Historic Dance Drama Festival in April 2017 in USA
American Natya Festival will be celebrated on the weekend of World Dance Day in St. Louis, MO, USA. The organizers – Soorya Performing Arts – is focusing this event to be a special event – in the history of Indian dances in USA. It is focusing to make its annual dance rendezvous – as a memorable – dance drama – only event. This is a challenging task for any organization, especially when there is not much support for classical dance performances. It’s been a hectic year for its director – Guru Prasanna Kasthuri, to make this dream happen. According to him, there are many talented dance gurus who serve dance communities in USA, yet do not get any opportunity to perform and project their own ideas beyond their own cities. As he mentions – “it’s a very difficult step for us to invite 12 groups of dance drama troupes to a mid-level city like St. Louis. Yet….“ , he continues “we believe in the art loving nature of Indian community and we have a feeling they will come out and support this unique venture”.
9th American Natya Festival – but , in a real sense, 1st Indian Classical Dane Drama Festival – is inviting artists from all over USA. Soorya performing arts will begin the festival with its own – Sanskrit production – Subhadra Parinaya – in a traditional way. Guru Prasanna Kasthuri had produced this production in 1991 – with the support of Soleil d’or organization from Paris, France. This will be his re-releasing of the dance drama. He is hoping, Sanskrit language dialogues, will click in Midwest, as it did in Paris, France.
Shobha of Jayamangala group – will be presenting “Shaakuntalam” (Missing ring), which showcases the beauty of Kalidasa’s script. This is followed by Geeta Govindam – a choreography of Dr. Lalitha Srinivasan, but directed by Guru Deepti Mukund of Washington DC area.
On the second day, dance productions from East coast – Dhruva by Guru Chitra, will be a great attraction. Along with, will be another great work of Rabindranath Tagore – Shyama will be presented by Nandini Mandal of Pittsburgh. Nandini is known for highly creative job. She has been awarded many laurels from American press. Another program on that night of the dance festival will be Gandhi – by Soorya life time Awardee – Guru Mythili Kumar of San Francisco from West Coast of USA.
On Saturday, there will be a small event to show respect to two of the prominent – teachers of country – Dr. Rathna Kumar of Houston and Guru Sudha Chandrashekar of Detroit. American Natya Festival bows down humbly to their services and awards them – “Life Time Achievement Award”, which includes $1000 and a plaque. Both honorees will be presenting one short dance production each. Guru Rathna Kumar will present traditional Kuchipudi dance – through World famous – Krishna Parijatham; and Sudha presents – Story of Muruga.
On Sunday, Shridhar (from San Antonio) and Akhila (from New Jersey), - both students of Guru Narmada, will join hands to present the story of merchant turned saint – Purandara Dasa. Guru Asha Adiga of Chicago – will present – Eshwara, Rameshwara, story of King of Lanka – Raavana. Guru Sethuraman of Dallas – will present – famous jaataka story – of Amrapali. Guru Shambhavi Vazhe will present – Shad Ripu – a philosophical work – based on Hindu theosophy.
Along with this busy schedule of dance dramas – Soorya Performing Arts – also encouraging young and upcoming artists through “American Natya Idol” – a national level dance festival.
More details on www.natya.org.
This festival is supported by parents of Soorya Dance and Music School; Missouri Arts Commission, Regional Arts Commission, Bright way Insurance, US Wide Financials and other organizations.