On February 22, the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in New Delhi hosted celebrations in honour of Mrs P.M.Gomatam, prominent Indian dance teacher, awarded with Pushkin medal by a decree of the President of the Russian Federation for her substantial contribution to developing and strengthening Russian-Indian scientific and cultural ties.
The solemn ceremony in the concert hall of the Russian Centre of Science and Culture saw eminent politicians and public figures, bohemians, diplomats, journalists, connoisseurs of the dancing art, students and school children. H.E. Mr K.Raghunath, distinguished diplomat, former Ambassador of India in Moscow and Foreign Secretary, also graced the occasion.
Mr Sergey Karmalito, senior counselor of the Russian Embassy, presented the state award to the wonderful dancer. While congratulating the laureate, he stressed her great merits in upbringing an entire galaxy of brilliant performers of bharatanatyam classical dance, including those from Russia. “This celebration is a landmark event in the run-up to the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our countries”, he said. “This year will be marked by the Festival of Russian culture featuring unforgettable meetings with the best creative ensembles and masters of art".
“I am extremely happy to receive such high recognition and now, although not performing anymore, I feel like I am on stage once again”, said P.M.Gomatam. “I devoted more than 30 years to training students from Russia and I want to note that they are incredibly beautiful, talented and very committed to the labour of love”.
P.M.Gomatam started working with Russian students in 1984 at the Visakhapatnam steel plant. Two years later she was invited to teach at the Soviet Centre of Science and Culture, and in 1992 founded the Nrityam Cultural and Dancing Society.
Not only 69-year old P.M.Gomatam herself has been repeatedly decorated with national creative awards, but also her students became prize-winners of international and national contests, received prestigious awards and scholarships from the Government of India. She has taught herself Russian to facilitate teaching and today many of her former students successfully work in various cultural centres and societies in Russia.
The guests at the festive evening were treated with a wonderful show by P.M.Gomatam’s Russian and Indian students who performed several original and memorable compositions including the “Cobra dance".