Erasing Borders Dance Festival 2021

ERASING BORDERS DANCE FESTIVAL

September 22-26, 2021

Watch LIVE on Erasing Borders Dance Festival and Erasing Borders Dance Festival

Erasing Borders Dance Festival

Schedule

*Sept 22, 2021*, Wednesday,

Rukmini Vijaykumar in Bharatanatyam,
Preethi Athreya in Contemporary,
Sonali Skandan in Bharatanatyam

*Sept 23, 2021*, Thursday,

Kalbeliya World Rajasthani folk,
Kalamandalam Adithyan Kathakali

*Sept 24, 2021*, Friday,

Kaustavi Sarkar Odissi,
Jyotsna Vaidee Bharatanatyam group

*Sept 25, 2021*, Saturday,

Vaishali Trivedi Kathak group,
Bindu Rajendren Mohiniyattam,
Meera Sreenaranayan Bharatanatyam

*Sept 25, 2021*, Saturday,

Morning workshop:
Dr Krishnakali Dasgupta Manipuri

*Sept 26, 2021*, Sunday,

Morning workshop:
Aakansha Maheshwari Rajasthani folk workshop.

Erasing Borders Dance Festival

Curatorial Guidelines

We are only taking in digital applications this year.

You can submit solos, duets or larger groups.

Typically, artist/s performs for 7-12 min.

Your video is the most important part of your application. An impressive video can catch the eye of the curator and make your performance memorable. When submitting a video, make sure the video is well-lit and appropriately edited for maximum impact. Check out technical guidance. Below are some tips for editing your videos:

  1. The dancer should be clearly visible in the video.

  2. The video(s) you submit should be of the work that you propose to perform at the festival, and should submit a plan outlining exactly what you will plan to perform. In case the video exceeds the timing, please indicate time markers in your application for the segment/s you are proposing.

  3. You may submit up to 2 additional alternative videos with your application. Each video should follow ideally be less than 13 minutes.

  4. Dance works are often better appreciated when placed in context. We suggest that you include a commentary/explanation of process in the Details of the Proposed Work section of your application.

  5. Live explanations (i.e. spoken commentaries on your video) will be counted as part of the timing of the total presentation, so you may prefer to send in a written explanation.

  6. The video you submit should be include the complete, continuous work you intend to perform, OR a work-in-progress with detailed explanation if selected. It is imperative for the curators to see the entire work, because our decision making involves thinking through how all the selected works (by different artists) will collectively form a unique, cohesive experience for our audience. An excerpt put together with bits and pieces from different parts of a work or different works WILL NOT BE ACCEPTABLE for the application.

Best of luck ! We look forward to reviewing your applications.
Late Wednesday September 29 2021-Sunday October 3 2021
Erasing Borders Festival of Indian Dance is widely regarded as the most reputed festival of Indian dance in North America. As an artist, performing in this festival gives you the opportunity to showcase your dance on a great platform – the festival receives significant media attention, and is reviewed by noted critics.
Yes. Artists are paid an honorarium for presenting their work at the festival. Since we are a non-profit, our means for providing financial support to artists are limited. The fee amount is comparable to other New York arts non-profits. Selected artists will receive $250 for production value. Please submit a sample budget plan up to $250 for the final production to account for videography, editing or other needs.
Yes, we present solos and well as groups (duets, trios, quartets, or larger!)
You need to submit a video of the work that you intend to perform at the festival. You should submit 2 videos. 1) Submit video/s of past choreography. 2) Submit your concept proposal as a written material (150 words) and request a video (as work-in-progress). You do not need to submit a video shot using a professional camera - you can submit a video shot using your phone, so long as the quality of the video is good and your dance can be seen well.
March 31, 2021 Deadline extended to April 20, 2021
No. You need to upload your work to Youtube, vimeo or dropbox, and include a link to that uploaded video with your application form. We do not accept submissions in the form of DVDs any more.
The limits are specified in “characters” and not “words” (we understand this is less intuitive than a word limit might be, but unfortunately this is what Google Forms support out-of-the-box today...). Please ensure that the number of characters in your answer fits within the maximum number of characters allowed for that answer. Further, remember that whitespace is also considered a character. An easy way to check your character count is by pasting your answer into a Word document, and using the ‘Word Count’ feature of MS Word, which displays not just the number of words, but also the number of characters (including whitespaces).
Please email IAAC IT team, and they will be able to help you with the application fee. sunil@iaac.us
The curators of the Erasing Borders Dance Festival are looking through 80 applications to plan for the best possible festival. Please allow them time till May 31 2021 to look through, discuss, and plan. If you have not heard back from the curators by first week of June, please write back to us.
2021 Erasing Borders of Dance Festival, Call for Submissions
During 2021-22 across all IAAC platforms including dance, music, film, and literature, we are looking forward to celebrating the 75th anniversary of India's independence.

The 75th Independence anniversary celebrates and reflects on the milestones of freedom struggle, ideas at 75, achievements at 75, actions at 75, and resolve at 75.

The dance festival will be virtual on IAAC’s streaming platform in late September 2021.

