World Music Institute Presents the 3rd Annual DANCING THE GODS Festival This Weekend

World Music Institute Presents the 3rd Annual DANCING THE GODS Festival This Weekend

World Music Institute is proud to present the third annual DANCING THE GODS festival, to be held this weekend, April 26 and April 27 at NYU Skirball Center (566 LaGuardia Place). The festival unites four of the world's most talented Indian classical dancers for two spectacular nights of performances and free activities that bring the audience closer to the artists.

Dancing the Gods will showcase three different forms of Indian classical dance: Odissi (Water), the oldest surviving form of Indian dance; Kathak (Sky), a rhythmic dance of elaborate footwork from Northern India; and Bharatanatyam (Flame), a dance requiring sculpturesque poses and the expression of multiple character roles.

Saturday night features a double-bill of RAHUL ACHARYA, who is quickly becoming one of India's most popular dancers, and the venerable and innovative VIDHYA SUBRAMANIAN in a showcase of Odissi and Bharatanatyam. Sunday night pairs the dynamism of Khatak dancer SHAMBHAVI DANDEKAR with "spellbinder" (The New York Times) JANAKI RANGARAJAN, a dancer who breathes new creative life into the classical Bharatanatyam form.

Dancing the Gods 2014

In 2011, World Music Institute launched the annual Dancing the Gods festival, which has since established itself as an essential platform for Indian classical dance in New York City.Dancing the Gods spotlights veteran masters and emerging ones, and has been met with substantial critical acclaim, including a New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) "Outstanding Performer" nomination for Shantala Shivalingappa, and a rave New York Times review for the U.S. premiere of Nrityagram's Samyoga. The Festival's curators areKaren Sander, WMI Executive and Artistic Director, and Rajika Puri, reknowned dancer and storyteller. Performances take place downtown in NYU Skirball Center's beautiful 800-seat theater. In addition to the MainStage events, the Festival offers free activities such as lecture-demonstrations and "Chat & Chai" with the artists.

Saturday, April 26, 2014
8:00 p.m. - Mainstage Performance
7:00 p.m. - Lecture-demonstration on "The Music of Indian Dance" with Rajika Puri
After the show - Chat & Chai discussion with the artists
Known for his pristine musicality and emotive performances, Rahul Acharya returns to New York City after participating in the "Erasing Borders" performance series here last summer. The Odissi tradition is focused on the dancer's love for and unity with the divine, and Acharya's dancing emphasizes the importance of spiritual and physical cohesion within these intricate, nearly impossible poses inspired by Shiva. Sharing this double-bill isVidhya Subramanian, whose modern take on Bharatanatyam tradition has brought her considerable acclaim. Known for her innovative choreography and incredible skill as an interpreter, Subramanian's choreography embraces both the grace and inner fire of Bharatanatyam. Subramanian's performance will include live musical accompaniment.

Sunday, April 27, 2014
7:00 p.m. - Mainstage Performance
6:00 p.m. - Lecture-demonstration on "The Music of Indian Dance" with Rajika Puri
After the show - Chat & Chai discussion with the artists
This evening's double-bill features dances from two different regions of the Indian continent. Shambhavi Dandekar, daughter of the Kathak guru Maneesha Sathe and an impressive performer herself, brings this dynamic dance of northern India to life with her rhythmic precision and fast footwork. Janaki Rangarajan adds to the program her sampling of southern India's Bharatanatyam. Still early in her career, Rangarajan has already been heralded for her captivating performances and the personal flair she brings to the dance's classic figures. Rangarajan's performance will include live musical accompaniment.

Tickets are $35-40; Bring a Kid tickets available for $5. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased through the NYU Skirball Center Box Office, LaGuardia Place between Washington Square South and West 3rd Street,
(212) 998-4941,

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