Indian Dance Show Entertains Audience

Nida Naushad

Members of the Harvard South Asian Association perform classical dances in “Kalpanam 2010: The Rebirth of Love” last Saturday in Leverett dining hall.

Students, adults, and other members of the Harvard community packed into Leverett Dining Hall on Saturday night to enjoy Kalpanam, an annual classical dance performance put on by the Harvard South Asian Association, following a hiatus last year.

The show, under the theme “The Rebirth of Love,” kicked off with a musical performance, which was followed by several dance pieces, each showcasing various styles of traditional South Asian dance. This year’s Kalpanam featured 16 dancers and two musicians, and was organized by SAA board members.

The theme of this year’s show was particularly apt because Kalpanam was not performed last year, according to the show’s director Juhi R. Kuchroo ’13. Planning for the 2010 show has been a long time coming—the SAA made the decision to put on the show May of this year, and the performers have been rehearsing the acts since September.

In past years, the show focused solely on Bharatanatyam, a style of dance from South India, according to Kuchroo. She said she wanted the show this year to explore other styles of South Indian dance such as Tabla, Kathak, and Kuchipudi. This year’s Kalpanam also began with a classical Indian music performance, yet another new feature.

Ashin D. Shah ’12, SAA co-president who is also a Crimson photo editor, said the SAA hoped to use Kalpanam in part to highlight their efforts “to create a more open space on campus for the arts.”

One way that the SAA met this goal, Shah said, was by making tickets free.

Kuchroo, who danced in and choreographed for the show as well, said that the purpose of making Kalpanam free was “to attract more people to come and experience the culture.”

Kuchroo also said that the SAA made extensive efforts this year to publicize the event. In addition to regular postering efforts and sending out information over mailing lists, the SAA also publicized at graduate schools and reached out to other South Asian communities in Boston.

“I hope that we can do [Kalpanam] again next year, and that we have a good turnout,” Kuchroo said.

—Staff writer Julia R. Jeffries can be reached at