For this year, we are looking for dance works that speak to the above reflections. Pondering on the issues of old struggles, new ideas, hard won achievements, renewed actions, and future facing resolutions, how can we think of dance as our personal journey, our destination, and our sustenance? Do we dance to stimulate awareness? Do we dance in hope for a sustainable future? Do we dance proud of our heritage and part of the global world?

Your work need not answer all of the questions. Choose any one of these prompts as inspiration. We urge you to think of your own work and assess how it may answer this question. Please submit a 100-150 word description of how this question speaks to your own creative works.

We seek:

  • Original works in multiple or new vocabularies and forms deriving from or relating to the traditions of Indian dance.
  • Works that are challenging or critically thinking on their own terms.
  • Given the online format we encourage shorter works this year. Professional works of up to 12 minutes duration (you can submit multiple works for us to consider).

Requirements:

  • Completed Application Form, which will include a place for you to send us a link to the performance piece you want to showcase at the festival.
  • Video: Applicants need to submit the entire video recording of the proposed works (not excerpts or sampling of past works). Since this is a virtual festival, we ask that you not apply with a work that is already published in video format with other platforms. This is a work that would be choreographed for camera, so we need to get a sense from your application as to how you would accomplish this.
  • We plan on leaving the work accessible online for one week after the last day of the festival, so make sure you secure rights from your gurus, musicians, and collaborators. Please also make sure you own the rights to publish the music and other elements that you are using. This permission can be sent to you by other producers through emails, social media messages etc. so it can be documented if the need arises. If you submit work that we select, we assume you have done the due diligence.
  • Only professional level performances will be considered for the festival. We plan on selecting between 7 and 12 artists this year depending on the pool of applications we receive. Typically we receive about 80 applications each year that our curators go through very carefully. Due to limited time, we do not email all applicants back, and prioritize writing to applicants we seriously consider for the festival.
  • Selected artists will receive $250 for achieving a professional grade production value in addition to the performance fee.. Please submit a sample budget plan up to $250 for the final production to account for videography and editing.
  • Non-refundable application fee of $15.
  • Application Due date:March 31, 2021
    Deadline extended to April 20, 2021

HOW TO SUBMIT:

We are only taking in digital applications this year.

  • First, review the Curatorial Guidelines we have compiled. These guidelines will help you submit a strong application which catches the eye and interest of our professional curators.
  • Selected artists are compensated with professional standard artistic fees for their work and time. Our fees are commensurate to other New York area professional companies.
  • Additionally, if selected, we will provide funds towards video production costs for which technical guidance will be provided.
  • Next, complete your application form. Bear in mind that you will not be able to save your application and come back to it later. So, it is recommended that you first draft your answers in a separate document, and then enter them on this online form in one sitting.
  • Pay your $15 application fee through PayPal paypal(using any credit card) Click here >>
  • If you have any questions, check the Frequently Asked Question (FAQ). We keep updating this FAQ as new questions are received. If the FAQ does not address your questions, you can email us via this Inquiry form. Please note that we will only respond to questions that have not been addressed in the FAQ, so make sure to check the FAQ first!
  • We have reduced the fees to $15.

Technical Suggestions

  • Artist would film themselves at home/studio maintaining local COVID guidelines
  • Make sure sound quality of the music is clear. It could be played on a different device close to the recording camera.
  • have lighting from the front and avoid lighting at back (unless it is part of your aesthetic)
  • Shoot in daytime conditions. Night time indoor shoots do not look good.

Artists Bios

Rukmini Vijaykumar in Bharatanatyam (new work and Yahi Madhava)

Rukmini Vijaykumar

Rukmini Vijayakumar Is the Director of her Classical Dance Company Raadha Kalpa and her art space LshVa, in Bangalore, India. Rukmini began her formal training in dance at the age of eight. She had an initial exposure to ballet, but her primary training and rigorous practice through her early years was in Bharatanatyam.

She began under Guru Padmini Rao, and continued her practice under Guru Narmada, and Guru Sundari Santhanam (a senior disciple of Dr Padma Subrahmanyam). She was introduced to the teachings of the Natyashastra, and pursued an intense training in the Karanas under Guru Sundari Santhanam for many years.

She later was accepted into the Boston Conservatory, and graduated with a BFA in Modern dance and Ballet. She is an avid yoga practitioner and has studied Human Anatomy and Physiology at the Boston University. Rukmini's productions have toured the world and have been appreciated by audiences. Her ensemble work, Nayani and Prabhavati have toured the Middle East and USA, and more recently MALA, Unrequited, Talattu and The Dark Lord are productions within the traditions.

Preethi Athreya in Contemporary

Preethi Athreya

A Chennai-based contemporary dancer, Preethi Athreya trained in Bharatanatyam and later went on to do a postgraduate degree in Dance Studies (Laban Centre, London, 2001). Keenly conscious of her need to be defined not as the exotic other, she chose to continue her journey in her native Chennai.

