ABOUT THE SHOW
We begin with a traditional telling in Indian classical dance (Bharatnatyam) of the story of the search for Sita as seen through Hanuman’s eyes, a slice of Ramayana, and then shift to a non traditional telling of Sita: a Sitayana. The first depicts a search for a woman who has been kidnapped. The second represents a woman who knows her strength and power.
We then present the story of the self transformation of King Ashoka, who is confronted with the result of his violence, and resolves to implement a rule of nonviolence.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Dr. Nalini Rau is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher of Bharata Natyam, based in New York. She likes the challenge of turning abstract ideas into visual movement and is truly happy when her audience and she connect via dance.
Dr. Rau uses the traditional style and techniques to explore current issues. Her doctorate trained her to question, while her nature looks to connect with people: her choreography makes these two strands come together in her dance. She has explored facets of womanhood, our relation to the society, human emotions, reinterpreting of mythology, along with the traditional repertoire. She has trained over 200 students of every age at Natya Anubhava, Arts Westchester awarded her in April 2015, the "50 for 50" award as a recognition for her “outstanding contributions as a choreographer”.
Most recently she was invited to perform at the United Nations for the International day of Happiness in March 2016, at the Arts Westchester for SHE in April 2016 and at the Pelham Art Center in December 2015. She presented Agraani, a dance ballet on the women trail blazers at SAIPAF, Manhattan in August 2015.
Meena Chen is an 12th grader at Hastings High School, and has been learning Bharatha Natyam for many years now with Dr. Nalini Rau. Her recent performances were her debut in 2015, the White Plains Youth Gala the International Day of Happiness at the UN in 2016. She plays guitar with the RiverArts Senior jazz ensemble, plays piano, enjoys singing, reading, and is a big comic books and anime fan.
Deeya Patel has been studying and performing Bharata Natyam with her teacher Dr. Nalini Rau for about 9 nine years
Harshita Shet is in 7th grade, and has been learning from Dr. Nalini Rau since she was four. Her favorite subjects in school are Science, Math and Arts. Harshita has a Black Belt in Karate, and competed at the Scripps National Spelling Bee Competition three consecutive years held in Washington, DC. She is also involved in many Charitable Community Services, such as Westchester Food Bank, American Heart Assoc., American Diabetes Assoc., Strides for Breast Cancer, and Locks of Love.
Navya is a rising junior at Valhalla High School. She has been learning Bharata Natyam from Dr. Nalini Rau for 11 years and has given her debut solo performance, arangetram, this past summer. Truly passionate about dance, Navya has enjoyed performing at a variety of cultural venues in the tristate area. She has been an active participant in many community events, including performing at dance dramas, and at "Dancing for the Children," a special fundraising event for low income children. Navya has grown to truly treasure Bharata Natyam under the loving guidance of Dr. Nalini Rau.