Upasana's Utsav 

September 24, 2008 
Upasana presented Utsav 2008 on 20th September 2008 in Manchester, UK. Performing to a packed audience at Waterside Art Centre, the well organized event was funded by the Community Foundations for Greater Manchester. The 25 participants from Upasana's classes in Didsbury Methodist Church, Manchester High School and Indian Association's Nrtya Jyoti in Oldham, showcased a brilliant display of high quality Indian dance and music. 

Deepa as Meera
Vaishnavi as Kalinga & Nivedita as Krishna
The items were well choreographed and brief explanations accompanied each item. Beginning with a traditional Allarippu, Utsav included a colourful array of costumes and movement in Jathiswaram followed by a dynamic Namashivaya by Vaishnavi and Nivedita and some soothing sweet music by the music group. The vibrant Surya Thillana was juxtaposed with the poignant 16th century saint Meera by Deepa and a vivacious Kaliya Narthanam. Nivedita's happy, smiling face of Krishna, her casual interaction between friends (Aashana and Sonalia) and Vaishnavi’s fearsome expressions, movements and attire as Kaliya the snake, was enthralling. 

As in any school's annual showcase, Utsav surely marked personal achievement and happiness for each performer. After Upasana's brilliant year including performance in Halle’s Taj Festival and Royal Exchange Theatre, Deepa Ganesh, artistic Director of Upasana, looks revitalized after her recent Arts Council funded US tour in August. To have reached more than 15,000 people in just four years, speaks of Upasana's hard work and popularity. 

Akshara (sitting) with 
Nivedita, Sonalia, Aashana and Vaishnavi
Upasana group with 
Mayor of Trafford
The Mayor of Trafford was impressed by the discipline and coordination of the dancers. Utsav had the best of everything - performance, music, costumes, foyer exhibition, Indian snacks from Anand Deli and even a green message with specially commissioned jute bags!