The Pillay R Arts Foundation celebrated its first anniversary in pomp and colour with a long evening of cultural performances, hosted at the ICCS on Friday.
The event was attended by Indian High Commissioner to Seychelles General Dalbir Singh Suhag, Mayor of Victoria David Andre, chairperson of the Pillay R Arts Foundation Jayanthi Pillay and other invited guests.
Established on September 4, 2019 as a benevolent extension to the Pillay R group of companies, the Pillay R Arts Foundation aims to work towards providing solutions to key social and environmental issues. It further focuses on promoting culture through arts.
“Through this foundation we want to emphasize the importance of culture to the younger generations in Seychelles, to ensure that they learn more about the melting pot of cultures that they come from,” said Mrs Pillay when addressing the crowd, most of whom were Seychellois of Indian descent or Indian expatriates.
Its first initiative was the founding of the Pillay R Natyalaya, a campaign which intends to focus on different cultural dance forms.
On display on Friday was Bharatanatyam, one of India’s oldest classical dance forms, and the first dance which the young participants of the foundation have been learning.
Bharatanatyam is a dance indigenous to Tamil Naduinvolving performers dressed in a colourful sari, adorned with jewelry who presents a dance synchronized with Indian classical music. Their hand and facial gestures are codified sign language that recite a legend, spiritual ideas or a religious prayer derived from Hindu Vedic scriptures, the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, the Puranas and historic drama texts.
“The Natyalya is run at an international level, where we have incorporated a system that actively involves professors from different parts of the world, to teach, train, supervise and examine our students. We aim for students graduating with a globally recognised certificate, which can support them while pursuing future education,” explained Mrs. Pillay.
“The foundation aims to introduce as many forms of arts to the society, and we are actively working on establishing this in the upcoming years. Today, we are here to celebrate successfully completing the first year of the foundation. I sincerely appreciate all the support we have received over the year, and hoping we get the same encouragement in order to accomplish our vision.”
The participants were also presented with their certification during the event.
The accompanying photographs show some highlights of the performances.