Between 1999 and 2011, she worked with Padmini Chettur from where she inherited the evolving legacy of Chandralekha and a strong commitment to constantly redefining the Indian body. Working within the Indian contemporary dance scene as a performer, choreographer and facilitator, Preethi belongs to a league of dance-makers in India today who use dance as an agent of change. Some of her well-known works are Conditions of Carriage: The Jumping Project (2015), The Lost Wax Project (2018), Light Doesn't Have Arms To Carry Us (2013) and BIRD (2021).

Preethi is one of the co-founders of Basement 21, a practice-based performance collective in Chennai. Her publications include a review of Total Masala Slammer by Belgian choreographer, Michel Laub/ Dance Research Journal, New York, 2014.

Sonali Skandan in Bharatanatyam

Sonali Skandan

Sonali Skandan is a passionate dancer and choreographer whose work has been described as ‘natural yet tense with the pull of mystery’ (nytheatre.com). Sonali is the Artistic Director of Jiva Performing Arts, where she teaches and creates engaging dance productions, and Jiva Dance, a professional dance company presenting compelling works based on Bharatanatyam.

Sonali has received praise in the New York Times, Financial Times, and The NJ Star Ledger, among others. Sonali has been on the dance faculty at Sarah Lawrence College, Queens College and the Joffrey Ballet Summer Intensive.

Under Sonali’s leadership, Jiva Dance was also the first Indian Classical dance company to be awarded the CUNY Dance Initiative residency and awarded the inaugural Dance/NYC Dance Advancement Fund. Sonali has received support from the NEA, NY State Council on the Arts and The NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs. Sonali is featured in Juilliard’s online course for Bharatanatyam. She is a longtime student of the legendary C.V. Chandrasekhar and Bragha Bessell and is receiving creative mentorship with celebrated dancer and choreographer Maya Kulkarni with whom she is exploring and creating rare poetic works.

Kalbeliya World Rajasthani folk-new documentary

Kalbeliya World Rajasthani folk-new

Kalbeliya World is an international solidarity program that safeguards the art forms of women from traditional families of the Kalbeliya community in Rajasthan. Kalbeliya World seeks to provide (1) Digital Literacy (2) Self Employment (3) Stable incomes for female dancers in the regions of Jaipur, Pushkar and Jodhpur.

During this digital performance, we will take you along a journey to the homes of those women, who are the bearers of their arts looking for sustainable alternatives to the future. This performance consists of 12 female artists from Rajasthan: Aasha, a dancer and a recording artist who released many Rajasthani tracks during the pandemic. Anita has toured in Europe several times and has an International student following. Gulabo brought Kalbeliya dance to the stage in 1981. She was awarded the Padma Shri. Khatu was the lead dancer for many performance troupes, including Musafir.

Mamta was performing in the Desert Camp Hotels full time before lockdown and had an International student following. Meena was the lead dancer for many performance troupes, such as Dhoad Gypsies. Moru is best known for her dance troupe who perform at great stages of Rajasthan and abroad. Morya makes exquisite jewelry and crafts when she is not performing or teaching. Raki has toured in Europe several times. She is well known on the performance stages in Pushkar. Rekha was performing in the Desert Camp Hotels full time before lockdown. Sunita regularly taught and toured in France

Kalamandalam Adithyan Kathakali

Kalamandalam Adithyan

Rugmangada Charithram. This piece reveals the episode of Rugmangada meeting Mohini and what ensues. As a very captivating story, it is much loved by most kathakali audience. Adithyan performs Rugmangada in pacha- green makeup accompanied by Mohini stree veshsam-female costume bringing to viewers two very unique Kathakali veshams-looks on screen.

They are accompanied by 2 singers, 1 Chenda artist (drum), 1 Madalam (drum), 1 Chuttikaran ( make up artist), 1 Uduthukettukaran ( person who drapes the heavy costuming on the dancers).

Kalamandalam Adityan is a young artist in Kathakali. He hails from Kannur district in Kerala, South India. From the childhood days he had strong interests towards Kathakali. Payyannur TM Premnath is his first Guru. After completing his primary education, he joined Kerala Kalamandalam to study Kathakali from the eighth standard. Kerala Kalamandalam deemed university is an art institute, which offers academic studies along with Kathakali studies. With the guidance and discipline of gurus such as Kalamandalam Mukundan, Kalamandalam Harinarayanan, Kalamandalam Venkataraman, Kalamandalam Suryanarayanan, Kalamandalam Ramdas and Kalamandalam Krishnakumar, he completed his studies from 8th standard to degree. The stage entry was completed in 2009 by portraying the role of Krishnan in Purappadu. He continued onto a Masters program at Kerala Kalamandalam. During his masters, he received extensive opportunities to learn the art from renowned gurus such as Padmashree Kalamandalam Gopi ( Gopiyasan) and Kalamandalam MPS Namboothiri.

Kaustavi Sarkar Odissi, new work

Kaustavi Sarkar

Dr. Kaustavi Sarkar, student of Guru Poushali Mukherjee, Ratikant Mohapatra, and Sujata Mohapatra, is a professor in dance at UNC Charlotte and runs a professional development opportunity for Indian classical dance educators through the continuing education program.

