Ektaa Center, Arpana Dance Company present
Dance Conversations 2016
Festival of dance/music from India
September 2 &3, 2016 Irvine, CA

July 23, 2016

“Dance Conversations 2016 - Dancing communities, dancing cities,” a festival of dance and music from India is slated for Friday/Saturday, Sept 2/3 2016 at the Irvine City Hall. Presented by the Ektaa Center, and the Arpana Dance Company, this unique event promises to be an intellectual and artistic treat for anyone interested in World Cultures and Dance.

Building on the successful iteration of Dance Conversations 2 in October 2013 at UCI, this two-day festival will be site specific and interactive and reflect on how artistes shape the city we live in (Irvine, California). Weaving classical and contemporary dance and music of India as a framework to think about artistic citizenship for a range of communities and this includes not just the South Asian community but the diverse communities that make up Irvine.
“This festival will look at the ways in which Indian dance and music makes meaning in the twenty first century. Rather than being relegated to the margins and/or dismissed as irrelevant “traditional” forms, Indian dance and music continually refresh themselves even while keeping an eye on their past,” says Priya Srinivasan, PhD, co-convener of this one-of-a-kind festival along with Ramya Harishankar (Artistic Director, Irvine based Arpana Dance Company, recipient of OC Arts Helene Modjeska Cultural Legacy awardee & 2 time NEA Choreographic fellow).      
Co conveners, Harishankar and Srinivasan will choreograph a piece titled WALKING IN ORANGE bringing together dance students from Irvine Valley College and Orange Coast College (with various dance backgrounds including contemporary/ modern/ postmodern/ jazz/ ballet) and Arpana Dance Company (with Indian dance training, both traditional and contemporary) to create a collaborative piece that will reflect this idea of community and its intersection with the city. They will also perform the US premiere of their acclaimed multimedia interdisciplinary performance “Sweating Saris”, combining traditional dances in postmodern contexts with text, multimedia, dance and music. They will be assisted by the renowned choreographer Susan Rose, Prof Emeritus, Dance Dept. Univ. of California, Riverside, CA.

 “Being a 30+ year resident of Irvine and having taught 3 generations of students, my dream is to create a community that truly reflects the many diverse groups that make up our city and that rich cultural landscape would make it truly world class,” says Harishankar. This is the third such event that she has spearheaded under the banner of the Ektaa Center, the nonprofit cultural entity she co-founded.

A panel on WRITING IN DANCE will be hosted on Friday, Sept 2, 2016 featuring writers and editors from local, national and international magazines/newspapers - V. Ramnarayan (Editor, Sruti magazine on Indian Arts and Culture, India), Mallika Rao (writer, Huffington Post, NY) and Paul Hodgins (writer, OC Register, CA). The festival is open to the public at no charge. SWEATING SARIS is ticketed at $20 (advance purchase) and $30 (at the door) and can be purchased at https://arpana.booktix.com/

Schedule of events, tickets and registration for the panel for “Dance Conversations 2016” are available at www.ektaacenter.org

For more details, email info@ektaacenter.org  or call (949) 300-8912.

This event is a private reservation and is not endorsed or sponsored by the City of Irvine.

This project is partially supported by a grant from the California Arts Council’s Local Impact Program. The Center has also received support from PIMCO Foundation and the Darbari Sheth Foundation. The Ektaa Center, located in Irvine, is a multiuse space and presenting organization committed to promoting awareness and understanding of the arts and culture of India.