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Ilford dancers wow crowds at Diwali celebrations

PUBLISHED: 11:10 24 October 2016 | UPDATED: 11:27 24 October 2016

Girls and women aged 4-24 from the Sakthi Fine Arts Youth Dance Group take part in an Indian classical dance (Bharathanatyam) class at the Jack Carter Centre in Ilford.

Girls and women aged 4-24 from the Sakthi Fine Arts Youth Dance Group take part in an Indian classical dance (Bharathanatyam) class at the Jack Carter Centre in Ilford.

Vickie Flores

Thousands of miles away from India, a group of dancers celebrated a festival of lights named Diwali, in front of a huge crowd this weekend.

The group, members of Sakthi Fine Arts youth dance group, wowed people at the Cutty Sark, in Greenwich, as they celebrated the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance.

The crowds were wowed as the girls and young women from the club, in The Drive, Ilford, performed classical Indian dance Bharatha Natyam, known for its fast intricate footwork, facial expressions and sparkling costumes.

Teacher Anusha Sajeev said their performances, on Saturday and Sunday, were “absolutely fantastic.”

She said: “We were the only classic Indian dance group there!

“The girls, aged between 4 and 24, performed for just under an hour in front of the Cutty Sark.

“It was a little bit cold, so we made some adjustments to the costumes before.

“The girls were dancing in the crowd and inviting people to participate, the crowd were totally wowed.”

The five-day festival of light, which is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains marks the Hindu story about an exiled prince, Rama, who saved his kidnapped wife Sita by killing the demon king.

People light lamps and let off fireworks as a reminder of the Ramayana epic, where people lit lamps to help the Rama and Sita find their way home, but also as a symbol of light overcoming darkness.

Many Hindus also use the festival to honour Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, by reciting prayers to her for another successful year.


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