The section Remembering Ananda was steeped in nostalgia as close friends, and family members of Ananda Shankar, committee members of ASCPA and students whose lives were moulded by Ananda, shared anecdotes about the man and the mentor. Amala Shankar recollected the first time she saw “Tanusree as a young girl in a frock, phorsha, chokh gulo chhoto aar gol gol” and how she had secretly wished to find such a girl for Ananda. “Today, I am not here as a dancer, I stand here as the symbol of life lived fully,” said she, welcoming everyone with open arms.
First performed in 1980, Uchhaash celebrates the spirit of spontaneity and joy. The dancers showed poise and grace
Emancipation, an excerpt from the 1985 production Nav-yug, displayed the need to convey a meaningful message through dance. The first part of the dramatic piece reflected the suppression of women, the second depicted the journey of women from bondage to social liberation
Hindustan Mera Pyaara, a youthful tribute to martyrs who helped free the country, was a visual treat in tricolour splendour. First performed on the occasion of Nehru’s birth centenary celebration in 1989, it conveys the pride of being Indian
The evening started on a mellow and nostalgic note as dancers from ASCPA, many of whom came back to the stage after decades, paid homage to the memory of their mentor to the strains of Ananda Shankar’s composition, Missing You
Breathtaking use of light and sound, vibrant costumes and vigorous moves characterised the all-male Tribal Dance, inspired by various dance forms from the Northeast. It was first performed at the Festival of India in Moscow in 1988
Lively folk dances from different parts of the country merged into a Folk Medley
Tanusree Shankar was handed a small token of appreciation by the students. The collage of photographs, capturing moments and tracing the academy’s journey through 25 years, had Tanusree overwhelmed. “I am touched. These twenty-five years will not come back again. I’m grateful to everyone who sacrificed and adjusted their lives — household chores and office work — just to prepare for this day and practised rigorously for six months,” she said.