The Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC)’s 11th Erasing Borders Dance Festival was held over three days this past weekend. The festival consisted of two shows in Queens and Manhattan boroughs of New York City and four workshops. The artists came from a variety of dance backgrounds from classical to contemporary.
On September 15th, the main show was held at the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theatre in New York City with inaugural addresses by Sunil Hali, IAAC Executive Director, Dr.Nirmal Mattoo, IAAC Chair, Festival Director Deepsikha Chatterjee and Curator Uttara Coorlawala. The opening performance by Radhe Jaggi, a graduate of Kalakshetra Foundation, disciple of Leela Samson and also daughter of Sadhguru, enthralled the audience with a Bharatnatyam piece Sankara Srigiri choreographed by Leela Samson. This was followed by IndianRaga trio of Isha Parupudi, Swathi Jaisankar and Sophia Salingaros who performed a medley of their works – Shiva Shambho, Mohanakalyani Thillana, Depression and Kaa Vaa Vaa. Brinda Guha brought in her group Kalamandir Dance Company to perform urbanJATRA, a contemporary piece drawing from Kathak & other Indian Classical movements. In Parijat Desai‘s Pardon My Heart, which was the final performance, the choreography weaved together dance with recitation of contemporary verse and with Hindustani khayal and tarana music.
Post performance, the talk back was moderated by Parul Shah, dancer, choreographer and one of the curators at the festival. On the agenda were gender issues and contemporary interpretations as compared to classical dance forms.
Sunil Hali, IAAC Executive Director, noted there was positive feedback about the festival. “The way the community responded to this event leading to a sold out show is very heartening” he said. “We want to grow strength to strength by showcasing the best and finest Indian dance performances to the New York community.” he added.
The IAAC supports all the artistic disciplines in classical, fusion, folk and innovative forms influenced by the arts of India. They work cooperatively with colleagues around the United States to broaden their collective audiences and to create a network for shared information, resources and funding. Their focus is to help artists and art organizations in North America as well as to facilitate artists from India to exhibit, perform and produce their work here. The IAAC is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. For information please visit www.iaac.us.