Kalashraya presents
4th Dance Festival
Kreeger Auditorium
April 30, 2016 Rockville, MD

January 28, 2016

Indian classical dance is not static.  With each generation, dancers push the boundaries of their chosen art forms. The Kalashraya Dance Festival aims to provide a platform for these outstanding performers from around North America to showcase their art.  No labels, just excellence. 

Date: April 30, 2016
Time: 7pm (Seating: 6:30pm)
Venue: Kreeger Auditorium, Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, 6125 Montrose Road, Rockville, Maryland

$20 Adult / $15 Student(with ID) / $10 Child(10 years and under)
10% discount for tickets purchased in advance at http://kalashrayafestival2016.brownpapertickets.com/
(Tickets available starting April 1)
Cash or Check at the Venue – No Credit Cards

Festival Directors: Dr. Janaki Rangarajan and Aneal Krishnamurthy
Info: (kalashrayafestival@gmail.com or 703-282-6359) 

About the artists:
Rajika Puri is a dancer, storyteller and singer. Trained since childhood in two forms of Indian dance – Bharatanatyam and Odissi – Rajika has performed internationally in solo recitals (including a command performance for the President of Mexico). Since she played ‘Narrator / goddess Kali’ in a Lincoln Center Theatre production directed by Julie Taymor (of Lion King on Broadway fame), she began to develop danced stories in which she incorporates not only the songs, chants, and rhythmic syllables of Indian dance music, but also a narration in English. Rajika’s work Eleni of Sparta on ‘Helen of Troy’ commissioned for the Epic Women dance symposium in 2012 for Natya Darshan in Chennai, is sung in ancient Greek, and has been performed in the US (Texas), India, and on tour in South East Asia. 

The co-artist with Rajika will be Sayun Chang - multi-percussionist. New York based, Taiwanese percussionist Sayun Chang’s musical interests range from traditional and contemporary classical to diverse disciplines of world music which has led to collaborations with several chamber ensembles, performances in festivals, like Mostly Mozart and international collaborations with several Taiwanese dance groups.

Rajika Puri

Ramya Ramnarayan

Ramya Ramnarayan: Counted among the leading exponents of Bharatanatyam today, Ramya combines legacy, expertise and experience. A protégé of two exponents of the dance form, SK Rajarathnam Pillai and Kalanidhi Narayanan, Ramya is recognized as a capable performer, choreographer, educator and a torch bearer of this art, who blends tradition with innovation. Ramya is a ‘Kalaimamani’ awardee, is an ICCR empanelled artist and A grade artist of Doordarshan. She has received other awards to mention a few, ‘Nadanamamani’ from Kartik Fine Arts, ‘Nrithya Seva Mani’ from Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana, and the prestigious Artist Fellowship Award for Choreography from National Endowment of Arts USA. Ramya has performed in prestigious venues such as the Madras Music Academy, International Fringe Festival, Asia Society and various festivals throughout the world.

Sudeshna Maulik is one of the most promising Kathak dancers today. Endowed with an electrifying presence, her performances speak of rare intensity and authority. Based in Canada and India she maintains an active performing career that spans North America, Europe and Asia. Sudeshna’s unique art form has been inspired by more than one “gharana” or tradition of Kathak. Her tutelage began at tender age of seven under Pt Chitresh Das. She pursued her passion through training at Bharatiya Kala Kendra and later from Kathak Kendra (New Delhi) with Kathak legend Birju Maharaj as her mentor. She was an integral part of Kadamb’s performing unit (Kumudini Lakhia’s Dance Company), the unique institution for contemporary Kathak.

Sudeshna Maulik

Shipra Avantica Mehrotra

Shipra Avantica Mehrotra is the founder and artistic director of the Avantica Academy of Odissi Dance and is recognized as a rising exponent of Odissi dance. The New York Times described her performance at the 2010 Erasing Borders dance festival as “wholly poetic” and “the truest revelation of dance itself.” With technical virtuosity and evocative abhinaya, Shipra showcases the innate lyricism and theatricality of traditional Odissi while simultaneously revitalizing the dance form with her contemporary perspectives. This balanced approach has earned Shipra prestigious performances across the United States and India, including a 27-city tour of the US with the Orissa Dance Academy in 2013 and solo performances at the First Look Festival at the Asia Society Texas Center in 2012. Initially trained by Dr. Chitra Krishnamurti (Nrityalaya, Washington, DC), Shipra then received her advanced training at the Orissa Dance Academy from the eminent late Guru Gangadhar Pradhan and dancer Guru Aruna Mohanty.