawar, Vaibhav Joshi and myself. The event was very widely covered by the mainstream press, radio and television and the lively DJ's at Lotus-FM giving the event a great deal of publicity including live interactive talk shows.

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