Indian dance students’ Carnegie Hall show moved to July


Carnegie Hall is a dream destination for many performers.

A group of students from Natyalaya School of Arts, a school of Indian classical dance, will realize that dream — it just won’t be as soon as they thought. The group was supposed to perform Jan. 22 in the All-Indian Dance Festival 2022 at the famous New York City concert hall. The festival has now been postponed until July 16 because of increasing COVID-19 cases in New York.

“After much preparation, our team is very disappointed about having to wait longer for this amazing opportunity,” said Vrinda Sunil, a Carmel resident and Natalaya School of Arts founder. “We were all so excited and were prepared as well, with costumes, props, etc. Unfortunately, due to the postponement, one of our members will not be able to perform with us anymore. This is a great loss as every member of our team has an important role in making this show a success, so we will have to find someone to fill in for this performer.

“This postponement has definitely been a struggle in terms of planning logistics as well, but we completely understand that it is not ideal to perform now, given the current state of the pandemic.”

Natyalaya School of Arts, which is inside Indy Dance Academy, 9401 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, was founded by Sunil in 2006. The appearance will be the school’s first at Carnegie Hall.

Sunil said for the festival, students will perform two dance forms, Mohiniyattom and Bharathanatyam.

“Both are classical dance forms from the southern part of India,” Sunil said. “We have 22 participants in this event, including six Natyalaya teachers and 16 students. We have been working on this performance for the past three months. There have been many practices each week. There are 10 Indian dance groups performing from across America. We are one of them. Each group is getting 10 minutes of performance (time).”

With the added six months, the preparation time will change.

“We do get more time to further improve and perfect our performance,” Sunil said. “And most likely, I will get new ideas throughout the next few months, and some modifications may be made to the performance. Our plan for now is to practice a few times a month for the next couple of months in order to keep the dance fresh in our minds and fix minute details, and then have more practices closer to the time of the event.”

Sunil said most of the Natyalaya School of Arts students are from Carmel, but some are from Fishers, Kokomo, Chicago and Cincinnati.

Sunil said the students will perform to Indian music by Sudhaman Subramanian, Rajesh Ravindran, Veeramani Nagarajan and P. Nanda Kumar.

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