Shakti Sunday closed the pre-monsoon season at Fateh Sagar with a long salute to the wildly diverse genius of Udaipur’s children.
The “Youth & Creativity” celebration opened with the imposing karate skills of Sensei Raj Academy students with a special emphasis on self-defense techniques for girls. Academy founder Raj Menaria also revealed a new partnership with Bollywood’s Akshaya Kumar to offer free weekly classes to Udaipur’s women and girls.
Besides bringing a charming exhibit of their bicycle art, the enchanting kids from Upli Badi Tribal School began the evening’s dance recitals with a spirited Nigerian farmers’ dance they learned in the Shakti Caravan global dance program.
There were also spectacular ensemble pieces by Bharat Verma’s Heartbeators and students from the Rajiv Struti Dance Factory. Verma happily announced that he and his lead protégé Kishan Gameti had been invited to teach and perform in Vanaver Caravan’s “SummerDance Festival Tour” in America next month and they would be flying to New York on July 13th.
International swimming sensation Bhakti Sharma described her life as a record-breaking competitor and her next big challenge, braving the Antarctic Ocean to make her the youngest swimmer to have ever swum the five great oceans of the world.
Stunning musical interludes followed by young vocal masters Nishad Panday and Anurag Parmar as well as lovely pieces by student artists from Sargam Music School and Mahaveer Vidya Mandir.
Big Medicine Charitable Trust’s Rita Dixit-Kubiak introduced an exciting youth empowerment program called “Design for Change” that directly engages kids in community problem solving. Launched from Ahmedabad’s Riverside School in 2008, the DFC model dramatically boosts students’ social involvement and test scores and has spread to 300,000 schools in 34 countries. BMCT, which kickstarted both Shakti Caravan and Shakti Sundays, is now working to bring it to Udaipur.
And if music, dance and athletic prowess weren’t enough magic for one night, this Shakti Sunday also offered marvelous mime sketches by Vilas Janve’s Martand Foundation students, theatrical card magic by Sunny Purohit, and thrilling fire dances by street artists, Yash and Love.
The night ended as usual with a stage full of kids and a riot of exuberant dancing. Shakti Sunday organizers bid a fond farewell to their loyal crowds til the end of the rainy season, and asked them to support their work at their Facebook Page as well as helping other related initiatives like Action Udaipur.