She received the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts grant for bringing Odissi into mainstream arts contexts. A Doordarshan graded, ICCR empaneled, and national scholarship holder, Sarkar has created a substantial body of work in scholarship, performance, and education.

She teaches inside and outside academia and maintains dual careers in performance and teaching. She has taught at Kenyon College and holds a PhD from The Ohio State University (OSU) with interdisciplinary research interests in digital humanities, cultural studies, queer studies, arts entrepreneurship, dance and community, and religious studies. Her monograph Dance Technology Social Justice focuses on Odissi's journey as a technique for social justice. Her second book Shaping S-Curves focuses on female choreographers in the field of Odissi.

Jyotsna Vaidee Bharatanatyam group, new work

Jyotsna VaideeRaki Shekar photography

Jyotsna Vaidee is an award winning Bharatanatyam choreographer and dancer and the founder of Samudra Dance Creations. Samudra has presented at several prestigious festivals including San Francisco International Arts Festival, the PushDance Fest and the Ragamala Music Society of Canada.

Jyotsna advocates that the authentic technique of Bharatanatyam is a rich language that can be used to communicate and discover themes that are both traditional and contemporary. To that end, Jyotsna has created a number of full length original choreographic productions including The Quest Unsaid, The Caged Birds Sings and Kaavyam, and most recently, The Earth Speaks, which was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award in 2020.

In addition to her choreographic work, Jyotsna is a well-established Bharatanatyam soloist who has immersed herself in the art for over 25 years. Her performances have received critical acclaim in India and North America. She is a regular performer at India's (Chennai) December dance and music season.

Vaishali Trivedi Kathak group, new work

Vaishali TrivediVaidehi Patel photography

Vaishali Trivedi is a Kathak dancer, choreographer and singer based in Ahmedabad. For the past 32 years she has performed in many important festivals and theatres, across India and more than 50 countries around the world. Acclaimed as rare dancer with melodious voice by artists and connoisseurs, Vaishali combines a perfect technique with flowing grace and a very fine sensitivity.

She also had the privilege of performing in the productions of some of the greatest Indian classical artists of our time: her Guru Smt. Kumudini Lakhia, Pt. Ravi Shankar, Pt. Birju Maharaj. She has collaborated with famous choreographers from France, Italy, Brazil, Germany, USA, Switzerland and Pakistan. Such experiences make her artistic journey a truly unique one.

In 2015 she was awarded the Fulbright Fellowship and was given ‘Gaurav Pursakar' by the Govt. of Gujarat in 2011. Today, Vaishali shares her time between touring, expanding her choreographic work in Kathak style, collaborating with various artists, singing and teaching at her institute, Sangati Centre for Performing Arts, Ahmedabad.

Bindu Rajendren Mohiniyattam, new work

Bindu Rajendren

Eloquent facial expressions with graceful and flowing movements that evoke aesthetic experience are characteristics of Bindu Rajendren's Mohiniattam performances. As a performing artiste, Bindu's strength is in art of expression and storytelling abilities.

Central to Bindu's dance practices is the elemental spiritual connection through sentiment a and devotion. Bindu Rajendren is a practitioner of Mohiniattam, based out of Brisbane in Australia. She has performed at international, local and diasporic festivals and concerts in Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand, UAE and India. She has widely collaborated with dancers, theatre artists, spoken word and visual artists and musicians.

The covid induced pandemic provided Bindu an opportunity to extend her movement vocabulary to include digital media with great success. As a dance researcher, Bindu has presented papers at various national and international academic dance conferences. An obsession with letting her mind wander is often what inspires Bindu's dance choreographies, artwork, paintings and poetry.

Meera Sreenaranayan Bharatanatyam

Meera Sreenaranayan HareeshNamboothiri

'A performer totally without a consciousness of self or any feelings of wanting to be pretty. She was the dance,' the renowned critic Leela Venkataraman writes about Meera Sreenarayanan, a dynamic young aspiring artiste, from Guruvayur (Kerala, India).

She has been described as a 'sensitive dancer', praised for her subtle expressions and technical excellence which all together completes a narthaki. Meera was under the tutelage of Sri. Prakash, Sri. R.L.V. Anand and Acharya Kalakshetra Nirmala Nagaraj. Now Meera is exploring the art and abhinaya under the able mentorship of Acharya Indira Kadambi.

Many performances and awards are there to her credit. She is a graded artist in Doordarshan and also a recipient of CCRT Young Talent and NCERT Creative Talent scholarships. She was chosen as the best junior dancer at The Music Academy Madras Dance Festival 2019. 'Harini', a well-received and appreciated thematic Bharatanatyam solo creation, conceptualized and choreographed by Meera for Natyarangam of Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai, proves her caliber as a choreographer as well.

Dr. Krishnakali Dasgupta Manipuri

Dr. Krishnakali DasguptaSanat Ghosh

Dr. Krishnakali Dasgupta a recipient of the prestigious Govt. of India National Scholarship for Outstanding artistes for Manipuri (Senior) is a senior student of the Manipuri exponents Smt.

