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The San Francisco International Arts Festival (SFIAF) is pleased to announce a day-long, two concert dance program featuring four different Indian classical dance companies embodying a variety of styles and regional influences.

Indicative of India’s east coast is Guru Shradha led by founding director Niharika Mohanty specializing in the Odissi dance form. Representing the north is Shambhavi’s International School of Kathak (artistic director Shambhavi Dandekar). These exemplary companies are joined by two practitioners of the southern form of Bharatanatyam, featuring the much respected Abhinaya Dance Company of San Jose (artistic director Mythili Kumar) and an upcoming ensemble Samudra Dance Creations founded by well known dancer Jyotsna Vaidee that premiered a full length production on women’s empowerment at the 2018 Festival to critical acclaim.

Festival director, Andrew Wood said of the program, “We are very excited to have such great artists representing some of the rich and varied traditions of India performing in the Festival. Our primary goal in putting the program together was to celebrate the vibrant and innovative next generation of Indian and Indian-American choreographers making classical Indian dance in the United States in the 21st Century. We are especially interested in posing the question about the future direction of the art form as it exists in this country.”

Guru Shradha and Abhinaya Dance Company will perform at 2:00pm and SISK and Samudra Dance Creations will perform at 5:30pm.

Single tickets can be purchased for as little as $15 during the Early Bird period in the month of March. After that tickets are $25 in advance or $28 at the door. After March the best deal to see both performances is a $40 two-show pass. Children’s tickets are $15.

There will also be a panel discussion moderated by India Currents journalist Priya Das featuring the artistic directors of all four companies at 4:00pm. Food will be available for purchase.

The details of each company’s performances are as follows:

 

Guru Shradha (USA)

An Enchanting Odissi Odyssey (45 minutes)

Shared bill with Abhinaya Dance Company

Odissi dance, one of the oldest surviving Indian dance forms, is captivating through its unique grace and poses evoking temple dance sculptures. An Enchanting Odissi Odyssey takes the audience through a spiritual journey showcasing contemporary and traditional choreography revealing a tapestry of its devotional, emotive, intricate dance and haunting music.

 

Abhinaya Dance Company of San Jose (USA)

Stories of Justice (2018, San Francisco Premiere) (45 minutes)

Shared bill with Guru Shradha

Stories of Justice will examine the non-violent resistance strategies of Martin Luther King, Jr. to demonstrate that the fight for social justice is ongoing and that past struggles provide lessons that enable us to confront our current problems.

 

Samudra Dance Creations (USA)

Earth Speaks (World Premiere) (45 minutes)

Shared bill with SISK Dance

Earth Speaks is a dance-music production that explores humankind’s intricate physical, emotional and spiritual relationship to the EARTH (PRITHVI in sanskrit).  When that connection, that umbilical cord is disturbed or even severed what happens to our being, our existence? The production incorporates Indian mythology, Greek mythology and contemporary stories to tell the story of Mother Earth in HER voice.

 

Shambhavi’s International School of Kathak (SISK) (USA)

Horizons… Kathak and beyond! (45 minutes)

Shared bill with Samudra Dance Creations

Horizons…Kathak and Beyond is a beautiful array of choreographic work in Indian Classical Kathak dance style. Horizons features traditional as well as contemporary themes in Classical Kathak. The performers include SISK’s founder, principal dancer and choreographer Shambhavi Dandekar along with her highly trained and accomplished disciples from India and USA.

 

SFIAF 2019 Calendar Listing

Who: Abhinaya Dance Company of San Jose, Guru Shradha, Shambhavi’s International School of Kathak and Samudra Dance Creations / Joytsna Vaidee

What: A Day of Indian Classical Dance

Where: Cowell Theater, Herbst Pavillion, Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture

When: Saturday May 25, 2:00pm (Guru Shradha followed by Abhinaya)

           Saturday May 25, 4:00pm Panel Discussion moderated by Priya Das

           Saturday May 25, 5:30pm (Samudra followed by Shambhavi)

Tickets: $15 – $28general admission (Two show passes are $40)

Box Office & Information: www.sfiaf.org 415-399-9554

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