Erasing Borders Dance Festival 2022
Azadi-logo iaac-logo satyamev-jayate

Indo-American Arts Council

Presents

Festival of India @75 and Erasing Borders Dance Festival

Aug 6 - Aug 7, 7-9PM, In-Person
Ailey Citigroup Theatre

Aug 8 2022, Virtual
Watch LIVE on   
Facebook.com  |  YouTube.com 
Erasing Borders Dance Festival

Schedule

*Aug 6, 2022*, Saturday,
7-9PM, In-Person

Sanjib Bhattacharya and Jagannath Lairenjam - Sapta, Manipuri-Pung Cholom (drum dance)
Kavya Ganesh - Contemporary Bharatanatyam
Ananya Chatterjee - Group Contemporary
Bhavana Reddy - Solo Kuchipudi

*Aug 7, 2022*, Sunday,
7-9PM, In-Person

Jin Won - Kathak Genre, with live music
Alvin Ailey - Saa Magni
Mythili Prakash - Contemporary Bharatanatyam

*Aug 8, 2022*, Monday, Virtual

Tanya Saxena - Solo Bharatanatyam
Tanveer Alam - Solo Kathak
Subastian Tan/MDT - Duet Modern
Mythili Anoop - Solo
Deepali Salil - 5 dancers, Animals, Contemporary Bharatanatyam

Erasing Borders Dance Festival

Curatorial Guidelines

We are only taking applications through video submissions 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 you should submit a plan outlining exactly what you 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 as program notes.

  6. The video you submit should include the complete, continuous work you intend to perform, OR a work-in-progress with detailed explanation. 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.
August 5: Friday: In person in New York
August 6: Saturday: In person in New York
August 7: Sunday: Morning workshop,Evening digital performance
August 8: Digital Evening digital performance
Erasing Borders Dance Festival 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.
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 submit 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 10, 2022
Deadline extended to March 20, 2022
No. You need to upload your work to YouTube (unlisted) or Vimeo, and include a link to that uploaded video with your application form. You could choose to password protect it and provide the password in the application. 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
Selected artists should expect to hear back from us by May 31, 2022. If you have not heard by then, feel free to email sunil@iaac.us
2022 Erasing Borders of Dance Festival, Call for Submissions

(Due to requests from several dancers, we are extending the deadline till March 20.)
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Indo-American Arts Council’s Erasing Borders Dance Festival will be presented in a hybrid format in 2022: specific artists will be selected for a live performance in New York on August 5th and 6th, 2022 and specific artists will be selected for digital performances on IAAC’s streaming platform Facebook and Youtube, also for August 7th and 8th, 2022.

For this year, we are looking for dance works that speak to the theme of time. Kala mein Kaal. Birju Maharaj-ji said time is the paper on which the patterns of the talas are drawn.

The temporal structures of dance are most particularly intertwined with those of music and literary forms. Together they give formal expression to processes that permeate Indian culture and which are taken for granted. What are these expressions of time, and in how many ways can we dance them?

Pondering on these thoughts and prompts, we urge you to think of your own works and assess what time means to you. Please submit a 100-150 word description of how the theme of time connects 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 hybrid format of the future we encourage shorter works. 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 4-6 artist/s this year for digital presentations and 4 performers for the live performances in New York 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 10, 2022
    Deadline extended to March 20, 2022

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 for the digital presentation, we will provide funds towards video production costs for which technical guidance will be provided. If selected for the live festival, we will take care of all theatre needs in New York. We will not be able to process visas.
  • 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!

Technical Suggestions

  • Artist would film themselves at home/studio/outdoors.
  • Make sure sound quality of the music is clear. It could be played on a different device close to the recording camera.
  • Shoot in well-lit conditions. Have lighting from the front and avoid lighting at back (unless it is part of your aesthetic)

Artists Bios

Indo-American Arts Council

presents

Saturday Aug 6, 7-9PM, In-Person
Ailey Citigroup Theatre

Ticketed event, with special pricing for artists and students

Indian dance exponent Birju Maharaj-ji said time is the paper on which the patterns of the talas (rhythm) are drawn. The temporal structures of dance are most particularly intertwined with those of music and literary forms. Together they give formal expression to processes that permeate Indian culture and which are taken for granted. What are these expressions of time, and in how many ways can we dance them? The dancers in 2022 all reflect on this theme of time and its many interpretations.

