The O'Shaughnessy Explores India's Many Seasons

The O'Shaughnessy Explores India's Many SeasonsThe O'Shaughnessy presents the premiere of Katha Dance Theatre's Ritusamhara - The Seasons, a dance celebrating the six seasons of India, and Baromase Tero Parbon, which also honors the seasons by depicting some of the 13 festivals within the year. The dynamic dance concert, on stage at 7:30pm on Friday-Saturday, March 2-3, incorporates authentic Kathak dance, as well as Asian Indian poetry, music and costumes of the highest artistic quality. In addition, a free preview matinee for community members and students will be held at 10:30am on Thursday, March 1.

Ritusamhara - The Seasons was inspired by poetry written 17 centuries ago by the great Kalidasa. This romantic, rhythmic story follows a couple's evolving emotions as they journey through the changing seasons. Original music was composed by Sharat Chandra Srivastava, New Delhi, India, and choreography is by Katha Dance Theatre founder and artistic director Rita Mustaphi. Accomplished Kathak dancer Anurag Sharma is paired with Nivedita Sahni, Mukta Sathe and Monica Singh to portray a couple during various seasons. Ritusamhara also includes KDT company dancers - Sarika Haris, Rupa Nair, Anurag Sharma and Rita Mustaphi along with two apprentices, Kamala Nair and Madhulika Srikanth.

Following Ritusamhara will be Baromase Tero Parbon, a collection of dances portraying a few of the traditional festivals that celebrate the 12 months of the Hindu calendar. Baromase Tero Parbon features the talents of dancers from the Minnesota Bengali community.

Kathak dance is the classical dance tradition of Northern India that originated in Hindu temples as a means of portraying epic tales-poetry combined with rhythmic movement, enriched over the centuries through exposure with Indo-Persian cultures. Kathak dance combines lyrical grace, subtle expressions and meaningful hand gestures with physically demanding pirouettes and intricate footwork.

Tickets to Katha Dance Theatre's performance are $15-$29 with discounts for students, seniors, military, MPR, TPT and groups of 10 and more. Tickets can be purchased online at oshag.stkate.edu or contact The O'Shaughnessy Ticket Office at 651-690-6700; open Mon.-Sat. 12-5 p.m. and located on the main campus of St. Catherine University at 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund; by the McKnight Foundation; by Target; and by the generosity of Katha Dance Theatre's private donors. Support for the free student matinee is provided in part by a Saint Paul Culture STAR grant designed to promote economic growth, and strengthen the arts and culture sector of Saint Paul.

ABOUT KATHA DANCE THEATREKatha Dance Theater creates, performs and educates through the performing arts - dance, music, poetry and storytelling. Rooted in Kathak, the classical dance style of North India, Katha Dance Theatre is dedicated to making dance accessible, inclusive and relevant. It enhances the community by bridging diverse cultures and audiences to contribute to life's infinite artistic expressions. Founded by Artistic Director Rita Mustaphi of Crystal in 1987, Katha Dance Theatre is Minnesota's first Asian Indian dance company, boasting a talented roster of professional dancers and an unparalleled repertory. In addition, Katha Dance School enrolls nearly 200 children and teens in yearly dance instruction in the Twin Cities metro.

ABOUT THE O'SHAUGHNESSYLocated on the scenic main campus of St. Catherine University, The O'Shaughnessy is one of the Twin Cities' premiere venues for showcasing the arts. Since opening in 1970, The O'Shaughnessy has presented a dazzling array of both local and national performing arts companies, including the Minnesota Orchestra, The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, James Sewell Ballet, TU Dance, The Indigo Girls, Joan Baez and countless others. In addition, the venue hosts public events, student and community performances and features multicultural programming with an emphasis on dance, music and theater. Known for its dedication to artistic development and collaboration, the venue has premiered over 400 new works by local and national artists. The O'Shaughnessy is the home of the Women of Substance series, which showcases the artistry and innovative work of women, both prominent and emerging in their fields, whose voices need to be heard. oshag.stkate.edu

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