Vedic Heritage Inc., of Long Island had its annual presentation of Indian Classical Dance and Music at the Pandit Jasraj Auditorium in the Hanuman Temple premises in Hampstead, New York.
The event saw outstanding performances by legendary Indian classical artists. The program started auspiciously with conch blowing and Mantra/Shlokas chanting by after which the traditional Lamp lighting ceremony was performed by the members of the Board of Trustees of Vedic Heritage Inc. and the artists on stage to initiate the program. The Master of Ceremony was Sunita Buddhiraja who curated the entire program.
This year the event was graced with the presence of Mayor of Hempstead Don Ray and witnessed mesmerising performances by vocalist Aarti Ankalikar Tikekar who warmed up the audience with Khayal, Thumri and Tappa. While along Pandit Rattan Mohan Sharma commenced with Raag Bihag, sang from Haveli Sangeet, and invoked Hanuman Ji in Raag Jog.
Instrumentalist Vijay Ghate was seen on Tabla. Sitarist Subhendra Rao and Cellist Saskia Rao-De Haas played ‘Raag Hemant’ with a power packed sitar and cello jugalbandhi. Not only this, Kathak dancer Uma Dogra performed many Abhinaya dances and ended her piece with Suddha Nritta. Oddissi dancer Madhavi Mudgal dedicated her first dance number to Lord Jaganath. Followed by which she performed Moksha that was about surrendering yourself to the supreme soul along with a dance act on the Mantras from the Rig Veda. It was just magnificent and a treat to all present there as the artists had the audience in complete awe of the depth and intensity.
Sunita Budhiraja author, poet, curator and entrepreneur, said. “It was a great pleasure for me to attend such an extraordinary event. I felt very blessed to honour the amazing Indian classical musicians, dancers, instrumentalists and vocalists. It is heart-warming to see the community here keeping the roots alive”.
Vedic Heritage was founded in 1979 by Anant Vibhusit Pratham Parvatyacharya GURUMAA Jyotishanand Saraswati. She was a pioneer in introducing the rich Indian Classical Music and Dance to the NY audience nearly four decades ago, and has brought maestros and upcoming artistes together. This stage at Vedic Heritage has become a pilgrimage destination for the classical music and dance community from India.