Sanjib Bhattacharya and Jagannath Lairenjam Sapta, Manipuri-Pung Cholom (drum dance)

Sanjib Bhattacharya Manipuri Jagannath Lairenjam Manipuri

'Sapta' meaning seven, is an attempt to paint the canvas of time, using 3 sets of 7 beats.

12 minutes of time is celebrated through three ornate sets of 7 matras (beats), each set depicting a significant tradition of Manipuri Classical Dance. Meanwhile, each set is uniquely designed to invigorate one of the five senses of the human body.

  • In the first set, the dancer creates designs using his masculine (tandav) and feminine (lasya) body movements; aimed at the audience’s sense of sight, as they watch the dancer turning, rising and falling through time and space.
  • In the second set, the dancer using rhythm and percussion (mridang), weaves magic through the sense of touch. The fingers drumming the two faces of the percussion instrument, at times gently, at times with force; create sounds that reverberate through body and mind.
  • In the final set, the dancer moves in step to complex compositions (tarana) of auspicious words and melody; as audience, through their sense of hearing, gets immersed in the ocean of sounds.

Sapta, therefore, is a celebration of time that invigorates the senses, using the diversity and traditions Manipuri Classical Dance. Concurrently, ‘Sapta’ turns into a medium (of time) for the preservation of this classical dance form.

Sanjib Bhattacharya is a renowned dancer, choreographer and teacher; who has won numerous awards across the world, including Appreciation awards by the Presidents of India in 2006 and 2011. He has trained professionally in both Manipuri Classical and Contemporary Indian Dance techniques under world-renowned dance icons like Guru Bipin Singh, Padmasree Darshana Jhaveri, Kalavati Devi, Manjushree Chaki Sircar and Mamata Shankar. In addition to giving stage performances, Sanjib has collaborated with dancers and choreographers trained in various dance forms from around the world to create many landmark productions. Currently based in the United States; Sanjib Bhattacharya is the Artistic Director of Movements in Motion; where he continues to teach, perform and collaborate.

Jagannath Lairenjam started training in Pung (Manipuri drum) under Guru Mani Singh from the age of 8. From 1979 to 2000 he lived, trained, and performed with various gurus in Manipur and Kolkata including Guru Bipin Singh. He has performed across the world as Sankirtan accompanist on Pung Cholom. His key performances include at the Ratha Yatra (Puri), India Lokranga Festival, (Jaipur), Sana Leibak Festival (Mumbai) and Khajuraho Festival (Uttar Pradesh) and at various events in the US.

Kavya Ganesh Contemporary Bharatanatyam

Kavya Ganesh

Kavya Ganesh is a passionate Bharatanatyam dancer and a disciple of Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee Smt. Rama Vaidyanathan. Dedicated to her craft from a very young age, she brings rhythm and grace to her dance.

She has performed across India, USA and Europe in solo performances as well as group works with her teacher’s ensemble. Some of her notable performances include Konark festival, NCPA Mumbai’s Mudra Festival, Natyanjali festival, Esplanade Singapore, SWEAT festival Hong Kong, and many more.

She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Literature and the Performing Arts at Ashoka University, Haryana, India and is also selected for the ‘Conservatory for Actors’ drama program at Yale University in the summer of 2022.

Ananya Chatterjee Group contemporary

Ananya Photo by Canaan Mattson

They were dying like fish, and we rose like tigers (a preview excerpt from Nün Gherāo, Salt Water Stories)

Taking the 1978-79 heinous massacre of refugees from Bangladesh on Marichjhapi Island in West Bengal, India, as its point of departure, this work explores dispossession, betrayal, exile, resistance, memory, and the struggle to hold on to those who we have lost. In the circular structure of this work, the artists converge to energize close formations, but repeatedly dissolve them, suggesting the fierce desperation of global resistance movement, fighting against many odds.

The last moments of the work, imagined as a circle of ritual destruction, activates liminal spaces where the salt waters of our tears meet the rising and warming oceans of our world.

