Sunena Gupta ‘16 brings her dance production Umeed: Colors of Hope, to London UK
By Brenda, Director of Alumni Relations
Sunena Gupta '16 (Dover Campus) is currently in her third year at the University of California Berkeley, studying Politics and Economics. During her university breaks back in Singapore over the past couple of years, Sunena has worked to establish herself as a performer of Indian classical dance.
Recently, Sunena conceptualized and directed a production she called Umeed: Colors of Hope. It tells a story about the hopeful journey of a young girl navigating through a life fraught with self-image and mental health issues, and chronic illness. Through a combination of music, dance and poetry, she described her aim as, “to lift people out of their personal challenges towards hope. This production came out of my own personal journey. Most of my struggles occurred during my last few years of High School, where I was very lucky to have encouraging and understanding teachers and an empathetic student community to help me through them. Hence, I attribute much of my success to the values I learned at UWCSEA.”
Sunena reports that her event was a success in Singapore, selling out to two audiences of 550 each, and attended by distinguished guests including the High Commissioners of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Now, on a study abroad semester at University College London (UCL), Sunena grough Umeed: Colors of Hope to London in October 2018, weaving her life journey thus far, into a Kathak dance performance. “Along with conveying social and mental health messages and showcasing the versatility and creativity of Kathak dance, all proceeds from the London show were donated to Papyrus, a UK-based charity that deals with suicide prevention among young adults. In Singapore, I supported Project Smile, a charity that empowers underprivileged women in challenging circumstances. With an initial goal of S$10,000, the production actually raised over S$38,000 which allowed me to also donate S$5,000 to Kerala flood relief. I do not intend to earn anything for myself.”