AN evening of Indian culture – from classical dance and mythological tales to rhythmic chanting – was held in Keighley.

Bradford Hindu Council’s Harmony Festival, staged at Victoria Hall, transported the audience through different time periods and traditions.

The event, hosted alongside ToNE:Tamils of Northern England, featured an array of performances from different Indian states and offered a glimpse of each region’s artistic expressions.

The show ventured south to Tamil Nadu, the tenth largest Indian state.

Performers showcased Bharatanatyam – a classical dance form known for its intricate footwork and storytelling elements – and Parai, a drumming tradition with roots dating back centuries.

The Kummi dance, traditionally performed by women to celebrate good harvests, brought a burst of colour and movement to the stage.

Karagatam, another vibrant folk dance, featured dancers balancing water-filled pots on their heads – symbolising strength and skill.

The event was also a chance to witness Silambu and Kalari, believed to be an ancient martial art form, and Oyillatam, a harvest dance.

Deepak Sharma, trustee of Bradford Hindu Council, said: “It was amazing to see so many different Hindu Indian cultures all on one stage. It felt like I was on a whirlwind tour of the whole country.

“It was a real explosion of colour, music and storytelling.

“I saw families with young kids, groups of friends, and a couple dressed in beautiful traditional Indian clothing.

“It seemed like everyone was there to experience something new. The hosts did a great job explaining the dances.

“Sharing heritage through things like dance, music and storytelling is powerful because it lets you connect with a culture on a deeper level.

“You’re not just learning about it in a textbook.”

Journeying to the north to Odisha, performers unveiled a classical dance form known as Odissi, believed to have originated in temples.

From the north east, there was Assam’s Bihu folk dance – a celebration of spring, with a history dating back centuries – and Bhupen Hazarika’s melodic songs, sung in both Hindi and Assamese.

Moving west, the programme showcased Punjabi Gidha, a folk dance traditionally performed by women to celebrate harvest and community.

From the south-western state of Kerala, there was a display of semi-classical dance.

The cultural journey continued with Karnataka, the rhythmic chanting of Vachanas – traditional poems.

Other features included Telugu poems, a Ugadi song, and dancing inspired by the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.