London: Queen Elizabeth II had an impromptu lesson in Indian dance mudras, when the 90-year-old monarch met celebrated dancer and choreographer Arunima Kumar at Buckingham Palace here.
The Queen had hosted a special reception on Monday evening to mark the launch of UK-India Year of Culture 2017, where Kumar had choreographed a unique dance sequence titled ‘Ekam’.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was joined by Indian celebrities like sports star Kapil Dev, singer Gurdass Mann, actors Kamal Hassan and Suresh Gopi, fashion designers Manish Arora and Manish Malhotra, choreographer Shiamak Davar, and industrialist Ratan Tata, among others.
Priti Patel, the senior-most Indian-origin minister in the UK Cabinet, was among the British parliamentarians at the event.
“I met the Queen and she literally made the mudras with me. She asked me how I do all those moves because they are quite complex. And, I showed her some hand gestures and she copied me and that moment I will remember for the rest of my life,” Kumar said.
Kumar, the daughter of former Delhi Police commissioner Neeraj Kumar, herself performed a Kuchipudi dance number besides the choreographed number showcasing the various dance forms of India.
“It is sense of achievement and honour that together with all my dancers we brought Indian art into Buckingham Palace. It is a moment we will remember for ever. We have created history, not just for ourselves but also for India,” she said.
The reception brought together high profile guests from various fields across India and the UK and the Government of India was represented by Jaitley.
“This only re-emphasises the importance which is attached to the Indo-UK relationship. It launches a heavy calendar of events that will celebrate our excellent relationship with the UK over the decades,” the minister said.PTI
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