Dancing the Gods: Night Two - Rama Vaidyanathan (solo Bharatanatyam)
Our annual Dancing the Gods festival of Indian Dance celebrates its 13th year, featuring some of the leading performers of Indian dance. Each night begins with a slide presentation by Rajika Puri, festival curator and acclaimed dance storyteller.
Sunday, May 12, 2024
Doors: 7 PM | Lec Dem by Curator Rajika Puri: 7:15 PM | Performance: 8 PM
Asia Society – 725 Park Avenue, Manhattan
Tickets: $35 | $45 | $55 – Tickets will go on sale soon
Night Two: Rama Vaidyanathan (solo Bharatanatyam)
Rama Vaidyanathan is one of the foremost Bharatanatyam dancers of her generation and is also the recipient of the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Puraskar awarded by the central government of India. Her technique is grounded in tradition, yet she brings a fresh approach to her choreography that is evident in the innumerable dance compositions she has added to the Bharatanatyam repertoire. As Director of Ganesa Natyalaya New Delhi, she is actively engaged in teaching and nurturing young dancers, inspiring a whole new generation. Rama opened the very first Dancing the Gods festival in 2011.
About Festival Curator and Presenter Rajika Puri
Rajika Puri performed internationally in solo recitals of Bharatanatyam and Odissi for several years, before she was launched into western theatre by Julie Taymor in Lincoln Center Theater’s “The Transposed Heads”. The success of that role encouraged her to develop a form of danced storytelling she calls ‘Sutradhari Natyam’ in which she intersperses an English narration with excerpts from dances, spoken rhythms and chants as well as songs in Indian languages. In her full-length work: ‘Eleni of Sparta’ or ‘Helen of Troy’, she even sings in ancient Greek. Rajika has performed all over Latin America, Europe, Malaysia, the US and India; in New York, at the Asia Society and Ailey Theatres.
Kuchipudi is a dance form rooted in the theatrical and dance traditions of Andhra Pradesh, named for the village – also known as Kuchelapuram – where it originated. Traditionally it was performed by troupes of male actor-dancers who presented full-length plays, often lasting all night, to celebrate festivals dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Alongside this tradition developed a solo form, which is today popular around the world.