Poushali Chatterjee, Dr. Sohini Ray, Guru Smt. Kalavati Devi and Guru Smt. Darshana Jhaveri, as well as Ojha Ranjeet Chingtham (Thang-Ta). She remains a dedicated performer and explorer of the form for more than 25 years and is a co-director, performer, choreographer with Mitradheya. Krishnakali is a Postdoctoral researcher in the field of Developmental Genetics. Dr Dasgupta has conducted several Manipuri workshops across countries.

Aakansha Maheshwari Rajasthani Folk Choreography workshop

Aakansha Maheshwari

Born and raised in Delhi, Aakansha spent over a decade training in Bharatanatyam under Padmashree Geeta Chandran and toured around India. She also performed with Nectar Dance Company and Shakti Dance Company Productions directed by the renowned Guru Viji Prakash’s and her daughter Mythili Prakash in California.

Aakansha has trained in Indian folk dance styles such as Garba, Kalbeliya, Ghoomar and Bhangra with various Delhi and Rajasthan based teachers who are specialists in their field. She spends around 2 months in India every year - dancing in Rajasthan and serving at Manav Sadhna NGO at Gandhi Ashram, working with hundreds of underprivileged kids. Aakansha acted and danced in the Hollywood movie Vara: A Blessing (2013) directed by Rinpoche Khyentse Norbu, shot in Sri Lanka after which she moved to LA. She is one of the co-founders of Kalbeliya World- an online platform with 12 Kalbeliya teachers and she has been volunteering for over a year in helping the community thrive during Covid crisis through the sustainable teaching model and also fundraising.

Her fitness program BollyPop®, which she created in 2015 is becoming popular all over Southern California and Utah. Aakansha has trained three instructors- 2 in Salt Lake City and 1 in India. In 2020, the biggest fitness platform in India- Cure Fit had Aakansha's BollyPop workouts playing on their app. In the last couple years, she has been invited by the Clippers to perform at the game. She had over 60 BollyPop dancers at the last performance at the Staples Center in LA. Currently, Aakansha has over 80 kids in her weekly classes and she teaches workouts around LA and also on campus at UCLA. She says that her devotion to the art is solely for the purpose of spreading happiness.

Rukmini Vijaykumar in Bharatanatyam (new work and Yahi Madhava)

Rukmini Vijaykumar

Rukmini Vijayakumar Is the Director of her Classical Dance Company Raadha Kalpa and her art space LshVa, in Bangalore, India. Rukmini began her formal training in dance at the age of eight. She had an initial exposure to ballet, but her primary training and rigorous practice through her early years was in Bharatanatyam.

She began under Guru Padmini Rao, and continued her practice under Guru Narmada, and Guru Sundari Santhanam (a senior disciple of Dr Padma Subrahmanyam). She was introduced to the teachings of the Natyashastra, and pursued an intense training in the Karanas under Guru Sundari Santhanam for many years.

She later was accepted into the Boston Conservatory, and graduated with a BFA in Modern dance and Ballet. She is an avid yoga practitioner and has studied Human Anatomy and Physiology at the Boston University. Rukmini's productions have toured the world and have been appreciated by audiences. Her ensemble work, Nayani and Prabhavati have toured the Middle East and USA, and more recently MALA, Unrequited, Talattu and The Dark Lord are productions within the traditions.

Preethi Athreya in Contemporary

Preethi Athreya

A Chennai-based contemporary dancer, Preethi Athreya trained in Bharatanatyam and later went on to do a postgraduate degree in Dance Studies (Laban Centre, London, 2001). Keenly conscious of her need to be defined not as the exotic other, she chose to continue her journey in her native Chennai.

Between 1999 and 2011, she worked with Padmini Chettur from where she inherited the evolving legacy of Chandralekha and a strong commitment to constantly redefining the Indian body. Working within the Indian contemporary dance scene as a performer, choreographer and facilitator, Preethi belongs to a league of dance-makers in India today who use dance as an agent of change. Some of her well-known works are Conditions of Carriage: The Jumping Project (2015), The Lost Wax Project (2018), Light Doesn't Have Arms To Carry Us (2013) and BIRD (2021).

Preethi is one of the co-founders of Basement 21, a practice-based performance collective in Chennai. Her publications include a review of Total Masala Slammer by Belgian choreographer, Michel Laub/ Dance Research Journal, New York, 2014.

Sonali Skandan in Bharatanatyam

Sonali Skandan

Sonali Skandan is a passionate dancer and choreographer whose work has been described as ‘natural yet tense with the pull of mystery’ (nytheatre.com). Sonali is the Artistic Director of Jiva Performing Arts, where she teaches and creates engaging dance productions, and Jiva Dance, a professional dance company presenting compelling works based on Bharatanatyam.

Sonali has received praise in the New York Times, Financial Times, and The NJ Star Ledger, among others. Sonali has been on the dance faculty at Sarah Lawrence College, Queens College and the Joffrey Ballet Summer Intensive.

