AN evening of authentic Indian entertainment came to Ilkley’s Clarke Foley centre when the Ilkley Wharfedale Rotary club brought a taste of India to the town.

Over 100 Rotarians, guests and supporters enjoyed Indian food, music and dance, which raised £1,600 for the Nanhi Kali Charity, which supports girls’ education in India.

The evening started with curry dishes from the Ilkley Kashmiri Aroma, followed by live music and dance performances from South Asian Arts UK – a charitable organisation based in Leeds.

The first half of the show was based on traditional music, starting with a traditional classical raga with the hypnotic melody played on a Santoor (a 100 string hammered dulcimer) accompanied by two Tabla (hand-drum) players. Then a three-handed Tabla ensemble showed how complex rhythms can evolve through perfect understanding between the players. Finally this section of the show was brought to an end with a beautiful Sitar and Tabla piece. The performers were all young students of SAA-UK, some performing for the first time, but their high standard of performance held the audience spellbound.

After a short intermission, during which a year’s supply of Cobra beer was put up for auction, the stage was devoted to dance. First to perform was Sayani Ghosh – a teacher, and professional choreographer and performer - who initially performed Odissi dances originating from Hindu temple dances in Eastern India. A group of younger students then performed temple dances from Southern India – the Bharatanatyam dance performed before Saryani Ghosh returned.

“I’d like to thank SAA-UK for such a marvellous contribution to the success of the evening,” said organiser Peter Earnshaw of the Ilkley Wharfedale Rotary Club. “We don’t often get the chance to see and hear performances like this here in Ilkley, and it has been a night to remember. We have raised over £1,600 for our nominated charity and we are very grateful to all who came and supported us”.

The funds raised will all go to the Nanhi Kali charity, which is dedicated to supporting the education of young girls from urban slums or impoverished rural areas in India by helping them with school supplies (schoolbags and learning materials), with community support to emphasise to their families how important education is for girls, and with extra classes and tutoring provision in schools.

Anyone who wishes to know more about the charity, or wishes to donate via the Ilkley Wharfedale Rotary Club, or who would like to sponsor a child should use the Club website contact facilities (search for Ilkley Wharfedale Rotary).

Peter Earnshaw , added: “We need to thank the other Ilkley Rotary Club for coming along in such numbers, and the Air Cadets for helping with the food service. Cobra Beers gave us great support by providing the auction prize, and of course the SAA-UK organisation for providing a spectacle of entertainment in such style – they are a charity in their own right and run many concerts to raise funds and I can whole heartedly recommend their performances”.