Press Release



Anita Ratnam

Rajika Puri

Swati Bhise

Janaki Patrik

Dancers with a Difference: Monday March 6, 2006
PRESS RELEASE For Information:
Hina Oomer Ahmed,
Aroon Shivdasani,
February 16th 2006: The Indo-American Arts Council and the Consulate General of India are delighted to announce a perfomance of Dancers with a Difference on Monday March 6 at 7 pm at the Consulate of India, 3E 64th St (between Madison & Fifth Ave), NYC. The performance will be open to the public. Tickets and information are available at The Indo-American Arts Council, 118E 25th St. Third Floor, New York, NY 10001. Phone: 212 529 2347 Fax: 212 477 4106 Email: Web: Media are invited to the performance and are welcome to join us at the wine reception after the performance. Details on each artist are available on our website and by contacting each individual artist (contact information on

The performance features four dancers who will present four distinct Indian dance forms: Bharata Natyam, Odissi, Kathak and Neo Bharatam. This will take the form of lecture-demonstrations with a difference: The dancers will compare styles; educate the audience about progression & tradition of each dance form, while simultaneously bringing it alive with a brief performance in the appropriate costume.

ANITA RATNAM (Neo Bharatam) is one of India's most important voices in the dialogue of dance and movement. Best known in the United States for her pioneering role as host and producer of the weekly news and entertainment show "Cinema Cinema" in the 1980s. Anita returned to her hometown of Chennai to create a foundation ( Aramgham Trust), a dance company (Arangham Dance Theatre) an international festival (The Other Festival) and a website ( to further the interantional profile of India's dance. An award winning performer, Ratnam was most recently seen in New York performing “Seven Graces” at the Rubin Museum of Art in October 2005. She is currently preparing her Phd thesis on Women in Temple Ritual Art of Tamilnadu.

Neo Bharatam is a performance style developed by Anita Ratnam after her many years of learning. performing and studying classical, folk and martial art forms of South India. Combining this personalized vocabulary with her study of classical music and ritual temple hand gestures, Ratnam presents an excerpt 'PALIMPSET - a mood mosaic of TARA's seven graces' from her new solo work Seven Graces which is an abstracted metaphor of the Buddhist Goddess TARA.

RAJIKA PURI (Odissi Dance), with STEVE GORN (bansuri: North Indian bamboo flute).

RAJIKA PURI, an exponent of Bharatanatyam and Odissi, has performed in solo recital throughout the US, Latin America, Europe and India. She currently focuses on works which expand the scope of traditional performing arts. For example, she choreographs to different kinds of music – flamenco, American song, western classical - and develops danced stories in which she herself sings, chants and narrates texts - in English and in Sanskrit – to accompany her movements.

Since she was cast by Julie Taymor in The Transposed Heads (Lincoln Center Theater), Rajika is also active on the western stage and has participated in several of IAAC’s play-reading festivals. Her film-work includes Mira Nair’s Mississippi Masala and Deb Benegal’s Split Wide Open (screend at IAAC Indian Diaspora Festival, 2002)

Whose flute is featured on the 2004 Academy Award winning Documentary film, Born into Brothels, has performed Indian Classical Music and new American Music on the bansuri bamboo flute, soprano saxophone and clarinet, in concerts and festivals throughout the world. His most recent recordings: Colors of the Mind, and Priyageeta and the jazz recording, Winter Birds, with the John Lindberg group featuring Susie Ibarra. (

SWATI BHISE ("Ashtanayika: Eight broad facets of a woman") accompanied by live musicians has been performing Bharatanatyam extensively in the United States and India to the acclaim of critics as an intelligent performer with a keen sense of aesthetics. A conscientious purist of Indian classical dance, she has often worked to interpret western theatre using the art of Abhinaya and has choreographed the ethnic dance choreography for the Thomas Mann musical “The Transposed Heads” at Lincoln Center for the American Music Theatre Festival, the Electronic Opera “Mass for the Dead” by American Chamber Opera Company where she played the lead role and “Daddy meets Durga” for Mabou Mines. Apart from being a concert performer, Swati has taught extensively and conducted workshops at several leading institutions including Columbia University, New York University, University of Austin Texas etc. Swati has her own institute in New York which is a branch of CICD, her alma mater in New Delhi, She is always accompanied by a vocalist and a drummer. A flute and/or a violin and other percussion instruments are also added in certain concerts. The performing group continues to work in the hopes of creating a deeper understanding of this rich complex culture within a society that is generally alien to such ancient traditions of a bygone era.

JANAKI PATRIK "Nritta-Natya_Rasa in Kathak" has been trained in classical north Indian Kathak by Padma Vibhushan Pandit Birju Maharaj. Her dance company, The Kathak Ensemble & Friends, celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2003. With live musical accompaniment the Ensemble performs classical Kathak as well as productions which illuminate Indian culture in relation to American art forms, at venues including Carnegie Hall, the Smithsonian Institute and Lincoln Center. The Ensemble's arts-in-education unit, CARAVAN, performs and teaches throughout the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut area. Janaki's training in western classical flute, Merce Cunningham modern dance technique, Kirov school ballet and her study of Russian, Hindi and Sanskrit language and literature contribute to her choreography and its commissioned musical settings. Her dance form can be best described as one where rhythm and abstract dance technique gradually transform into a suggestive hand and body language -- the vocabulary of the storyteller. The empty stage is filled with the illusion of landscape and character. Allusion to the unseen evokes emotion and visions of the divine.

The Indo-American Arts Council is a not-for-profit 501©3 arts council passionately dedicated to promoting, showcasing and building an awareness of Indian artists in North America. For further information on this event, the artists and the Indo-American Arts Council, please visit

Indo-American Arts Council, 146West 29th St, Suite 7R3, NYC 10001. Phone: 212 529 2347/212 594 3685. Email:


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