Under Sonali’s leadership, Jiva Dance was also the first Indian Classical dance company to be awarded the CUNY Dance Initiative residency and awarded the inaugural Dance/NYC Dance Advancement Fund. Sonali has received support from the NEA, NY State Council on the Arts and The NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs. Sonali is featured in Juilliard’s online course for Bharatanatyam. She is a longtime student of the legendary C.V. Chandrasekhar and Bragha Bessell and is receiving creative mentorship with celebrated dancer and choreographer Maya Kulkarni with whom she is exploring and creating rare poetic works.

Kalbeliya World Rajasthani folk-new documentary

Kalbeliya World Rajasthani folk-new

Kalbeliya World is an international solidarity program that safeguards the art forms of women from traditional families of the Kalbeliya community in Rajasthan. Kalbeliya World seeks to provide (1) Digital Literacy (2) Self Employment (3) Stable incomes for female dancers in the regions of Jaipur, Pushkar and Jodhpur.

During this digital performance, we will take you along a journey to the homes of those women, who are the bearers of their arts looking for sustainable alternatives to the future. This performance consists of 12 female artists from Rajasthan: Aasha, a dancer and a recording artist who released many Rajasthani tracks during the pandemic. Anita has toured in Europe several times and has an International student following. Gulabo brought Kalbeliya dance to the stage in 1981. She was awarded the Padma Shri. Khatu was the lead dancer for many performance troupes, including Musafir.

Mamta was performing in the Desert Camp Hotels full time before lockdown and had an International student following. Meena was the lead dancer for many performance troupes, such as Dhoad Gypsies. Moru is best known for her dance troupe who perform at great stages of Rajasthan and abroad. Morya makes exquisite jewelry and crafts when she is not performing or teaching. Raki has toured in Europe several times. She is well known on the performance stages in Pushkar. Rekha was performing in the Desert Camp Hotels full time before lockdown. Sunita regularly taught and toured in France

Kalamandalam Adithyan Kathakali

Kalamandalam Adithyan

Rugmangada Charithram. This piece reveals the episode of Rugmangada meeting Mohini and what ensues. As a very captivating story, it is much loved by most kathakali audience. Adithyan performs Rugmangada in pacha- green makeup accompanied by Mohini stree veshsam-female costume bringing to viewers two very unique Kathakali veshams-looks on screen.

They are accompanied by 2 singers, 1 Chenda artist (drum), 1 Madalam (drum), 1 Chuttikaran ( make up artist), 1 Uduthukettukaran ( person who drapes the heavy costuming on the dancers).

Kalamandalam Adityan is a young artist in Kathakali. He hails from Kannur district in Kerala, South India. From the childhood days he had strong interests towards Kathakali. Payyannur TM Premnath is his first Guru. After completing his primary education, he joined Kerala Kalamandalam to study Kathakali from the eighth standard. Kerala Kalamandalam deemed university is an art institute, which offers academic studies along with Kathakali studies. With the guidance and discipline of gurus such as Kalamandalam Mukundan, Kalamandalam Harinarayanan, Kalamandalam Venkataraman, Kalamandalam Suryanarayanan, Kalamandalam Ramdas and Kalamandalam Krishnakumar, he completed his studies from 8th standard to degree. The stage entry was completed in 2009 by portraying the role of Krishnan in Purappadu. He continued onto a Masters program at Kerala Kalamandalam. During his masters, he received extensive opportunities to learn the art from renowned gurus such as Padmashree Kalamandalam Gopi ( Gopiyasan) and Kalamandalam MPS Namboothiri.

Kaustavi Sarkar Odissi, new work

Kaustavi Sarkar

Dr. Kaustavi Sarkar, student of Guru Poushali Mukherjee, Ratikant Mohapatra, and Sujata Mohapatra, is a professor in dance at UNC Charlotte and runs a professional development opportunity for Indian classical dance educators through the continuing education program.

She received the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts grant for bringing Odissi into mainstream arts contexts. A Doordarshan graded, ICCR empaneled, and national scholarship holder, Sarkar has created a substantial body of work in scholarship, performance, and education.

She teaches inside and outside academia and maintains dual careers in performance and teaching. She has taught at Kenyon College and holds a PhD from The Ohio State University (OSU) with interdisciplinary research interests in digital humanities, cultural studies, queer studies, arts entrepreneurship, dance and community, and religious studies. Her monograph Dance Technology Social Justice focuses on Odissi's journey as a technique for social justice. Her second book Shaping S-Curves focuses on female choreographers in the field of Odissi.

Jyotsna Vaidee Bharatanatyam group, new work

Jyotsna VaideeRaki Shekar photography

Jyotsna Vaidee is an award winning Bharatanatyam choreographer and dancer and the founder of Samudra Dance Creations. Samudra has presented at several prestigious festivals including San Francisco International Arts Festival, the PushDance Fest and the Ragamala Music Society of Canada.

Jyotsna advocates that the authentic technique of Bharatanatyam is a rich language that can be used to communicate and discover themes that are both traditional and contemporary. To that end, Jyotsna has created a number of full length original choreographic productions including The Quest Unsaid, The Caged Birds Sings and Kaavyam, and most recently, The Earth Speaks, which was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award in 2020.

