Sunday, June 20, 2004

Gya: Indian Christian dance

An international Indian Christian dancer and choreographer who said she was inspired by a Guyanese to portray the stories of Jesus through Indian classical dance will conduct a series of performances in Guyana beginning today.

Rina Singha is the guest of Devanand Bhagwan who currently hosts the MTV television programme Jeewan Jyoti in Georgetown.

Singha who now lives in Toronto, Canada, performs 'Yeshu Kathas' (portraying the stories of Jesus through Indian classical dance).

A release from Bhagwan said Singha acknowledges that she was inspired to do Yeshu Katha by Rev Samuel Harrichand, a Guyanese living in Toronto.

The Yeshu Katha is an old tradition among Indian Christians in Guyana where people sing Christian Bhajans (Indian devotional songs), sit on the floor on a chaadar (cloth sheet), dress in Indian garb (saris, shalwar-kameez and kurtas) and tell the story of Jesus in Indian culture and with Indian music.

Though, the tradition is not as popular as before, many Indian Christians still enjoy participating or observing Yeshu Katha. Singha was inspired by this tradition and is now the premiere Indian Christian dancer in the world, who does the Yeshu Katha.

Singha was born and raised as a Christian in India and has a vibrant faith in Jesus Christ. Trained in India in the Kathak classical dance, Singha specialises in tales about Indian life and traditional and biblical stories.

She is the recipient of the William Kilbournes Award in Dance by the city of Toronto for her contribution to dance in the city, the DuMaurier award, the Ontario Dance Council award, and the UNESCO (Canada) award.
Indian dancing is noteworthy for its incredibly beauty and grace, and for its symbolic richness. I wish I could see her. If anybody tapes this performance, I'd like a copy.

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