U.K LONDON Kendra
May 21, 2022 was an auspicious and memorable day for the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, London. The day heralded the year-long celebration of the Golden Jubilee—50 years of propagating and supporting Indian classical arts and culture in London.
As the largest institute of Indian arts and culture in the UK, the Bhavan has an illustrious history of hosting world renowned artists for performances and workshops, supporting emerging talents, and cultivating the next generation of artists and cultural leaders through arts and educational classes.
From its humble beginnings in a small space on Oxford Street in 1972 with around 90 students, the Bhavan has grown in strength and holds classes in over 23 subjects with 800 students, over 100 performances in a year, and an ongoing dialogue with the current generation of artists and thinkers. Its current location in West Kensington consists of a world class auditorium, space for classes and workshop hires, as well as an art gallery.
The inaugural session was marked by beautiful renditions by the music students, a short film which gave an insight into Bhavan’s classes, events, the students and their achievements. The next film was a walk down memory lane, chronicling the journey of Bhavan’s over the decades through newsletter headlines.
Cllr. P J Murphy (Mayor of Hammersmith and Fulham), and Baroness Usha Prashar CBE (Honorary president UK Community Foundation) addressed the audience and spoke about the important work of Bhavan in promoting the cultural diversity of India and contributing to the diversity of London.
The main address was by Manmeet Singh Narang, Minister (Coordination), High Commission of India who was the Chief Guest. The morning session closed with beautiful performances by Bhavan’s dance students. The evening session saw a scintillating performance by Bharatanatyam dancer/choreographer Rukmini Vijaykumar.
The Bhavan’s Golden Jubilee will be celebrated throughout the year from May 2022–April 2023, with specially curated performances, events, workshops, and exhibitions.
U.K LONDON Kendra
It is with deep grief that we announce the demise of Shri Natubhai C Patel, the Kendra's very first Chairman of the Drama Committee, Chairman of Special Projects Committee and the man responsible for bringing many specialist drama directors and dance ballet choreographers to the UK from India. He was a pioneer in the field of Indian art and culture and spent at least four decades of his life to the promotion of drama, dance ballet and other cultural activities in the UK. He produced many plays and dance ballets and often travelled with his team to various parts of the UK and Europe helping The Bhavan spread the message of our art and culture through these shows.
Sri Natubhai was a thorough gentleman, totally dedicated and committed to whatever project he undertook. His contribution to The Bhavan in the field of Gujarati plays and dance ballets is unparalleled. With Naresh Patel, Pritam Pandya, Surendra Bhai Patel, Minu Patel, Jaishree Rajkotia and a group of highly dedicated volunteers, he brought about a real change in the field of performing arts at The Bhavan.
May his soul rest in peace.
U.K LONDON Kendra
We are extremely sad to announce the demise of Vice-Chairman and former Hon. Treasurer Sri Kishor Devani on September 23, 2021. He was 85.
Sri Devani was a very active Executive Committee member from the early 70s at the Bhavan. He served as the Hon. Treasurer with integrity and dedication for over three decades and also guided the present and previous Hon. Treasurers, Sri Kaushik Nathwani and Sri Indra Sethia. During his time, he introduced many new methods of reporting, which helped the treasury team in maintaining and taking care of Bhavan's financial matters. He served under the late Sri Maneck Dalalji and later under Sri Joginder Sanger.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.
U.K LONDON Kendra
We regret to announce the sad demise of Sivasakthi Sivanesan, 'Aunty' to all at the Bhavan. Vidushi Sivasakthi was a revered and incomparable teacher of South Indian classical music, both vocal and veena. She joined in 1984 and was an outstanding member of the teaching staff at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, London. She was trained both in Sri Lanka and India. Moreover, Sivasakthi was also trained in Bharatanatyam and was therefore an incomparable asset for the classical South Indian dance performances at Bhavan and elsewhere.
As a teacher she had an uncanny knack of bonding with her students of all ages, from infants to the elderly. The love and respect - nay awe - in which all held her was itself a testament to her commitment to her subject and the discipline that is required of any serious student of Carnatic music.
Smt Sivasakthi Sivanesan was the greatest single figure in the preservation and furtherance of South Indian classical music in Britain and no doubt elsewhere in Europe and Australia.
A long illness forced her gradually to retreat from public and professional appearances. In this regard, one must acknowledge the enormous support given to her by her dear husband Sri K. Sivanesan. Always in the background, he was ever there for her.
May her soul rest in eternal peace.
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