In addition to her choreographic work, Jyotsna is a well-established Bharatanatyam soloist who has immersed herself in the art for over 25 years. Her performances have received critical acclaim in India and North America. She is a regular performer at India's (Chennai) December dance and music season.

Vaishali Trivedi Kathak group, new work

Vaishali TrivediVaidehi Patel photography

Vaishali Trivedi is a Kathak dancer, choreographer and singer based in Ahmedabad. For the past 32 years she has performed in many important festivals and theatres, across India and more than 50 countries around the world. Acclaimed as rare dancer with melodious voice by artists and connoisseurs, Vaishali combines a perfect technique with flowing grace and a very fine sensitivity.

She also had the privilege of performing in the productions of some of the greatest Indian classical artists of our time: her Guru Smt. Kumudini Lakhia, Pt. Ravi Shankar, Pt. Birju Maharaj. She has collaborated with famous choreographers from France, Italy, Brazil, Germany, USA, Switzerland and Pakistan. Such experiences make her artistic journey a truly unique one.

In 2015 she was awarded the Fulbright Fellowship and was given ‘Gaurav Pursakar' by the Govt. of Gujarat in 2011. Today, Vaishali shares her time between touring, expanding her choreographic work in Kathak style, collaborating with various artists, singing and teaching at her institute, Sangati Centre for Performing Arts, Ahmedabad.

Bindu Rajendren Mohiniyattam, new work

Bindu Rajendren

Eloquent facial expressions with graceful and flowing movements that evoke aesthetic experience are characteristics of Bindu Rajendren's Mohiniattam performances. As a performing artiste, Bindu's strength is in art of expression and storytelling abilities.

Central to Bindu's dance practices is the elemental spiritual connection through sentiment a and devotion. Bindu Rajendren is a practitioner of Mohiniattam, based out of Brisbane in Australia. She has performed at international, local and diasporic festivals and concerts in Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand, UAE and India. She has widely collaborated with dancers, theatre artists, spoken word and visual artists and musicians.

The covid induced pandemic provided Bindu an opportunity to extend her movement vocabulary to include digital media with great success. As a dance researcher, Bindu has presented papers at various national and international academic dance conferences. An obsession with letting her mind wander is often what inspires Bindu's dance choreographies, artwork, paintings and poetry.

Meera Sreenaranayan Bharatanatyam

Meera Sreenaranayan HareeshNamboothiri

'A performer totally without a consciousness of self or any feelings of wanting to be pretty. She was the dance,' the renowned critic Leela Venkataraman writes about Meera Sreenarayanan, a dynamic young aspiring artiste, from Guruvayur (Kerala, India).

She has been described as a 'sensitive dancer', praised for her subtle expressions and technical excellence which all together completes a narthaki. Meera was under the tutelage of Sri. Prakash, Sri. R.L.V. Anand and Acharya Kalakshetra Nirmala Nagaraj. Now Meera is exploring the art and abhinaya under the able mentorship of Acharya Indira Kadambi.

Many performances and awards are there to her credit. She is a graded artist in Doordarshan and also a recipient of CCRT Young Talent and NCERT Creative Talent scholarships. She was chosen as the best junior dancer at The Music Academy Madras Dance Festival 2019. 'Harini', a well-received and appreciated thematic Bharatanatyam solo creation, conceptualized and choreographed by Meera for Natyarangam of Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai, proves her caliber as a choreographer as well.

Dr. Krishnakali Dasgupta Manipuri

Dr. Krishnakali DasguptaSanat Ghosh

Dr. Krishnakali Dasgupta a recipient of the prestigious Govt. of India National Scholarship for Outstanding artistes for Manipuri (Senior) is a senior student of the Manipuri exponents Smt.

Poushali Chatterjee, Dr. Sohini Ray, Guru Smt. Kalavati Devi and Guru Smt. Darshana Jhaveri, as well as Ojha Ranjeet Chingtham (Thang-Ta). She remains a dedicated performer and explorer of the form for more than 25 years and is a co-director, performer, choreographer with Mitradheya. Krishnakali is a Postdoctoral researcher in the field of Developmental Genetics. Dr Dasgupta has conducted several Manipuri workshops across countries.

Aakansha Maheshwari Rajasthani Folk Choreography workshop

Aakansha Maheshwari

Born and raised in Delhi, Aakansha spent over a decade training in Bharatanatyam under Padmashree Geeta Chandran and toured around India. She also performed with Nectar Dance Company and Shakti Dance Company Productions directed by the renowned Guru Viji Prakash’s and her daughter Mythili Prakash in California.

Aakansha has trained in Indian folk dance styles such as Garba, Kalbeliya, Ghoomar and Bhangra with various Delhi and Rajasthan based teachers who are specialists in their field. She spends around 2 months in India every year - dancing in Rajasthan and serving at Manav Sadhna NGO at Gandhi Ashram, working with hundreds of underprivileged kids. Aakansha acted and danced in the Hollywood movie Vara: A Blessing (2013) directed by Rinpoche Khyentse Norbu, shot in Sri Lanka after which she moved to LA. She is one of the co-founders of Kalbeliya World- an online platform with 12 Kalbeliya teachers and she has been volunteering for over a year in helping the community thrive during Covid crisis through the sustainable teaching model and also fundraising.

