Indo-American Arts Council Presents Its Eighth Annual Erasing Borders Festival of Indian Dance


The Indo American Arts Council is delighted to announce the IAAC’s Eighth Annual Erasing Borders Festival of Indian Dance in three parts – OUTDOORS at Wagner Park, Battery Park City, hosted by The Battery Dance Festival on Saturday, August 15 from 6:30-8:30pm, an INDOOR concert entitled AN EVENING OF POETRY, DANCED at Schimmel Center, Pace University, 3 Spruce Street, NYC on Friday, August 28th from 700-9:00pm. The festival concludes with WORKSHOPS FILM, & PANEL DISCUSSION Pace University Studios, 140 Williams Street, NYC on Saturday, August 29th from 10:30-4:30 PM

This year the IAAC is pleased to present at it’s OUTDOOR concert on August 15th, India’s Independence Day, a program which features the US debuts of three solo dancers from India and even a dance form – Mayurbhanj Chhau from the northern reaches of Orissa.
http: //

SANJUKTA WAGH is a rising star among Kathak dancers, both for her elegant mastery over the technique and expressive aspects of north Indian KATHAK, and for her theatrical work. She won “Best Actress” at the Prestigious Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Award (META) for 2015.

RAKESH SAI BABU is a lithe and powerful dancer who will perform special solo repertory from the Mayurbhanj form of CHHAU, of Orissa (Ordisha) in India. Mayurbhanj Chhau is usually a folk dance form for many dancers, grounded in martial art practices.

PALLAVI KRISHNAN is known for her deep study of Mohini Attam from Kerala in south India and contributions to its choreography as well as her evocative interpretations of unusual Malayali sung poems.

JIVA DANCE, led by Sonali Skandan, in a homage to the peacock, the vehicle of Lord of Dance Shiva’s son, Murugan and India’s national bird. Jiva will perform an excerpt from “Mayur: Blue Peacock” which premiered last year.

The program is rounded off by a lively Bhangra performance by SHAAN MUTIYAARAN DI (SMD), an all-female, NYC based bhangra team that performs the high-energy folk dance from the Punjab region in India and Pakistan.

The festival is free and will be held OUTDOORS, in New York City’s Robert F. Wagner Park on August 15th 2015 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

IAAC’s INDOOR Concert, entitled AN EVENING OF POETRY, DANCED, features three of the soloists above as well as two US-based dancers new to New York: Bharatanatyam exponent AISHWARYA BALASUBRAMANIAN and Odissi dancer APARUPA CHATTERJEE.

The program highlights the many ways that Indian dance forms explore literary, philosophical, and emotional significances embedded in poetry:

Each dancer performs sung verses in the languages which are allied to his or her dance form:

  • * a paean of praise and longing in Telugu (language of the state of Andhra) from a tana varnam (centre-piece of a Bharatanatyam recital)
  • * a song in Malayali (language of Kerala) in which a courtesan remembers her days of frivolity, when she enticed clients to acquire jewels, compared to the bliss of her current life of renunciation spent chanting the name of Lord Rama,
  • * an Oriya song in which the child Krishna’s mother, a village woman, tries to get him to sleep by scaring him of the fate of recalcitrant children
  • * a Chhau dance inspired by the many chants to Shiva, lord of creation, describing his aspects as creator, preserver and destroyer, symbolized in his Ananda Tandava ‘Dance of Bliss’
  • * and a Kathak dance set, not to lyrics in north Indian Hindi, but inspired by none other than our own New York poet, Ntozake Shange’s “orange butterflies. . .” from her seminal work: “For Colored Girls . . . “
  • * The evening will end with a Q & A.
  • “We are delighted to announce as Chief Guest for this evening, NTOZAKE SHANGE the noted playwright of the Broadway choreopoem, “for colored girls who’ve considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf” The kathak dance that concludes our program has been deeply inspired by her writings and is based one of her poems.For those who would like to explore the dance forms represented in this festival further, on the following day,SATURDAY August 29, at the PACE UNIVERSITY studios, 140 Williams Street (enter on Fulton St), NYC, we offer WORKSHOPS, A FILM ON DANCE AND A DISCUSSION:
  • * workshops in Mohini Attam and Mayurbhanj Chhau dance
  • * the showing of a film UPAJ in memory of the late kathak maestro, Chitresh Das. In UPAJ, Das and tap dancer Jason Taylor Williams perform in India,
  • * a discussion of “The Different Approaches to turning Poetry into Dance” in the different dance forms represented at ERASING BORDERS 2015.
  • The INDOOR concert will be held at Schimmel Center, Pace University , 3 Spruce Street, NYC on Friday, August 28th from 700-9:00pm. Tickets will be on sale July 15th, 2015 The WORKSHOPS FILM, & PANEL DISCUSSION will be held at Pace University Studios, 140 Williams Street, NYC on Saturday, August 29th from 10:30-4:30 pm. Tickets will be on sale July 15th, 2015