Nrityagriha School of Classical Dance entranced its audience at the Hornsby RSL Club in a multicultural event organized by the Lions Club of St Ives on Friday 26 June 2009. The event held raised funds for Father Riley’s ‘Keeping Youth off the Streets’ programme.
Lions Club St Ives event convener Roy Haigh thanked the volunteering members for their effort and commitment towards making the evening a tremendous success. Father Riley, the guest speaker said that it is organizations such as Lions Club that are the true Ambassadors of today deserving the Order of Australia Medal. In an emotional speech he spoke about the Youth and children on the streets. He said ” The children on the streets only want some one to believe in them, to make them feel special and precious”. “Most of the children on streets today, he said, were not there by choice, in fact, in most cases they leave home to escape some form of abuse or other”.
Lions Club certainly saw the value in bringing the multicultural theme to the evening by inviting different performers from within and around the Shire to participate in the evening. The evening commenced with a wonderful glass of champagne in true blue style with successfully held auctions supported by local businesses. The Youth off the Street choir sang and was cheered whole heartedly; there were the Polynesian dancers, the flamboyant Russian singers and more. The Indian element was not far off the list. Padma Balakumar’s Nrityagriha School of Classical Dance proudly presented Bharathanatyam in what can be said is a small step towards taking Indian Classical Arts to a main stream Australian audience thanks to the Lions Club for inviting the School to perform. The dancers of Nrityagriha exhibited their talent and beauty to a totally entranced audience.
The Nrityagriha dancers presented a Natesha Kauthuvam as their first item. The dancers were senior students of the School, Sruthi Ravi, Malabika Srinath and Varsha Chandra whose graceful, crisp movements and enchanting colorful costumes cast their spell on an awestruck audience. This was followed by a dance depicting the celebration of spring in the Ras Leela presented by the younger group of dancers whose happy smiles spread cheer in the audience. The last item was a Thillana, a composition of Swathi Thirunal ‘Dheem Thakuniku Thaka’ danced by the senior students Sruthi Ravi and Malabika Srinath in a picture of synchronized rhythmic excellence. The dances were interspersed by short explanations provided by Padma Balakumar.
Lions Club quite inadvertently, proved that Australia was a safe place for all residents in sharp contrast to the noises of racism heard during recent times. It also proved that Australia is proud to celebrate its multiculturalism by holding events such as this which add true salt of the earth value to the community. The evening concluded with the energetic Greek dancers breaking plates and bringing the house down and waking up the some what tired young Indian dancers.