On the Friday of Asha’s anniversary week, we held a cultural evening to showcase traditional Indian performing arts. Shri L.K. Advani, Chairman of the BJP Parliamentary Party, and HE Jan Henderson, New Zealand High Commissioner, joined us as honoured guests, expressing their delight at the fun and light-hearted programme.
David Finch, Chair of Friends of Asha (Great Britain), and his wife Helen light the ceremonial lamp while Guru Vinod Kumar ji, HE Jan Henderson, and Shri L.K. Advani look on
Neetu Chopra opened the evening with an energetic tabla solo, impressing the audience with the speed and precision of her hand movements across the two drums of this traditional percussion instrument.
Neetu Chopra (center) performs on the tabla
Dr. Martin, Asha’s Founder and Director, showed another side of her talents this evening, when she gave her first public singing performance. She sang a series of ghazals (Urdu love poems set to music) with her voice instructor Guru Vinod Kumar ji, Director and Principal of the Bhaatkhande Sangit Vidyalaya, a highly respected music school in Delhi. Guru Vinod ji has been a generous supporter of the musical education of Asha’s students and was also instrumental in organizing this event.
Dr. Martin sings a ghazal as Guru Vinod ji accompanies her on the harmonium
Dr. Martin and Guru Vinod ji ended their series with an upbeat Punjabi song that had the entire audience clapping along
Sharon Lowen, an eminent Odissi dancer, concluded the program with a series of classical dance pieces. She narrated the story behind each series of expressive movements and gestures, connecting these traditional Indian anecdotes of powerful female figures to Asha’s program of women’s empowerment.
Sharon Lowen performs a dance piece from an ancient classical repertoire
After the performances, the audience enjoyed a dinner of popular Delhi dishes and street food specialties. It was a real treat to celebrate Asha’s anniversary with song, dance, and the companionship of the Asha family.
Click here to see more pictures from the event.