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 DANCE OF THE SOUL: A Sufi Kathak performance by Manjari Chaturvedi

Tuesday, April 9th 2013, 7-9 pm



rsvp: leena.sukumar@gmail.com

New York, NY (March 14, 2013) - Manjari Chaturvedi, a leading exponent of Indian classical dance and the creator and ONLY performing artist of a unique dance form called Sufi Kathak will present a performance of this dance form on Tuesday, April 9th from 7-9 pm at the Peter Jay Sharp Auditorium, Symphony Space, New York City.

Tickets are: Orchestra: $50, (IAAC members $44); Other: $35,( IAAC members $30); Balcony: $20; (IAAC members $15). Member tix must be bought in person at the theatre.

For tickets, please visit: http://www.symphonyspace.org/event/7805-iaac-presents-sufi-kathak-diva-manjari-chaturvedi

Manjari has combined the mysticism of Sufi traditions with classical Indian dance to create this stunning new school of performance called Sufi Kathak. By creating this completely new art form, which remains original and yet follows the precedents of mystical traditions that are nearly 700 years old, Manjari has made a truly historical step in the field of performing art.

Conceptualized and created by Manjari, Sufi Kathak has taken 14 years of her intense work in Sufi music and classical dance. To introduce the mystique of Sufism in dance, she traveled to countries like Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan and worked with artists from Iran, Turkey and Morocco to study the music and dance forms related with Sufi school of thought. Bred of Manjari's knowledge and experience, Sufi Kathak melds the philosophical depth of Sufi poetry with the narrative beauty and grace of classical Indian dance forms to evolve a new school of performance that uses classical dance to narrate and interpret Sufi poetry.

In the last decade, Manjari has performed in more than 200 concerts all over the world including Europe (France, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, U.K. & Ireland), the Middle East (Dubai, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Kuwait), South East Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka) and Central Asia (Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan) as well as in Australia and America.

Even though Manjari is now widely acclaimed for her efforts in creating a new classical dance form, it has been an arduous journey for her as she trod upon a path not traveled earlier in classical art forms to create a new art form based on a thought that was, till now, not extensively used in dance! This led to the evolution of Sufi Kathak, which works only on this one thought - the concept of formless Almighty. Sufi Kathak that spans from earthly romance of Hindi folk to the evolved Sufi imagery of love in Persian poetry, from a beloved in flesh and blood to the abstract presence of the Almighty, from a form to formlessness, thus making Sufi Kathak the Dance of the Soul. While in existing classical Indian dance forms there is a focus on a beloved in flesh and blood in physical form, it is the abstract presence of the Almighty that becomes the focal point for the Sufi Kathak dancer. Through more than a decade of Manjari's dedicated endeavors, Sufi Kathak, now, has its own visual entity separate from other Indian classical dance forms. The poetry is separate, the use of language, the use of movements, the music genre and the aesthetics are all specific for a Sufi Kathak dancer.

Manjari, in her peerless journey, seamlessly blends her dance with diverse cross cultural music in exciting collaborations. Manjari has made the dance form richer by adding new dimensions to it with varying music and creating a wide repertoire, which was earlier never a part of any classical dance traditions. She has painstakingly done this by aligning Sufi Kathak with the Sufi music of Rajasthan, Kashmir, Qawwalli of Awadh, poetry of Bulleh Shah of Punjab and spiritual music of Iran. Sufi Kathak by Manjari transcends all religions to become a link bridging God and the devotees. It is synonymous with serenity, piety, mental peace and divine power, which is a symbol of truth. It attracts the new generation at an international level, breaking barriers as an example of unity in diversity. Akin to the moving meditation of the whirling dervishes in the Sufi tradition, Sufi Kathak by Manjari Chaturvedi is representative of the great mystical traditions of the Indian subcontinent.

 
The Indo-American Arts Council is a 501 ©3 not-for-profit secular arts organization passionately dedicated to promoting, showcasing and building an awareness of artists of Indian origin in the performing arts, visual arts, literary arts and folk arts. For information please visit www.iaac.us.
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