In October 2010, students from Nandanam School were invited to represent India during the Commonwealth Games Flag Handover Ceremony organised by Aberdeen City Council and Citymoves Dance Agency in Aberdeen. The team also joined Sitakumari, an Indian dancer/storyteller and director of Heartstone, a voluntary organisation dedicated to breaking down cultural and racial barriers amongst the youth across the country. Together they participated in Heartstone’s major wildlife photostory programme ‘Without Frontiers’, where using contemporary Indian dance as a medium, the artists presented stories from the photo exhibition including Peregrine and the Pigeons, Kittiwakes legend and Great White Shark hunt etc.
The group has performed for a number of local functions including private wedding receptions and mehndi nights, HSBC Diwali party, Bollywood workshop for charity events, Aberdeen City Council 50+ Festival. Soumya is routinely engaged in Multi Cultural Educational Outreach (MCEO) and Cultural Diversity Awareness Training (CDAT) programmes organised by MeAL, which promote an understanding of international cultures and celebrate the diverse cultural heritages of various ethnic groups in Aberdeen.
Nandanam School of Dance is a cultural initiative led by Dr Soumya Palliyil to promote Indian art forms in the North East of Scotland. A scientist by profession, Soumya’s passion for Indian dance and music allowed her to set up Nandanam Dance in Aberdeen to provide training to young children and adults in various Indian dance forms.
Supported by a vibrant group of professional dancers who are trained in Classical and Bollywood dances from India, the team regularly performs at local events organised by Aberdeen City Council, Indian Association of North East Scotland (IANES), Multi Ethnic Aberdeen (MeAL) and Lion’s Club Aberdeen to name a few.