The work is choreographed in Ananya Dance Theatre's, Yorchhā. In Yorchhā, movement principles of Odissi, Mayurbhanj Chhau, and Vinyasa yoga intersect and remix to articulate a contemporary feminist consciousness. where movement principles of Odissi, Mayurbhanj Chhau, and Vinyasa yoga intersect and remix to articulate a contemporary feminist consciousness.

Ananya Dance Theatre is a professional ensemble of BIPOC women and femme artists who believe in the transformative power of dance and identify as cultural activists. Their work electrifies on the intersectional frontiers of artistic excellence, social justice, and community-embedded practice. In dancing stories where the lives and dreams of women from the global majority occupy the center, they shift the landscape of mainstream culture, build understanding about arts and social justice, and empower women's voices. Ananya Dance Theatre's Shawngrām Institute for Performance and Social Justice is located in St. Paul, Minnesota. Ananya Dance Theatre was named a Regional Cultural Treasure through a joint initiative of the Ford Foundation and McKnight Foundation in 2021.

Concept & Choreography: Ananya Chatterjea
Score: Spirit McIntyre (recorded and live)
Stage direction: Marcus Young
Costumes: Annie Cady
Scenography: Chelsea Warren
Filmography: Darren Johnson

Performers: Ananya Chatterjea, Kealoha Ferreira, Alexandra Eady, Parisha Rajbhandari, Lizzette Chapa, Noelle Awadallah, Alexis Araminta Renee, Spirit McIntyre.

Bhavana Reddy Solo Kuchipudi, Narasimhavataram

Bhavana Reddy

Hiranyakashyapu, a demon king worshiper of Shiva, underwent severe austerities and sought a boon from Brahma, to be unvanquishable by any weapon, by any man or animal, inside or outside, by day or by night. With this boon Hiranyakshyapa grew powerful and fearless bringing his tyranny over men and gods alike, who had fallen victim to his actions. One fateful day, a devotee of Vishnu was born to Hiranyakashyapa and despite his many efforts, son Prahlada did not leave the path of Vishnu. Father grew tired and challenged him “Where is this god of yours?” He questioned. “If he truly exists let him come forth and save you!” Lord Vishnu then appeared as neither man nor animal, at even time (neither day nor night and neither inside nor outside. He emerged from within a pillar with nails as his weapon and appeared as Narasimha, the man-lion. He disemboweled Hiranyakshyapu, drank his blood and wore his entrails around his neck as jandhyamu (sacred thread).

Prahlada is crowned King by Narasimha himself, who gives him boons and blesses him to reign happily for a thousand years. Lord Vishnu once again restores hope and his devotees celebrate the triumph of good over evil.

Bhavana Reddy, internationally acclaimed young Kuchipudi Indian Classical Dancer. Nearing three decades, her career started at the tender age of 4 under her illustrious parents Dr.s Raja Radha Reddy. Los Angeles Times review headlined “Indian Classical Soloists Stand Out” mentioned “The Reddys’ 8-year-old daughter, Bhavana, made her mark, displaying a budding ability to mesmerize in her own solo.” - Jennifer Fisher. As a solo performing artiste she has presented workshops and concerts for prestigious organisations, Embassies and Consulates of India across the world including Germany, Singapore, Sydney, San Francisco, Spic Macay, Temple of Fine Arts Malaysia, Indonesia, National Museum Copenhagen, Kennedy Center Washington DC, Mudra Festival NCPA, Mumbai Sanskriti Festival, Kalidas Samaroh Nagpur, Yagnaraman Festival Krishnagana Sabha. She founded Natya Tarangini International Institution for Kuchipudi Dance training dedicated students under her. Some collaborative highlights include - the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra’s, ‘Rite of Spring’ with Kitty Mcnamee at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Currently she is on tour in Europe as the ‘Artist-in-Residence’ choreographing with Leo Spreksel for India Dans Festival, Korzo Netherlands, and with Prof. Ronan Guilfoyle, Director School of Jazz Performance, Dublin City University, Ireland.

