By Surveshwar Sarvesh
Urusvati Art and Habitat Centre, Gurgaon recently hosted an entrancing cultural dance and music concert themed “Basant Ras” to celebrate the onset of spring festival. With the majestic Aravali Hills and the sprawling Jasmine gardens as the backdrop, there couldn’t have been a better venue than Urusvati for organizing this event.
The cultural event sponsored by Sangeet Natak Academy was graced by the presence of dance and music enthusiasts from all over. The program commenced with a dazzling Manipuri Dance of Vasanta Ras. The dance performance showcased the spring season when there is dance on full moonlit night of Chaitra, and Krishna alluring Radha by playing his mellifluous flute. The audience was spellbound with the part when the artists brilliantly enacted the part where the Gopis led by Radha respond to Krishna’s overtures ensued by the scene of union and Milan. Manipuri dance, also known as ‘Jagoi’ is one of the most significant and popular Indian classical dance forms. It is particularly known for its Hindu Vaishnavism themes, and exquisite performances of love-inspired dance drama of Radha-Krishna called Raslila. The Manipuri dance is all about team work, with its distinctive costumes, aesthetics and repertoire.
After the Manipuri dance, classical vocalist Kankana Banerjee enthralled the audience with ‘Songs of Vasant’ and mellifluous old numbers.
The Chief Guest for the 'Basant Ras' Event was eminent educationist and media personality Dayanand Vats who seemed impressed with not just the performance of the artists, but also with the magnificence of Urusvati. In a tete a tete with fashiongaze.com, Vats observed, “With passage of time, Urusvati Art and Habitat Centre has managed to carve a distinct niche for itself as a result of the various cultural events that they keep organizing here on a regular basis. Besides the splendid ambience, the venue has various amenities that add to its advantage. The place is truly a paradise for the creative fraternity and the intelligentsia that prefers tranquil locations over other destinations. For children, Urusvati offers myriads of activities such as puppet shows, camel rides, folk dances to snake charmers. Viewing the Museum is a good learning experience for children as it gives them deeper insights into the folklores of Punjab, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.”
Komal Anand, director Urusvati Art and Habitat Centre (UAHC) shared, “Urusvati is poised to become one of the most sought after destinations in Gurgaon in the near future for hosting socio cultural events and extravaganzas. The endeavour at Urusvati is to host a wide spectrum of cultural activities, workshops and festivals for the art enthusiasts with the sole objective that the prestigious, invaluable heritage of the country is not just restored, but also enhanced further, by such initiatives, collections and presentations. Costumes, jewelry, utensils, musical instruments, puppets and paintings from the tribal to the highly sophisticated, miniatures, depicting scenes from the folk tales, all show how Folklore has incessantly inspired artisans, artists and even musicians and dancers.”
Lauding the efforts of Team Urusvati and the artists, Shahnaz Husain, the Pioneer of Ayurveda remarked, “It is heartening to see Urusvati Art and Habitat centre buzzing with all sorts of vibrant cultural activities. The Urusvati is a superb platform for budding artists, musicians and dancers from all over the country to exhibit their talent before a bigger audience. The Urusvati Museum of Folklore has been conceptualized to showcase the rich tapestry of India’s heritage and folklore. The high quality of aesthetics, beauty, stylization, symbolism and the sheer simplicity in design of objects of daily use in rural India on display of each region in the Museum is bound to leave the visitors spellbound.”
The guests were fascinated on seeing the Urusvati Art Gallery and the Museum of Ancient Folklore. The experience was truly enriching for them especially school students as it educated them about the rich cultural legacy as well as the diverse customs and traditions of different states of India. The visitors and the music lovers were treated to scrumptious delicacies and tea during the course of the cultural event.