The International Women’s Federation of Commerce and Industry (IWFCI) India National Chapter is an organization committed to developing the spirit of entrepreneurship in women and helping them to grow globally through their vast international network in 14 countries. On August 29, 2020, IWFCI India organized an event with a difference. Symphony 2020, a celebration of music and dance was coordinated to get viewers out of their Covid blues and transport them into the rich cultural world of music and dance.
During the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, IWFCI India has had a series of Virtual Fireside Chat shows bringing together renowned international experts in diverse fields to discuss and debate on post-Covid recovery, what is going to be the new normal and the sectors which will be leading the change in the post-Covid era.
Dr. Daphne Pillai, President of IWFCI India welcomed the viewers to Symphony 2020– the music and dance show. Since Covid-19 has isolated and restricted people’s lives with the lockdown that is still partially enforced, IWFCI India thought that a good way to reduce stress was to have a cultural initiative as a therapeutic soothing balm for the mind. Art has the capacity to do just that – to soothe, to relax, to balance the senses, to unify people and to instill peace.
Dr. Rema Ramchandran, Director of IWFCI India spoke eloquently about the spirit of sisterhood with women helping women to steer their dreams and power the economy. IWFCI has been harnessing the world of women in business and providing them a platform to thrive, to achieve and realize their dreams.
There were four well known personalities from the world of music who enthralled the audience with their performances. Vani Ganapathy, one of the foremost exponents of Bharat Natyam and a celebrated dancer performed the opening dance with her graceful movements invoking the deities to bless the event. Vani wished the organization all the very best in their endeavors toward women entrepreneurship.
Renowned artistes who were a part of Symphony 2020 were Anil Srinivasan, the founder of ‘Rhapsody – Education through Music’, a venture that has pioneered the idea of academic concept learning using music as a tool in schools. His musical rendering of classical, popular and jazz musical pieces was dedicated to the idea of feminine power and to the feminine divine. His music provided all the tones required for the mind and senses to relax and enjoy the harmony of the pieces.
Charles Ma, one of India Today’s Top Achievers danced the complex Bharat Natyam piece of Pushpanjali, an offering of flowers as a salutation to the Hindu deities. The spectacular footwork and sign language based on his gestures of hand, eyes and face muscles sent the viewers into a tizzy, which was indicated by the stream of messages which came via the chat box. ‘Bo Shambho’ was another intricate Bharatnatyam dance in praise of Lord Shiva in order to achieve Nirvana or Moksha (salvation).
Bruce Lee Mani, guitarist and lead vocal for the famous band ‘Thermal and a Quarter’ played an eclectic mix of genres with a sensibility that is uniquely global while retaining the essence of the Indian city of Bangalore in the song ‘Brigade Street’. He also played fresh and out of the box renditions like the songs ‘Forbidden’ and ‘There’s No Sunshine When She’s Gone’.
Diana Abruzzi, the Founder and International Chair of IWFCI headquartered in Melbourne, Australia spoke on the enormity of the impact of Covid-19 on small businesses and how this can decimate a country’s economy. She emphasized that women entrepreneurs are the architects and the engine of a new tomorrow and that networking with our international chapters through virtual trading has become the norm. Women have to seize the opportunities before them and build the future.
‘Brainfeed’, our education partner helped with designing the creatives of the event. Mr. Francis Joseph, our tech host and co-founder of ‘School Leaders Network’ skillfully created the YouTube digital stage and sound effects which was viewed live by over 500 participants. The countdown, the curtain openers and the creatives brought in encore after encore. The encore was visible in the form of EMOJIS in the YouTube chat box as well as in the thunderous applause which marked the end of the show.