Indo-American Arts Council

presents

Sunday Aug 7, 7-9PM, In-Person
Ailey Citigroup Theatre

Ticketed event, with special pricing for artists and students

Jin Won Andaaz, Kathak, with live music

Jin-Won

Andaaz is an immersive exploration of Rhythm and dance. A sonic and visual endeavor alternating between two different Rhythm cycles, 5.5 beats / 16 beats, "Andaaz" explores the subtle movements through contemporary and traditional dance forms of Kathak to portray a beautiful visual canvas.

Jin Won: Praised by the NY Times as "an exuberant dancer whose musicality transform[s] her dancing into something primal, "a dancer and percussionist, Jin Won is a one-of-a-kind artist in Indian performing arts who explores the visual possibilities of rhythm and sonic through dance and music.

An accomplished Kathak dancer and tabla player of South Korean origin, she spent over 15 years in India training in Indian classical percussion and dance under Pandit Divyang Vakil and Shrimati Shubha Desai, respectively. As artistic director of Pradhanica Dance and Music Company, Jin has created, choreographed, and starred in various ensembles that have performed in esteemed venues across North America and taught master classes and workshops in many performing arts institutes.

Micheal Luckshis ( Tabla ): Classical Tabla soloist and accompanist Mike Lukshis has established himself as a leading performer in the NYC area, in addition to extensive touring of North America and India. He has been studying exclusively with renowned Tabla composer and Guru, Pandit Divyang Vakil, in an intimate Gurukul style of training. He is also a full time teacher and manager of the Taalim School of Indian Music, serving diverse communities around NYC and NJ.

Martha Mooke ( Electric Viola ): Martha Mooke, acclaimed for her electrifying performances and compositions, is a pioneering electric violist/composer, highly regarded for her artistry, music advocacy, and innovative educational programs. A Yamaha Artist and Eventide’s first Artist in Residence, Mooke is a leading clinician on electric and multi-style string playing. She has performed with Barbra Streisand, David Bowie, Philip Glass, Elton John, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Laurie Anderson, Andrea Bocelli, Star Wars in Concert, and Tony Bennett among others. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Scorchio Quartet (featured on David Bowie’s Heathen CD) which performs as a resident quartet in the Tibet House Benefit Concerts at Carnegie Hall produced by Philip Glass. Mooke received the prestigious ASCAP Concert Music Award for creating and producing ASCAP's new music showcase THRU THE WALLS featuring boundary defying composer/performers. Mooke is the Founding Director of the cutting edge, Multi-Style Strings program at New Jersey City University.

Alvin Ailey Saa Magni

AileyII-2022-Logo

Saa Magni choreographed by Yannick Lebrun and performed by Meagan King and Christopher Taylor

Yannick Lebrun (Cayenne, French Guiana) began training in his native country at the Adaclam School under the guidance of Jeanine Verin. After graduating high school in 2004, he moved to New York City to study at The Ailey School as a scholarship student.

Mr. Lebrun has performed works by choreographers Troy Powell, Debbie Allen, Scott Rink, Thaddeus Davis, Nilas Martins, Dwight Rhoden, and Francesca Harper. He was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2011, and, in 2013, France-Amérique magazine highlighted him as one of the 50 most talented French in the United States. In November 2016 Mr. Lebrun was a guest performer with The Royal Ballet in Wayne McGregor’s Chroma. Mr. Lebrun was a member of Ailey II and joined the Company in 2008.

“Saa Magni” from the album Ko Sira, published by World Circuit Records.

Ailey II is universally renowned for merging the spirit and energy of the country’s finest dance talent with the passion and creative vision of today’s outstanding and emerging choreographers. Founded by Alvin Ailey, the company embodies his pioneering mission to establish an extended cultural community that provides dance performances, training, and community programs for all people. Since its 1974 inception, Ailey II has flourished into one of the most popular modern dance companies, combining a rigorous touring schedule with extensive community outreach programs. With new artistic director Francesca Harper at the helm, she brings fresh perspectives to Mr. Ailey’s legacy, while nurturing creative voices and propelling the company forward.

Meagan King

Meagan-KingPhoto by Nir Arieli

Meagan King (Brooklyn, NY) graduated magna cum laude from the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program, receiving the Glorya Kaufman Scholarship. She has been featured in Dance Spirit magazine, the TODAY Show and at the Holland Dance Festival. Ms. King was a student at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. She was the 2019 and 2020 BLOCH Ailey Young Artist. She is also an alumna of the 2018 Contemporary Program at Jacob’s Pillow. Ms. King has choreographed for the Color Me Beautiful production in Virginia and LaGuardia High School’s 2021 senior graduation dance concert. This is her second season with Ailey II.

