The Rhythms of Joy Indian Dance Festival to take place in Kyiv from 27-28 October
The 18th annual All-Ukrainian Indian Dance Festival entitled the Rhythms of Joy will take place in Kyiv from 27 to 28 October 2018.
This year about 250 participants will be taking part in the festival. They will represent over 20 dance groups and schools from all over Ukraine, in particular, such cities as Kyiv, Odesa, Poltava, Kharkiv, Zaporizhia, Mykolayiv, and Kremenchuk.
The qualifying competition will be held at Rostok Cultural Center (26/2 Harmatna Street) on 27 October from 9 AM to 7 PM. The gala concert of the finalists will start at 3 PM at Ukrainian House (2 Khreschatyk Street) on 28 October and last for about three hours. The entrance is free.
The festival is organized by the Ukrainian non-governmental organization Ukraine India Association and the Indian Dance Federation in Ukraine. The event is sponsored by the international non-governmental organization India Club. The festival will take place under the auspices of the Embassy of the Republic of India in Ukraine.
Today there are up to ten different festivals dedicated to Indian dances in Ukraine taking place every year. They represent different styles, including classical dances, modern dances in the Bollywood style, and various folk dances from different parts of India. However, the Rhythms of Joy is the only all-Ukrainian festival to bring together all the styles and all the dance groups on one stage. The festival provides an opportunity to see how performers gradually master their skills year after year, be it adults, teenagers, or kids. The participants receive diplomas, and the winners of the competition have an opportunity to get awards. Also, there is an oportunity to receive scholarships that will allow studying of dancing in India.
The Indian Dance Festival entitled the Rhythms of Joy was established and first held in Poltava in 1994 on the initiative of Svitlana Hrytsai, the director of the Poltava Center for Ukrainian-Indian Friendship named Shanti. The project started from scratch. There were no Indian music records of high quality, no colorful clothes, and no professional skills. However, the participants showed a great desire to learn the art of Indian dance, which was geographically distant but very close in spirit. For this, they employed video records of doubtful quality, as well as self-made costumes and decorations, with some of them being brought from India, while others being handcrafted in Ukraine.
On the initiative of the Ukraine India Association, the festival expanded to the all-Ukrainian scale in 1996. Since then, 17 Indian dance festivals have taken place in Poltava, Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, and Dnipropetrovsk. Each year the number of participants increased.
In 2002, the Federation of Indian Dance in Ukraine (www. indance. com. ua) was created on the initiative of Olena Ryzhei who managed to bring together the dance groups of that time and coordinate their activities.
From 2005 to 2006, thanks to the participation of amateur and professional artists not only from Ukraine but also from France, Russia, Singapore, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United States, and Malaysia, the festival enjoyed an international status. Well-known Indian performers joined those events, too.
It would not be possible to implement such large-scale projects without the financial support from representatives of the local Indian business diaspora in Ukraine who are united in the international non-governmental organization India Club — the festival’s main sponsor.
Also, the Embassy of the Republic of India in Ukraine provides support to the festival every year. It was the Indian embassy that facilitated the distribution of scholarships from the Indian Ministry of Culture among the winners of the Festival. Thanks to them, about 20 winners of the festival were able to complete professional educational dance programs in India and now they can spread their knowledge and skills with thousands of children and adults in Ukraine. Currently, there are up to 35 Indian dance schools, clubs, and studios in Ukraine.