It was executed with cinematic precision at Divali Nagar on Saturday night before an appreciative audience with newly-appointed Indian High Commissioner, Shri Arun Kumar Sahu in attendance. Also, present were Shri Jagoria, Director of Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Cultural Co-operation, Shri Annirudha Dass, Second Secretary of the Indian High Commission and Members of Parliament, Dr Suruj Rambachan and Dr Lackram Bodoe.
Dr. Bodoe delivered the feature address, and High Commissioner Sahu gave a short address promising to assist anyone who is interested in pursuing a scholarship to learn dance in India.
The three-hour show, titled “Aarohan,” is an Indian version of “Romeo and Juliet.” The was was produced by Kathak exponent, Pooja Malhorta, founder of the now famous Pratibha Arts Dance Company(PADC).
The concert was “a piece of creativity and, as well as a cultural treat in dance performances showcasing kathak, classical and Bollywood styles.” The show was an intricate exposition of the art of kathak. Additionally, there were several light moments, thus ensuring that it was a perfect family entertainment.
Malhotra teaches dance at several locations across the country: Caparo, Debe, Divali Nagar, Corinth and Saraswati Girls’ High School.
Dancers at the show were as young as two and a half years. The cast of 44 participants received a standing ovation from a satisfied audience.
Malhotra who began dancing at age four holds a Master’s degree in Kathak Dance, a Master’s Degree in Economics, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Her first guru, the late Shri Chaman Lall Khanna, was always pleased and excited about her talent. During her early years, Malhotra excelled and won many competitions and awards such as the coveted Bal Shree Award. She also performed for Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, and the sitting President.
In 1980, Malhotra joined the world famous Kathak Kala Kendra and studied Kathak under guru Srimati Reba Vidyarti for 11 years. She went on to a post graduate diploma in Kathak under the guidance of Padam Vibhushan Pt. Sri Birju Maharaj, a living legend. After teaching for almost 31 years, Malhotra founded the PADC with the aim of promoting and propagating the art of Kathak.
Malhotra came to Trinidad and Tobago pursuant to an agreement with the Government of India through the Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Cultural Co-operation to teach dance. After developing a great love and affinity for Trinidad and Tobago she decided to stay on.
The PADC, the brain-child of Srimati Malhotra and founded in 2014, is aimed at promoting the rich artistic and cultural heritage of India. It encourages innovative approaches to movement, and is working to explore similar interests in other parts of the Caribbean.