Bentonville residents were in for an amazing treat this past April when Ra-Ve Cultural Foundation presented Kumar Sharma and his group, the Kathak Rockers on a large screen at their location. They screened the video, specially created for RVCF, on a large screen with huge speakers and created an immersive experience that was so worth it. People who preferred to watch from the comfort of their homes were also able to watch it on a Zoom share.
The performance was divided into two sections. The first half saw Kumar introduce the different aspects of kathak - the basic teen taal that constitutes a cycle of 16 beats, the concept of thaats or postures that a kathak dancer takes at the beginning of a piece, ParanAmat and tukras which are different nritta compositions focusing on footwork. After all, dance is all about rhythm. Kumar is a master at engaging the audience, in spite of it being a video performance, by involving the audience in what is happening on the screen.
The second half of the show was a love story of two young lovers who experience all the doubts and fears of a new relationship only to have their love win over all in the end. Presented in a modern style using popular music from different genres, a voice narrates the story and it was a pleasure to watch Sharma and Kalpita Kachroo did not let us move our eyes away from the screen even for a second. Their abhinaya or show of facial expressions and movement held us spellbound. Time stood still. The climax was a dance treat straight from the heavens with Sharma spinning away one chakkar after another while we all counted, scarcely breathing.
I have to specially mention the costumes throughout the show and particularly in the second half of the show. Spectacular, spellbinding, rich, colorful, artistic, fashionable, elegant and exciting doesn't cover the experience of watching the dancers spin and move in those beautiful clothes fit for a royal presentation. Many of our audience members commented on that particular aspect of the show along with their appreciation of Sharma's ability to speak to the audience and bring his dance closer to them.
The event wrapped up online and in person with a box of very yummy samosas catered by NWA Spice Shuttle and hearts warmed by a few minutes of dance and music. Everyone felt grateful to be able to take some time off to enjoy a pleasant afternoon, taking a break from the monotony and stress of daily life.
In the end, the team at Ra-Ve was overwhelmed with the response we got and we renewed our commitment to keep bringing great talent to our community here in Northwest Arkansas so that everyone can take a break and replenish their souls with some good music and dance. Our Master Concert Series focuses on such talent and is made possible by a generous grant from the Walton Family Foundation.
You may watch the trailer of this event on our Youtube channel. If you would like to be added to our newsletter, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to seeing you at our next event.