The world-famous Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle will be celebrating the ‘Holi’ weekend with a colourful event set to be a sell out on 18 March.
A special night at the museum will enable visitors to discover the joy of rhythmic mystical dance by Payal Ramchandani, who is based here in the region. Payal is a dancer and choreographer.
Her training began at the early age of four in Delhi with celebrated dancers and Gurus. Her rigorous training has provided a strong foundation seeing her evolve as a dancer with her own unique vocabulary. Payal has been performing regularly as a soloist and has evolved as an artist in her own right.
She explained: “Both Kuchipudi and Elizabethan theatre excluded women for a very long time before they both became more inclusive as art forms, which meant that the onus of playing both female and male characters was on the men in both cultures. Kuchipudi, earlier performed in groups as dance-dramas is now also presented in the solo format.
“I moved to the North-East to be with my husband who has been here for a long time and we both decided to make Newcastle our base. The North-East has an active arts scene and is a cultural hub showcasing a plethora of high standard performances to choose from. I am the only Kuchipudi dancer here but that makes it a very fertile ground for cultivating interest in this beautiful dance style. I am thoroughly enjoying this process of working towards creating space for and establishing this art form.”
As part of this exciting event visitors can also see the amazing marble structure – Clara the Indian rhinoceros, as well as an inflatable version and discover why she’s special from curator Dr Howard Coutts. People are also being encouraged to enjoy a taste of India in Café Bowes.
The museum is also inviting people to a traditional Indian dance workshop on Sunday March 6 for Over 16 Year Old’s and on Sunday March 13 for children and families. The children must be over the age of seven-years-old. The workshops will be a mix of stretching, gentle movements and dance moves.
Anyone wishing to attend is asked to wear comfortable clothing with a T shirt and leggings recommended. No previous experience is necessary, but the organisers ask parents or carers to accompany children to the family session. Waterjuice and fruit will be provided.
The finale of the Holi weekend will offer an opportunity for individuals to show off their new skills in a colourful Holi parade around the grounds of the museum.
The festival of colours, Holi, is the most vibrant of all Hindu festivals, marking the end of winter in India and welcoming the spring season. On this festive day, people play with colours, meet and greet one another and create new beginnings.
www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk for tickets and more information
Doors close 18:30 for Curator talk and Kuchipudi dance – visitors are being asked to book as quickly as possible.