Christopher Taylor

Christopher-TaylorPhoto by Nir Arieli

Christopher Taylor (Newark, NJ) is a graduate of Arts High School. He began his dance training at age 11 in The Ailey School Junior Division. He also attended AileyCamp Newark’s summer program, and later studied as a scholarship student in The Ailey School Professional Division. Mr. Taylor has performed at the Apollo Theater, Lincoln Center, and in Ailey’s New York City Center galas. This is his second season with Ailey II.

Choreography by Yannick Lebrun
Music by Oumou Sangaré*
Female Costume design by Grace Yeboah Ofori
Male Costume design by Jermaine Terry
Lighting design by Abby May

Mythili Prakash Contemporary Bharatanatyam, with live music

Mythili Prakash

Poo | Poo
[flower] | [shit]
Polarity. Co-existence. Singularity.

Lingering between past and present, global and local, sacred and worldly, stylized and pedestrian, structure and fluidity, Poo | Poo negotiates the weight of past and tradition through the freedom of our bodies and voices today in the re-imagining of a traditional myth--the dance-off between Shiva and Kali

Mythili Prakash (Concept, Choreography, Dance) is one of the most celebrated and respected Bharatanatyam dancer/choreographers today. Her unique repertoire is an embodiment of narratives of the many worlds that shape her. Trained by her mother Viji Prakash and currently mentored by iconic dancers Malavika Sarukkai and Akram Khan, Mythili began her performing career with her solo debut in India at the age of eight and has since performed extensively and toured her own solo productions worldwide. She is recipient of numerous accolades from premiere institutions of Dance and Music in India. Her collaborations span a breadth of artists including Sitar player Anoushka Shankar, India-based Director/ playwright Gowri Ramnarayan, and her brother/vocalist Aditya Prakash.

She worked with director Ang Lee, as a choreography assistant and played the role of Pi’s wife in his award-winning film Life of Pi. Nominated by celebrated dancer/choreographer Akram Khan as “choreographer of the future” for UK-based Dance Umbrella’s “Four by four commissions,” Mythili premiered her solo work “HERE and NOW” at their 2019 Festival. She is a principal dancer in Akram Khan Company’s currently touring “Outwitting the Devil.” She is a recipient of the National Dance Project touring Grant for her work “She’s Auspicious,” which previewed in November 2021 at the Reflektor Festival curated by Anoushka Shankar at the Elbphilharmonie, in Hamburg Germany. She is also a recipient of the Sky Art’s Artists Development program in collaboration with Akram Khan Company, in support of the development of her current work Poo | Poo.

Aditya Prakash Vocal, Sound Design

Aditya

Aditya Prakash (vocal, sound design), a Los Angeles based award-winning vocalist known for his powerful and emotive voice, is one of the foremost virtuosos of Karnatik music. At only 16 years of age, he became one of the youngest musicians ever to tour and perform with sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, accompanying him to such prestigious stages as Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl and Disney Concert Hall. Aditya has collaborated with a diverse range of innovative artists, including Anoushka Shankar, Tigran Hamasyan, Karsh Kale, Mythili Prakash and Akram Khan.

Aditya founded the eclectic music group, Aditya Prakash Ensemble, which creates a space for dialogue between Karnatik and jazz.

Rajna Swaminathan Percussion, Sound Design

Rajna

Rajna Swaminathan is an acclaimed mrudangam artist, composer, and scholar. Her artistic trajectory blossomed through a search for resonance and fluidity among musical forms and aesthetic worlds. She leads the ensemble RAJAS, writing expansive, boundary breaking music for herself and like-minded improvisers, spanning multiple musical approaches

As a composer, Rajna has received commissions from the LA Phil, Chamber Music America New Jazz Works, and Bang On A Can Marathon, among others. She holds a PhD in Music from Harvard University, and is currently an Assistant Professor of Music at UC Irvine's Claire Trevor School of the Arts.

