IHCA-NJ announces its “Unique Dance Festival” Nritya Darpan

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Nritya Darpan poster. Photo: courtesy IHCA-NJ

Indian Heritage & Cultural Association-NJ (www.IHCA-NJ.com) a nonprofit organization based in New Jersey, announced it is hosting a unique dance festival Nritya Darpan, on December 10th, 2022, at New Brunswick Performing Arts Center in New Brunswick, NJ at 6:00 pm.

The event celebrates emerging contemporary and classical artists from the Indian diaspora. IHCA also has a platform, Natya Darpan which has been presenting short plays of high quality dealing with social issues.

This is IHCA-NJ’s first ever dance festival where six multi-talented U.S.-based dance companies will be performing high quality dance dramas using various Indian classical dance forms such as Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Manipuri and Odissi along with Western dance styles, a December 5, 2022, press release from the organization said.

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The concept of Nritya Darpan is developed by the Founder and the President of IHCA-NJ, Dr. Ashok Chaudhary, to promote exceptionally talented local artists and dance groups and to bring communities together to discuss various social issues through performing arts.

The audience gets to see dance dramas through amalgamation of many dance styles showcasing teamwork, talent and community spirit to make a positive contribution to the community to discuss various social issues like women’s empowerment, mental health, human trafficking, LGBTQ+ etc.

This year six short dance dramas were selected by curators Maya Kulkarni-Chheda and Karen Greenspan from a large pool of entries from across the United States.

They also have Odissi soloist, Dr. Kaustavi Sarkar, an assistant professor, accomplished Odissi dancer, teacher and writer on Indian classical dances who will present along with her group, ‘DanceNCommunity’ Ensemble including two items — Sama: Equanimity and Equity and Sama: Equality.   In the 2nd part, she will be presenting a solo piece, ‘An Impossible Romance’, a love affair between a cloud and lightning.

Sonali Skandan, a dancer, choreographer and the artistic director of Jiva Dance will be presenting works based on Bharatanatyam titled ‘Elements’ which explores the concept of the ‘Pancha Maha Bhoota’, or the five primordial elements, as the impact of climate change and human destruction shift the balance of nature.

Ishita Mili Bengali American director and choreographer, trained extensively in Bharatanatyam, hip hop, street styles, and chhau, will also be presenting her work.

Dr. Krishnakali Dasgupta brings to the stage more than 30 years of involved training, performing & choreography work in Classical Manipuri and will be presenting ‘The Wild Swans’, a concise dramatization of Hans Christian Anderson’s -The Wild Swans.

Kathak exponent Shila Mehta is scheduled to perform an emotive storytelling layered within Kathak dance movements to choreograph ‘Nimitta’ which aims to give a voice to the issue of gender bias, and challenge the section of the society that is prejudiced against gender preferences.

Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Aalokam Bharathi Penneswaran of New York will be presenting Aval Kali. Kali represents the most unbridled form of nature and the feminine. As both mother and destroyer, her very existence is beyond human ideas of morality.

The IHCA-NJ is a volunteer based nonprofit cultural organization founded in 2013.

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