Asian Spring is the annual event highlighting local dance talent in the Midlands, and is the result of hard work from various dance companies.
Spearheaded by arts organisation Sampad it's essentially a showcase for new and up and coming performers, and a platform on which to recognise the past year's achievements.
Sampad's Asian Spring has been running for the past eight years, and its growth has been organic whilst at the same time hugely encouraging. Each successive year has warranted a larger venue thanks to sell-out crowds, this year being no exception.
This is an indication not just of the popularity of the event, but of interest in South-Asian dance, burgeoning new talent taking up the art-form, and people's willingness to support it.
This year's event was ably compered by dance doyen Piali Ray, primarily introducing ' Khoj' by Sonia Sabri. A fantastically choreographed performance of contemporary Kathak to the haunting Mere Maula, though it seemed the dancers were concentrating more on individual performances as opposed to the piece as a whole.
'Dhoom' with a larger number of dancers was also a hugely accomplished piece; much frenetic footwork with an array of performers. Luckily for the audience it meant we got to see the full rangeof dancers.
Two prominent Bollywood dance companies in the Midlands - Hina & Co and Bollywood Dreams Dance - put up an array of fantastically structured pieces. The former with 20-piece ensemble for ' Mubarakan' and 'Reflections' included Bollywood, Kathak, Arabic and Hip-Hop dance styles.
Reena Tailor of BDD choreographed a total of four pieces with her various dance troupes, her youngest performer being 4! Her signature-piece was a phenomenal rendition of 'Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya' from Mughal-E-Azam; visually stunning with fantastic attention to detail; and it wasn't just the costumes.
Whilst the former went for a more contemporary style concentrating on Bollywood as a dance-form, Tailor's take was more classical, treating it more reverentially as an art form. 'Spring' by Chitraleka Bolar was a sumptuous performance, with a haunting score specially composed by Pramth Kiran and musicians from Bangalore, India.
The beautifully coordinated costumes and succinct moves were done complete justice by the performers.
The same can be said of 'Babuji Zara Dheere Chalo' by the Patels - all ten of them!! A colourful, clever and energetic interpretation of this song using traditional Gujarati dandiya raas. Thankfully none of the girls came riding in on a bull, unlike in the music video.
World Bhangra champions Nachda Sansaar's younger ranks took centre-stage with the Juniors performing some energetic Bhangra with live dhol-players and lots of shimmying.
The all-female Sari-Squad performed a combination of contemporary Bhangra and Giddha, though unfortunately there wasn't a Sari in site.
Chitralekha Youth Dance Company's "And Beyond" was a contemporary take on the classical forms, and as a performance piece worked beautifully.
It pushed the boundaries of experimentation in dance as far as the evening went, and was a commendable effort by Vina Basavarajihah of the Shobhana Jeyasingh Company.
Special mention also goes to the Ganesh Vandana by Chitralekha Bolar, Evolution by the Parwana's and Natanam Adinar by the Midlands Tamil Association.
Usually the pitfall of such showcases is a lack of variety and unapologetically self-indulgent classical dance pieces. But here we saw a fantastic array of different dance- styles (both classical and contemporary) performed with verve and enthusiasm by novices and experts sharing a platform.
The specially choreographed pieces added credence to the event, and the performer's delight in performing was obvious and infectious, as it translated through to the audience.
Adults and children alike were engrossed for the duration, and I for one didn't fidget once - which says a lot in itself.
Raam Tarat is Marketing Manager for Excel & AA Films and works as a consultant in Asian Arts and Media