An Evening of Abhinaya
with Leela Samson and Bragha Bessell, leading exponents of Bharata Natyam
Friday, April 26th 7pm
6816 Bradley Blvd.
A Baithak (Chamber) performance, this is a rare opportunity to see these world-renowned artists in an intimate setting. Coffee and dessert will be served after the performance. This performance is presented in collaboration with Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company.
Leela Samson is an alumnus of Kalakshetra. Her seemingly understated delineation conceals a powerful and inspired inner source, which gradually unfolds before the viewer. She is a virtuoso performer and a sensitive interpreter of the nuances of Bharatanatyam.
Two significant documentary films have been made on Leela Samson – ‘Sanchari’ by Arun Khopkar and ‘The Flowering Tree’ by Ein Lall. Leela is the recipient of the Sanskriti Award in 1982, the Padmashri Award in 1990, the Nritya Choodamani Award in 1997 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2000. She served as Director of the Kalakshetra Foundation from 2005 to 2012. She is Chairman of the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi as well as Chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification.
Spanda, a group that presents works conceived and choreographed by Leela Samson, attempts to explore bharata natyam. Launched in September 1995, Spanda now has an evolving repertoire. Spanda is ‘a vibration’ or pulse and is symbolic of the enduring and perpetual energy that is the life force of the universe. It acknowledges prithvi – the earth, as the central source of energy in the universe, as the nabha, the womb is the energy centre of the human body.
Bragha is a consummate artist. She has been a senior student of Adyar K Lakshman and Kalanidhi Narayanan and is renowned for her abhinaya. She is the quintessential Bharata Natayam dancer, totally immersed in the art of learning and in the emotional aspects of the music she portrays. Bragha has a simple, unassuming presence, until she begins to weave magic on her audience with her sophisticated mimetic skills.
She has often played the lead roles in her teachers' dance productions and also teaches at her guru's institute. With many awards to her credit, she has given numerous performances in India and abroad. She has participated in dance festivals in Chennai and has performed extensively in India, the United States, Canada and throughout Europe. She has made TV appearances in Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Japan and on AsiaNet. She has also conducted many workshops and lecture demonstrations. Her classes in Abhinaya, interpretation and choreography are eagerly attended by senior dancers, teachers and students.
Anuradha Nehru: On Kuchipudi
Thursday, May 2nd 11am
Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church
1 Chevy Chase Circle
Washington DC 20015
Anuradha Nehru will introduce the beautiful and graceful form of Kuchipudi, one of eight Indian classical dance styles, that originates from the South Western State of Andhra Pradesh. She will demonstrate how the various components of pure dance and the extensive vocabulary of hand gestures along with abhinaya or facial expressions are woven together to create the dance form.
She will take you on a journey into its history and evolution from its origins in the temples of India, to the traveling story tellers, and finally talk briefly about the key figures that helped develop Kuchipudi into the fluid and complex solo style that it is today.
ASIAN AMERICAN FORUM (AAF), a non-profit organization founded in 1967,promotes Asian American cross-cultural understanding and communication through the programming of regularly scheduled activities on a wide range of subjects. AAF currently has over 200 members, including many from diplomatic and governmental services, international institutions, research and educational organizations, and businesses.
Prana: Health & Wellness in Dance
presented by The Spilling Ink Project and Kalanidhi Dance
Saturday, May 4th 9:00am – 5.30pm
Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center | Studio 2
University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Conference Fee: $100, General; $60, Student
Prana is an educational and experiential conference on aspects of health and wellness that provide dance professionals tools to help their dance training, practice and performance. The conference draws on the knowledge, skills and abilities of professionals in the fields of kinesiology, yoga, physical therapy, nutrition and dance/movement therapy.
Participants should wear comfortable clothing for the sessions since they are mostly experiential and will involve movement. Therefore, lose and comfortable clothing is advisable.
Kalanidhi’s Annual Student Performance
Saturday, May 11th 3pm
Cultural arts center, Montgomery College
7995 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD-20910
Kalanidhi students have been hard at work and are excited about performing at our Annual student show. Preparations are in full swing, and we hope you will come and support our young aspiring dancers.