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A special Gujarati dance performance, Raas, was brought to us Ipoh residents recently by Greentown Indian Cultural Society, Indian Cultural Centre, High Commission of India and Ipoh Hindu Devasthana Paripalana Sabah (Youth Section). Three dances were performed – Hudo, Raas and Gop Raas.
This group of performers, Bharvad Maldhari Raas Mandal, consisting of ten male members, is said to be the top dancers in the state of Gujarat in India. Bharvad Maldhari Raas Mandal, from the District of Surendranagar, was formed in 1989 to promote and preserve the Gujarati culture.
Since coming together, these men have won several Gujarati dance competitions, including at Surendrangar (district level) in 2001 and 2003. In 2003, the group represented Surendrangar district and proceeded to Amreli, winning second place at the Gujarat state-level competition.
Bharvad Maldhari Raas Mandal has performed at many functions and festivals, like Independence Day celebration (2003), Rann Utasav (Desert Festival) (2005), Republic Day celebration (2009), The Vibrant Gujarat Mahotsav (2007 – 2011) and Gujarat Establishment Day (2010 – 2011), just to name a few.
Gujarat is the Land of Festivals. The celebrations of festivals are accompanied with music and dance that breathe the soul with vigour and joy. Gujarati dance forms are popular throughout the world and we, in Ipoh, were fortunate to watch authentic Gujarati dances at the presentation of Raas. It was held at the Maha Mariamman Temple Hall along Jalan Sungai Pari in Buntong, Ipoh.
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