Ganavya Doraiswamy Vocal and Sound Design

Ganavya

Ganavya Doraiswamy (vocal and sound design) is a transdisciplinary scholar, vocalist, word-craftswoman and double-bassist. recent credits include: this body is so impermanent... (2021) directed by Peter Sellars, featuring ganavya (solo voice, composition), Ch.7: The Goddess (2019) directed by Peter Sellars, Daughter of a Temple (2019), a sound installation composed for the 13th Bienale de Habana; singer and lead researcher with Esperanza Spalding on the Grammy- nominated album Songwrights Apothecary Lab (2021), contributing writer for Iphigenia by Wayne Shorter and Esperanza Spalding, writer/singer of first Tamil lyrics to win a Latin Grammy award (2020), vocalist in Vijay Iyer’s Ritual Quartet, album and touring solo vocalist on the Quincy Jones’ produced Tocororo which hit #1 in jazz charts.

Her fellowships include Civitella Ranieri Foundation and the Camargo Foundation. Her publications include written guide for the Songwrights Apothecary Lab album, shards of ether, a collection of 101 short essays for John Zorn’s Arcana: Musicians on Music series; [ ]: on the Form behind form, an analysis on repetition in music, for Journal on Mutual Mentorship for Musicians. Her graduate degrees in music are from Berklee College of Music (contemporary performance) UCLA (ethnomusicology) and Harvard University (Creative Practice and Critical Inquiry). Recently, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Cynthia Mitchell Center for the Arts.

Sushma Somasekharan Vocal, Sound Design

Sushma

Sushma Somasekharan (Vocal, sound design) is an award-winning Carnatic Vocalist based in Singapore and Chennai. She most recently received the coveted Young Artist Award in Singapore, the highest honour for young artists. Sushma has performed in several prestigious organisations including Madras Music Academy, Esplanade Theatres by the Bay Singapore, Indian Embassy Brussels amongst others. Sushma is also a lecturer at the National Institute of Education, Singapore where she hopes to introduce and inspire students to learn more about Carnatic Music.


Mike Faba Lighting Design

Mike Faba (lighting design) is a Lighting Designer and Production Manager for dance, theater, and events. Recent design credits include The Return of the Jinkx and DeLa Holiday Show Live!, and All I Want For Christmas is Attention (BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon) international tour, Beyond Ballet (Sara Mearns) at Jacob's Pillow, No. 1 (Wang Ramirez & Sara Mearns) at New York City Center, Spectral Preludes (Tom Gold Dance) at Florence Gould Hall, Wednesday Morning, 11:45 (Pilobolus) at Skirball, Marksman (Kate Weare) at The Joyce and the Guggenheim, and Unstruck (Kate Weare) at BAM Fisher. Event design work includes Life Is Beautiful Festival, as well as PatBO and MONSE for NYFW (Rob Ross Design).

Lighting Supervisor credits include Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Mark Morris Dance Group, Paul Taylor American Modern Dance, Camille A. Brown & Dancers, Wang Ramirez, Pilobolus, Martha Clarke, and Radiolab Live: In The Dark. Mike is also the Production Manager and Artist's Assistant for Kurt Perschke's RedBall Project, the world's longest-running public art piece.

Indo-American Arts Council

presents

Aug 8 2022, Virtual
Watch LIVE on   
Facebook.com  |  YouTube.com 

Introduction by Subhalakshmi, Amjad Ali Khan

Tanya Saxena Solo Bharatanatyam

Tanya-Saxena

‘Bindu’ is a movement film inspired by artist S.H. Raza, made in collaboration with the Raza Foundation.

Sayed Haider Raza was an icon of Modern Indian art. Using colour and geometrical form, his work is known for mapping the inner landscape of the mind. Deeply inspired by nature, he played a pivotal role in paving the way for a new artistic order - challenging tradition and celebrating the plurality and secularism of a newly independent India.‘Bindu’ is an interpretation of his painting 'Prakriti' through film, dance and sound.

In his painting Raza explores the very building blocks of the natural world, breaking them down into vivid colours and simple geometrical shapes. This treatment is mirrored in the language of the film. There is a recurring theme of the ‘Bindu’ - the singularity. The artist sees this everywhere, and indeed as the start of nature itself - the very source of life. If a man could see the entire universe in a little dot, it begs the question - how can we challenge the scope of our imaginations - connecting the dots to understand the nature of the world we inhabit?

