Invitation - Outdoors
Schedule of Performances Outdoors - August 15
Invitation - Indoor
Schedule Performances
Indoors August 28
Schedule Workshops
August 29
Ticket for Aug 28 and 29
Festival Committee
Press Release
Call for Submission
EB dance outdoors and EB dance indoors
India Abroad. September 4, 2015

P Rajendran attends the Erasing Borders Festival of Indian Dance.
The way we dance

Indian dance again came to Robert F Wagner Park in south Manhattan August 15, when 16 dancers, representing expertise in six Indian dance forms, performed against the backdrop of the sea, with the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the New Jersey’s Liberty State Park. They were part of the Indo-American Arts Council’s 2015 Erasing Borders Festival of Indian Dance, which was also slated to perform indoors at the Schimmel Center, August 28 and 29. Jonathan Hollander, the artistic director of the Battery Dance Company and the festival — formerly called the Downtown Dance Festival, said he was enamored of Indian dance ever since he went in his early years to India as part of an American Field Service team. But he said the organizing of this event was nerve-wracking, given the issue of getting dancers from India. ‘I didn’t believe this was going to happen,’ he said, to sympathetic laughter from the crowd, some members of which had occupied the chairs before the stage, while others found spots on the lawn, in the Gigino restaurant, or even from atop the small bridge spanning its two halves. Rajika Puri, curator and sutradhar of the festival, clad in the Indian tricolor in honor of its Independence Day, introduced the dancers, providing a little history of the form, and a description of the dance, while the sea wind boomed a wicked beat through her mike. The forms included Kathak by Sanjukta Wagh from Mumbai, Mayurbhanj Chhau by Rakesh Sai Baba from Delhi, Mohiniattam by Pallavi Krishnan from Trichur — all from India. From New York, there was Bharata Natyam by Sonali Skandan and Jiva Dance, and Bhangra by Shaan Mutiyaaran di Bhangra. People on passing ferries clicked furiously away, free of the limitations on the use of flashes, and empathetic people in the audience unconsciously mimicked the dancers’ moves. And when the measured, stylized dances gave way to the more energetic bhangra, even the children joined in. The show ended with the bhangra dancers giving the audience some rudimentary training in the dance form, and calling members to join them on the stage. Besides the performances, the festival also included workshops and a film screening (a homage to Kathak exponent Pandit Chitresh Das and more at the Pace University campus August 29

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