AUG 15 | In-Person & Livestreamed
India’s Independence Day (Aug 15) will be celebrated through the art forms of Kathak, Bharatanatyam, and Kuchipudi interspersed with live musical interludes by Eventually Epic. This glittering program features four world premieres. The audience will be led on this journey by Rajika Puri, Sutradhar & Narrator of the Festival’s India Independence Day Program.
We strongly encourage that all in-person audience members wear a mask to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Presentation of the Day of Indian Dance is made possible in part by The State Bank of India and the Indian Consulate General in New York City.
In-person: 7pm EDT at Robert F. Wagner Park. Click here for directions.
The video will be available to watch for 10 days after the premiere and will expire on Aug 25th.
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KASI AYSOLA & SAISANTOSH RADHAKRISHNAN
Water | World Premiere | Bharatanatyam
The piece traces the water cycle from evaporation, condensation to precipitation. The interaction of water with all living beings is shown through vignettes of animal, plant, and human experiences.
About the Company
Kasi Aysola is a dance artist who is making his mark in the United States. He is the Co-founder & Artistic Director of Prakriti Dance, an innovative dance company. Kasi is a dancer, choreographer, and nattuvangam artist of Indian performing traditions who trained under Guru Viji Prakash in Bharata Natyam and under Mythili Prakash. He has also trained in Kuchipudi under late Guru Vempati Ravi Shankar and Yamini Saripalli. Saisanthosh is trained in Bharatanatyam at Bharatha Choodamani with guru Padmashri Adyar K. Lakshman and Smt.Deepa Babaprasad. He trained under Guru Smt. Bragha Bessell on the nuances of abhinaya. Saisanthosh has performed at various forums in India and abroad and has worked with several leading dancers like Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam, Prof. C.V.Chandrasekhar, Prof. Sudharani Raghupathy, Ms. Leela Samson and Smt. Chitra Visveshwaran to name a few.
MAYA KULKARNI & DANCERS
Kundalini Rising & Kavacham | World Premiere | Bharatanatyam
Kundalini Rising is an offering to the morning sun, arriving in a chariot as it were to awaken the energy traversing through the Kundalini Chakras. In Kavacham, dancers evoke – Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva – initially fused into one, to separate and perform their protective functions. Mesma Belsare, Aishwarya Madhav and Aishwarya Sriram perform both pieces
About the Artist
Described by NYT as a ‘Dancer’s dancer, choreographer, Maya Kulkarni a well-known figure in the Indian dance world. Her recent choreographic works include The Allegory of the Cave, Medea’s Muse, and traditional pieces such as Ardhanarinateswara, Sayankale, Yakshini and Tridha. Mesma Belsaré is a dancer, painter, and actor, hailed by The New York Times as “a tour de force…a true act of transcendence and religious immersion“. Her solo performance venues include The Lincoln Center (NYC), Asia Society (NYC), Alvin Ailey (NYC), The Lincoln Theater (Washington D.C.). Aishwarya Madhav, both a dancer and an educator has performed at the 92StY, Lincoln center, in Drive East, and Jamaica, dance festivals. A New York city-based Aishwarya Sriram is proficient in Bharatanatyam, flamenco, and modern dance and performed at venues in the United States and India, including Narada Gana Sabha, Lamakaan, Battery Park Dance Festival.
PARUL SHAH DANCE COMPANY
Yugal | World Premiere | Kathak
Kathak dancer/choreographer Parul Shah unveils a new duet with guest artist Jin Won accompanied live by percussionist Mike Lukshis and others; and brings back a Festival favorite, Yugal, choreographed by her guru and Kathak maestra, Kumudini Lakhia, to music by Atul Desai and performed with Mohip Joarder.
About the Company
Expanding cultural boundaries, artistic director Parul Shah of the Parul Shah Dance Company preserves the aesthetic integrity of the Kathak dance form while building on the form’s storytelling roots to express contemporary narratives and create awareness on cultural practices that undermine human dignity. Drawing from her classical training but extending to her personal history, Shah’s work aims to create shared experiences between performer and audience while exploring questions around belonging, identity, and empathy.
Ananda Tandavam | Kuchipudi
This is a dance in the Kuchipudi style performed as a dialogue by the divine couple Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. The item depicts pure dance with intricate rhythm and sculpturesque poses. It is a picture of all the masculine vigor of the cosmic Lord Shiva, dancing in absolute ecstasy. The Tandavam is performed at a fast pace with swift movements of the limbs of Shiva, gracefully counterbalanced by soft and delicate movements of Parvathi. The celestial orchestra consists of Lord Vishnu playing the mridangam (two-headed drum), Lord Indra on the flute, Lord Brahma wielding the cymbals, Goddess Saraswathi playing the veena and Goddess Lakshmi lending her mellifluous voice. The inhabitants of the three worlds are in awe of the divine spectacle in front of them. Symbolically, Chidambaram is the pure consciousness of the seeker and here takes place the Ananda Tandavam or the joyous dance of the soul that has realized ultimate truth.
About the Artist
Lauded for her innovative dancing style, exemplary teaching approach and meticulous attention to the traditions and finer details of her art, Guru Swathi is highly revered as a Kuchipudi artist. She has collected numerous accolades throughout her career, both in the United States and internationally, most recently being awarded the title of ‘Nritya Kala Ratna’ at the 2016 Vamsi-ATA Awards. This prestigious award recognizes Guru Swathi’s extensive and outstanding contribution to the promotion of Kuchipudi in the United States
Sutradhar & Narrator of the Festival’s India Independence Day Program
Rajika Puri, narrator/sutradhar (or ‘carrier of the thread’) of Battery Dance Festival’s India Independence Day program, is known for her form of danced storytelling in English – Sutradhari Natyam – in which she not only dances and sings but also plays a range of characters. A scholar and lecturer, she is trained in two forms of Indian dance: Bharatanatyam & Odissi.