Tanya Saxena is a Bharatanatyam dancer based in Delhi, India. She has studied the art form extensively under renowned Gurus Saroja Vaidyanathan, Rama Vaidyanathan, Kamalini Dutt and A. Lakshamanswamy; with allied training in Carnatic music, nattuvangam and theatre. Tanya has performed across the world; relishing the opportunity to create inter-disciplinary work. Some of her notable performances include 'Les Flutes Enchantes' commissioned and presented by Alliance Francaise, 'Yami' performed at Sangeet Natak Akademi Thrissur, performances & workshops at Indiana University and a performance for the Bangladeshi delegation to India at the Office of the Indian President (Rashtrapati Bhawan). Tanya holds a Master's in Performing Arts, is an empanelled artist with the ICCR and an A-Graded artist of Doordarshan, India. She strongly believes that art should be enjoyed by everyone, and particularly loves performing and conducting workshops for children with the non-profit Spicmacay and Kalaakaar Collective. Tanya teaches dance at her studio in Gurgaon, India.

Tanveer Alam, Leher, Solo Kathak

TanveerAlam Photo by Devansh Jhaveri

Tanveer Alam (Toronto, Canada) started his Kathak training with Sudeshna Maulik and continues the nuances of the form with guru Sandhya Desai. Alam is a graduate in Western Contemporary dance from The School of Toronto Dance Theatre’s Professional Training Program (2019). Alam has performed in the works of Pt. Birju Maharaj, Lata Pada,  Rina Singha, Janak Khendy, Padmini Chettur, Brandy Leary, Peter Chin, Harikishan S. Nair, and Sashar Zarif to name a few. An emerging choreographer, he has been presented at SummerWorks Festival, Battery Dance Festival +, CanAsian Dance Festival: Grit Short Dances, and Tangente to name a few. Alam has been supported by The Canada Council for the Arts, Toronto Arts Council, and Ontario Arts Council. Recently, he presented The Tagore Project (co-choreographed by Atri Nundy), at Tangente and Sampradaya Dance Creations. Across the 21/22 season, he was a curated artist of the Sadhana Project Residency by Anandam Dancetheatre, and will be presenting a new commissioned solo as a part The National Ballet of Canada’s Sharing The Stage programming. Through his work, he hopes to carry forward the depth of Kathak and its constant evolution while remaining rooted in the aesthetics of the form.

Leher (waves in Urdu), a solo choreographed by Tanveer Alam examines Kathak aesthetics, techniques, and how they create meaning within the slow tempo of Kathak (Vilambit Laya). Through this work, the dancer unfolds the various movement possibilities that can occur from embodying the waves of a waterbody. The work is anchored by the Kathak repertoire structure of Thaat in which the dancer uses transitional movements to establish a variety of poses while holding the unhurried musicality of the Laya. Choreographically, Leher proposes waves of thinking on the Kathak vocabulary, as well as movement expressions of the waves themselves - flowing, expansive, and contained. In relation to the theme of this year, Leher emerged as a quiet response to this time and context of massive upheaval that we have all experienced since the pandemic. In its essence - the work is patient, intimate and explores the medium of time as a choreographic tool in itself. The expansiveness of time is explored through Leher.

Choreography and performance: Tanveer Alam
Music: Gurumurthy Vaidya
Dramaturgy: Harikishan S. Nair

Subastian Tan/MDT Dance Theatre, modern duet

Subastian Tan/MDT

Created in 2021 in the midst of the pandemic, this piece by Maya Dance Theatre (MDT) explores the body's relation to geometric spaces, internally and externally. Choreographed by Liz Lea (Canberra, Australia) working with Kavitha Krishnan (Artistic Director, MDT) and principal dancers Shahrin Johry and Subastian Tan, shapes in the body align and interact with lines in the spaces. Founded in 2007, Maya Dance Theatre (MDT) is a non-profit professional dance theatre company that has carved out a niche for itself in the Singapore dance scene by creating works with social consciousness and sharing social stories. Pivoted on a social theme, each multi-disciplinary production encourages meaningful conversation with audiences and artists.

