Nobel Laureate and Dance Come to Life on Stage

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Anuradha Nag can almost relax. Her year-in-the-making show is nearly here. Tarangini School of Kathak Dance will present Jeevandhara and Panchapravaah, back-to-back performances, for its 15th anniversary.
Jeevandhara, the first half of the performance, will center around the life and work of Rabindranath Tagore, the Nobel laureate and Bengali poet, artist, playwright, novelist, and composer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Nag says she focused on the historical figure because few young people know about his work. “He was in a way a freedom fighter—he rebelled against the British.”

Through a script and Nag’s choreographed pieces set to Tagore’s music, philosopher’s life and work are revealed. The show includes more than 100 dacners and live music by Utpal Ghoshal (tabla), Debashis Sarkar (vocals), and Chandrachur Bhattacharjee (sitar), all visiting from India.
Panchapravaah follows and is the dance recital of five of school’s top students. Choreographed by Nag, the event is an answer to bharatanatyam arangetram, a tradition not seen in kathak. “Kathak is a very open kind of dance. It’s very difficult to be a soloist since the form relies so much on improvisation.” The performers will dance to five talas and 14-beat cycles solo and then perform a group dance.

Saturday, Sept. 13, 3:30 p.m. (Jeevandhara), 7 p.m. (Panchapravaah). Smithwick Theater, Foothill College. 12345 El Monte, Los Altos. $15, $25 (admission covers both shows). (408) 374-8017, (650) 766-9965.

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