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Indo-American Arts Council presents ‘Erasing Borders:
Festival of Indian Dance – Outdoors 2011’

(New York, NY – July 18, 2011) Erasing Borders: Festival of Indian Dance-Outdoors 2011 is presented by the Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC) in collaboration with the Battery Dance Company’s 30th Annual Downtown Dance Festival. The festival has been known to bring to the New York City audience a range of Indian dance performances from traditional and ritual, to classical and post-modern Indian dance. We present exciting new works produced in India and in the Diaspora. In its fourth year, the festival presents two dance forms it has never presented before Mohini Attam and Manipuri –  the former originating from Southwestern back waters of Kerala and the latter, the northeastern hills of Manipur. The festival presentations also include performances of Bharatanatyam (a solo and duet), a Kathak solo, a contemporary duet and a modern work.  The outdoor free lunchtime performance will take place at One New York Plaza in New York City, on Wednesday, August 17 at Noon.

The festival partners with the Anamika-Navatman Project to present a special showcase of Mohini Attam repertoire by veteran dancer Mandakini Trivedi which will take place at the Anamika-Navatman Studio, 344 West 38th Street, (between 8th and 9th Avenue), Suite 502 on Wednesday, August 17th at 7 :30 pm

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PROGRAM (Wednesday, August 17th at Noon)

Mohiniattam, often known as the dance of the enchantress, will be presented by the veteran dancer and teacher Mandakini Trivedi. She will commence the afternoon performance with an invocation. Mohini Attam originates from Kerala, the land of the lush green backwaters dotted with swaying coconut trees and spice gardens. Its soft and swaying movements epitomize the feminine grace – subtle, dignified and restrained yet seductive.

Natya Academy brings to New York City a unique presentation that highlights the various elements of Manipuri dance from the northeastern hills of Manipur. Yugal Nartan with its subtle lilting movements seeks to evoke the magic of the dance of Radha and Krishna, the divine lovers, during Raas Lila. Pung Cholom(dance with the Manipuri Drum called Pung)and Manjira Nartan (a festival dance with cymbals) are vital elements in Sankirtan, the tradition of devotional singing and dancing in praise of Krishna in Manipur. These dances are central to the religious life of the people of Manipur to this day. The work presented is choreographed by guest choreographer and recipient of President of India’s award Sanjib Bhattacharya.

Lakshmi Sriraman based in Lexington, KY collaborates with Aniruddhan Vasudevan from Chennai, India, to present two excerpts from their larger work “And She Said…” based on women’s poetry on love and war. They present Jathiswaram the opening rhythmic composition that is part of a traditional Bharatanatyam repertoire. In contrast, the second piece You and Me is a contemporary Tamil dance-theatre work that uses movement, music & silence, spoken word and props.

Energetic, innovative and multi-talented Rukmini Vijayakumar will present two excerpts – one from her Bharatanatyam work Shankarabharnam and the other from her contemporary site-specific work Kanhaa. In the two contrasting pieces Rukmini presents the tandava (masculine) and lasya (Feminine) elements using two very different movement vocabularies – Bharatanatyam and Modern dance. The Bharatanatyam choreography describes Shiva, the Lord of Dance while the modern improvisational work explores the yearning of Radha for her divine lover Krishna.

Indo-Canadian dancer-choreographer-musician Bageshree Vaze will present a Tarana in Kathak reminiscent of the ‘darbar’ era in Indian history.This tarana (a musical composition using rhythmic and mnemonic syllables) is a selection from Bageshree’s own CD of the same name, and it features signature chakkars (pirouettes), footwork and rhythmic compositions of the Lucknow style of Kathak.


Natya Academy is a premier institution of Indian dance and music in North Carolina. The Academy brings together a unique combination of talent to present Manipuri dance:  Sanjib Bhattacharya, a double recipient of the prestigious President’s Award in India as guest choreographer; guest artist specializing in Pung Cholom (the ritual dance with the Manipuri drum called Pung) Jagannath Lairenjam; and Natya Academy faculty Rinku Bhattacharya Das who specializes in Manipuri and Kathak dance; along with dancers trained at Natya Academy.

Lakshmi Sriraman is a Bharatanatyam performer based in Lexington, KY, where she runs the Shree School of Dance. Lakshmi is currently studying with Priyadarshini Govind, a leading exponent of Bharatanatyam.

Mandakini Trivedi is a unique dance personality who approaches Indian dance as means of self evolution – as a yogic practice. She is an accomplished performer, teacher and choreographer and is involved in various aspects of dance education and expression. A Master of Fine Arts in Dance, Mandakini has trained in Mohini Attam under Dr. Smt. Kanak Rele.
Aniruddhan Vasudevan, a performer, writer and activist from Chennai, India is a student of the legendary performer and teacher, Chitra Visweswaran. As an activist, his work is mainly in organizing support and advocacy services for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Bageshree Vaze is a multi-talented Indo-Canadian artist - a dancer, choreographer and musician. Raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Bageshree initially trained in Bharathanatyam, and studied vocal music with her father. She later trained in Kathak dance with Jai Kishan Maharaj (New Delhi), and studied vocal music with the renowned Veena Sahasrabuddhe. Bageshree has two CDs to her credit, including Tarana, a breakthrough album of music for Indian dance.

Rukmini Vijayakumar has been dancing for over 20 years, pursuing an intense study of Bharatanatyam since the age of 8. She performs extensively as a Bharatanatyam soloist. She graduated with a BFA in Modern dance and Ballet from the Boston Conservatory in 2008. She has her own dance company, Raadha Kalpa, and is currently pursuing a graduate program in Bharatanatyam at Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam’s Shastra University.

About Indo-American Arts Council
The Indo-American Arts Council is a registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit, secular service and resource arts organization charged with the mission of promoting and building the awareness, creation, production, exhibition, publication and performance of Indian and cross-cultural art forms in North America.

About Battery Dance Company’s Downtown Dance Festival
The Battery Dance Company’s Annual Downtown Dance Festival was initiated in 1982 to introduce a wide variety of worthy dance companies of all genres to the large and diverse audiences that gather in lower Manhattan’s public spaces.


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