Her fitness program BollyPop®, which she created in 2015 is becoming popular all over Southern California and Utah. Aakansha has trained three instructors- 2 in Salt Lake City and 1 in India. In 2020, the biggest fitness platform in India- Cure Fit had Aakansha's BollyPop workouts playing on their app. In the last couple years, she has been invited by the Clippers to perform at the game. She had over 60 BollyPop dancers at the last performance at the Staples Center in LA. Currently, Aakansha has over 80 kids in her weekly classes and she teaches workouts around LA and also on campus at UCLA. She says that her devotion to the art is solely for the purpose of spreading happiness.

Committee and Curators

Deepsikha Chatterjee: Dance Director

Deepsikha Chatterjee

Deepsikha Chatterjee is a tenured faculty of Theatre at Hunter College CUNY where she enjoys teaching a diverse student body. She received her undergraduate degrees from University of Madras and National Institute of Fashion Technology before moving to the US for her MFA in Costume Design from Florida State University.Currently she is pursuing her PhD in Theatre and Performance from CUNY Graduate Center.Her costume design for Butoh Medea and Hide Your Fires received the Best Costume Design award at United Solo in 2014 and 2017 respectively. Her designs have been seen recently at Barnard College, Mabou Mines, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, Women’s Project, New York Musical Festival, Drive East, United Solo, Pan Asia Repertory, and Capital Fringe.

She researches costumes and masks for Indian performance and has received notable grants for this work. Her presentations have been seen at conferences including USITT, Costume Society of America, and the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. She has published articles on Indian and Asian theatre, and Indian fashion. Since 2017 she has served as the dance director for Indo-American Arts Council’s Erasing Borders Dance Festival bringing international dancers to the New York stage.

Uttara Asha Coorlawala: Curator

Uttara Asha Coorlawala

Uttara Asha Coorlawala currently teaches in the dance program at Barnard College/Columbia University and serves as Curator for Erasing Borders--the annual Festival Of Indian Dance. Had previously also taught at Alvin-Ailey- Fordham University Dance Program, Long Island University's C.W. Post Campus, and at Princeton University, NJ. Earlier as a dancer, her solo show, (1973-87) brought modern dance, BharataNatyam and yoga, to stages of India, Europe, East Europe, Japan and the United States. For her pioneering choreography she was recently awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi national award. (India) Uttara also served on various global dance research (CORD) and educational (IB) Committees, and as Performing Arts advisor to the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, and at the National Center of Performing Arts, Mumbai.

Awards for writing include AHRB Fellowship for South Asian Dance Research, London, The Graduate Research Award from CORD, USA, the Homi Bhabha Fellowship, India, a Ford Foundation research project (USA) on changing demographies of cultures in the U.S. and an award to study choreography from the Asian Cultural Council.

Currently, she is even more invested in the ongoing global re-flows of body knowledges.

Parul Shah: co-curator

Parul Shah

Artistic director, Parul Shah of the Parul Shah Dance Company is an internationally acclaimed Kathak and contemporary dancer and choreographer whose work is expanding the classical medium beyond cultural boundaries. With a dedication to excellence, Shah preserves the form’s aesthetic integrity while exploring contemporary stories and questions around belonging, identity, and empathy. Her work aims to create shared experiences and lasting connections between performers and audiences.

Sruthi Mohan: co-curator

Sruthi Mohan

Sruthi Mohan is the Founder and Creative Director of Tat Tvam Asi, a boutique art organization in Austin, Texas, created specifically to curate and present works of internationally acclaimed Indian classical dancers touring the US.

An active and passionate community organizer, with more than a decade of organizational experience, she currently serves as the Cultural Committee Chair of the Austin Hindu Temple and has been instrumental in creating various cultural outreach initiatives that aim to showcase the spiritual beauty of Indian classical dance and other temple arts.

An accomplished and well trained classical dancer who started training at the age of three, she continues to perform to a diverse international audience. She also shares her passion for dance by writing about dance, appearing on radio and TV talk shows to promote and educate a wide and diverse audience about Indian Classical Dance.

Apart from being a dancer and a dance presenter she is also a Co curator for the Erasing Borders Dance Festival, New York.

Dipashreya Sur - Erasing Borders 2020 Festival Intern

Parul Shah

Dipashreya Sur is a rising sophomore at Barnard College of Columbia University majoring in Mathematical Sciences and History and Theory of Architecture. She has been learning Kathak, an Indian Classical Dance form, in the Lucknow Gharana for more than 14 years. On campus she dances with Columbia Taal, an Indian Classical Fusion Dance team. Though Dance originally started off as an extracurricular activity introduced by her parents, overtime it became her passion. Over the years she has also explored dance styles ranging from Contemporary to Afro Cuban. She is honored to be a part of this year’s Erasing Borders Festival.