MDT has received the SEED Grant from National Arts Council, Singapore (NAC) from 2012-2015 and is recognized as a Citizen Ambassador of Singapore International Foundation (SIF) for promoting Arts for Good. Our contemporary dance expression is stemmed from Asian dance traditions and philosophy, primarily Bharathanatayam (Indian Classical Dance) and helmed by artistic director and resident choreographer/trainer, Kavitha Krishnan. In 2020, MDT created works for digital space to continue their art making and practice despite the uncertainties due to the pandemic conditions.

Mythili Anoop Bird of Time, Mohiniyattam solo

Mythili Anoop

Bird of Time: The clock of our breath ticks away and stops arbitrarily, and in the space between the beginning and the end, lie many songs of beauty; the songs sung by the bird of time: songs of glory, joy, sorrow, struggle, hope and peace. Where does the bird learn these songs from? From the blowing forests, the laughter of new brides, the mother’s prayers, the heart’s despair, the sob of hate, the pride of victory, and the eternal silence of death. Inspired by Sarojini Naidu’s poem, ‘The Bird of Time’, this work presents an assortment of life’s dramatic moments which ultimately ends in silence.

The theme unfolds as a dialogue between the human caught in time and the bird which exists in a realm beyond time. However, the bird’s songs of eternal wisdom, the varied rhythms it sings for the various emotions and situations in life are learnt from the realm of the mortal. Before, the ticking of breath is eternally silenced, the body dances to the many songs of life. It is these songs that give life its beauteous hues, which is otherwise merely a collection of mechanical moments marked by the tick of the clock. Mythili Anoop is an ICCR empanelled artist, absorbed in Mohiniyattam for over two decades. Undergoing advanced training under Guru Kalamandalam Kshemavathy and Guru Sadanam Balakrishnan, Mythili has also learnt briefly at Nalanda and Shruthilaya in Mumbai, and was a student of Smt Gopika Varma for many years. Her learning also took her to Natanakairali, where she completed four phases of Navarasasadhana workshop under Guru G Venu and continues to learn Abhinaya and the Desi repertoire from Guru Nirmala Paniker. ‘Moham Attakalari’ is an institute in Hyderabad initiated by Mythili and she was felicitated by the Telangana Sangeet Natak Academy in 2020 for her efforts in promoting the dance in Telangana. Mythili’s own repertoire includes Telugu pieces, verses from Kalidasa, Sufi compositions, and Kathakali Sthreevesham Padams, and the group production Prem Raqs Rasa supported by the Telangana Culture Department. Recognitions she has received include Padmavathy Puraskar, Yuva Kalaratna and Amrapali Award. Major solos were at IIC (Delhi), Nalanda Nrityotsav, SICA and Kalasaagaram (Hyderabad), the CORD annual conference 2012 (Alburquerque), Kinkini and Indradhanush Dilli. Her doctorate from IIT Bombay in the Semiotics of Mohiniyattam led to publications such as Mohiniyattam: A Language of Feminine Desire and Scripting Dance in Contemporary India.

Deepali Salil 5 Dancers, Animals, Contemporary Bharatanatyam

Deepali Salil

“Animals” is a part of our larger work LOOKING WITHIN LOOKING AROUND. It is a dance film which urges the audience to “LOOK WITHIN” them and “LOOK AROUND” them. In our film “animals” the viewers are made to look around them. It focusses on how it's high time we become more aware of all the other beings that inhabit this planet with us. By taking four animals; Gazelle, Hyena, Orca and Sarus Crane, which are not much explored by Indian Classical Dancers. We wanted to renew the connection with our animal kingdom and develop that connection into care and compassion because the only way forward is together. Conserving and living sustainably needs to become a lifestyle.

Looking Within Looking Around is created by a team of artists from all over India. It is conceptualised by Deepali Salil.
“ANIMALS” is choreographed and performed by Bharatanatyam dancers
Nilava Sen as Gazelle
Shubhamani Chandrashekar as Orca
Athul Balu as Hyena
Deepali Salil as Sarus Crane
Original music composition – Sanchit Choudhary
Sponsored by Sundari Silks India

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.

Press Coverage

Erasing Borders Dance Festival 2022 - Videos


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