Mandala to Present DANCING KRISHNA, March 19 at Auditorium Theatre

Krishna, a beloved figure of Hindu mythology and culture, emerges on stage through the exploratory sensibility of Mandala's dance artists. In DANCING KRISHNA, the artists interpret the exciting and vivid adventures of Krishna from his childhood through adulthood, meditating on the eternal and universal relevance of his legend.

Krishna's tale mimics a very human life, bringing forth the nuances and beauty of our existence. Through vignettes, the artists bring forth the many shades of our wants and desires and our journeys to achieve them -- and how those journeys can be both playful and heartbreaking.

DANCING KRISHNA is a playful and beautiful collaboration between two forms of Indian classical dance: Bharat Natyam and Kathak. The lyricism, pirouettes, and gliding movements of Kathak offer a contrast to the structure, concision, and geometric delivery of Bharat Natyam. DANCING KRISHNA gracefully merges the two streams; it is a dynamic display of expressive storytelling and dazzling rhythmic patterns. Accompanied by a live ensemble of traditional musicians, the dance artists break apart and meld the two different styles, bearing the harmony and tension of movement through Krishna's story.

In 2015, Mandala South Asian Performing Arts took its first steps. Birthed from the wonderfully innovative and critically acclaimed artistic spirit, Pranita Jain, Mandala is taking a unique approach towards Bharat Natyam education and performance. Supporting the needs of the South Asian diaspora and the artistic community, Mandala hopes to present a form of classical Indian dance that will be accessible, constantly fresh, and progressive. Through exceptional programming and collaboration within the Chicago community, Mandala seeks a diverse team of artists that strive endlessly to reach new audiences. Inspired by Bharat Natyam, Mandala serves to act as an inclusive space for the arts.

DANCING KRISHNA will feature several acclaimed artists as well as emerging talent in the Chicago area. Mandala is the vision of Pranita Jain, an Indian classical dancer, choreographer, company director, curator and producer. After graduating under the tutelage of Padma Vibhushan Sonal Mansingh in New Delhi, Jain began her career as Bharat Natyam artist in India. Since relocating to the United States in 1985, Jain has performed all over the country and in India at significant venues and events. Some of her highlights include: the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah; the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC; Lincoln Center in New York City; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Newark Museum; Jawahar Kala Kendra in Jaipur, India; the prestigious Darpana Academy in Ahemdaabad, India; and the Habitat World Center in New Delhi, India.

Along with performance and education, Jain's work as a choreographer and curator is unprecedented, bringing forth new energy to her efforts in the performing arts. In 2006, she taught and choreographed international pop star Shakira for her performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. Jain has spanned the US presenting one-of-a-kind artists including the electrifying violinist L Subramaniam; the Rajasthani folk group Rupayan; India's foremost dhurpad musicians, the Gundecha Brothers; and Sidi Goma, the Black Sufi's of Gujarat. She continually seeks new influences to inspire and expand her aesthetic. She returns to India annually to connect and exchange ideas with other artists in order to stay current and enrich her knowledge of evolving Indian performance and culture.

Please visit mandalaarts.org for more information about Mandala South Asian Performing Arts.



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