Last weekend, two of Essequibo’s leading dance troupes won the top spots in Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha’s Rang Rasiya folk dance competition.
The event, held at Dharmic Sanskritik Kendra, Prashad Nagar last Saturday, was held to inaugurate Phagwah celebrations.
Sara-swattie Dance Academy and Kandhiya Dance Troupe, which placed first and second respectively in the competition, eclipsed the other dance troupes. The Golden Om Dharmic Dance Troupe, from Berbice, placed third.
Other dance troupes that have participated include Tandavas Performing Arts, Jewan Ka Nritya, Kevin Dance Academy and Queen’s College. There were also performances by several outstanding artists including Sookrane Boodhoo, Rekha Singh-Ranglall, Suraj Singh, Kishan Sugrim, Gaindra and Sonia Raghubeer.
Sursattie Singh, founder of Saraswattie Dance Academy, said she was proud of her dancers and it was not the first time they had won the folk dance competition trophy. She said her dancers would spend hours nailing their dance pieces.
Singh added that the dancers took part in the competition after a four-year hiatus from performing. She thanked her sister, Priya Nauth, as well as Vivek Bharrat for ensuring the dancers were trained for the competition. She also said that all the costumes were designed by her sister and Bharrat. Nauth said that this year was quite difficult for them because she had to teach the girls to dance and also dance with them.
Ravindra Deowattie, choreographer and dance teacher of the Kandhiya dance troupe, said this was the fifth year that her group had taken part in the folk festival.
The concept of their dance, he explained, was a showcase of traditional folklore of worshipers of Lord Shiva. Its dancers performed as the Agori people, all adorned in tiger skulls and skins, with rudraksha beads as accessories and ashes smeared all over their bodies. The dance consisted of numerous stunts, which entertained the roaring crowd.