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Mothering Sunday celebrated with a twist by south Asian dance group

PUBLISHED: 11:34 21 March 2018 | UPDATED: 11:34 21 March 2018

Mummy and Me workshop at Sakthi Fine Arts Youth Dance Group. Photo: Anusha Sanjeev

Mummy and Me workshop at Sakthi Fine Arts Youth Dance Group. Photo: Anusha Sanjeev

Archant

Ilford’s south Asian community celebrated Mothering Sunday with a twist at the weekend.

Mummy and Me workshop at Sakthi Fine Arts Youth Dance Group. Photo: Anusha SanjeevMummy and Me workshop at Sakthi Fine Arts Youth Dance Group. Photo: Anusha Sanjeev

Dozens of young students from Sakthi Fine Arts Youth Dance Group shared the dance floor with their mums during a special workshop called Mummy and Me at Frenford Clubs, in the Drive Ilford, on Sunday, March 18.

During the workshop, known as a Bharathanatyam, the pupils taught their mothers a routine symbolising the relationship of Lord Krishna with his adoptive mother Yashoda according to Hindu stories.

“As a child Lord Krishna was very mischevious in a way any child could relate to, for instance, secretly creeping into the kitchen and taking a packet of crisps,” said the group’s Anusha Sanjeev.

“In our dancing we recreate the hand gestures of his mother Yashoda telling him off affectionately.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re the biological mother or the adoptive mother.

“That’s what we are showing in our dancing.”

Anusha was motivated to engage mothers in dancing after noticing that most were already heavily involved in dropping their children off and by helping them make costumes.

“They started out really embarrassed,” said Anusha, commenting on the mums’ initial reactions.

“But they really took to it.”

She added: “The students were excited and thrilled to share the dance floor with their mums.

“This is the second year running for this workshop and it was a grand success.

“The children also loved the role reversal and getting to have all the authority. The vibe was just fantastic.”

Motherhood is a key theme in Hinduism, among many other religions, particularly during the festival of Navratri in which Hindus worship the goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati.

There are two main traditions in classic Indian dancing – the fast classical type and the story-telling part, Anusha said.

She added: “The story-telling part is better for the western audience because people can’t understand the language but can understand the hand gestures.”

Set up 20 years ago, the Sakthis Fine Arts Youth Dance Group runs dance classes every Sunday.

For information see its Facebook page.


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