VASANT: Classical and Contemporary Dances for Spring
WHAT: Vasant concert will provide the audience with a kaleidoscope of Indian dance in the classical styles of Odissi, Mohini Attam, Folk Idioms of animal movements with masks, dance drama genre of movement specific to narrative songs and poems in India. A new composition on the Cello with poetry will also be on the playbill.
WHERE: Bowker Auditorium, UMass Amherst
WHEN: June 10, 2012 at 3PM
CONTACT: Admission: $20, $15; 12 & under: $7 - Tickets at the Fine Arts Center Box office 1-800-545-2511
For Immediate Release:
A Marvelous Opportunity for our fundraising efforts. Help us reach our Goal of $3500!
A local donor who wishes to remain anonymous has offered to match dollar for dollar the amount we raise for our upcoming concert on June 10. We are excited and feel that with this help our goal can indeed be reached. Your help in spreading the word among friends and workers is critical to our success. Please be as generous as you can but any amount is appreciated and better still your donation will be doubled. Show your support for Nataraj and Indian dance.
Nataraj Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 non- profit organization and your donation is tax deductible.
Make check payable to Nataraj Inc. PO Box 60, Hadley, MA 01035
Nataraj, a celebrated dance company in Massachusetts will present its annual Spring concert of classical and contemporary dance showcasing the choreography of Guru Ranjanaa Devi, guest artists and pieces choreographed by its senior students. A vital presence in the Pioneer Valley for thirty years, Nataraj is a remarkable dance and education organization that has consistently created platforms for dialogues through movement to provide understanding of cultures around the globe, thus bridging the east and the west. The company maintains a clear identity in the work they present, which is known for its lyrical and graceful choreography while containing a strong core of movement vocabulary. The dance company has won wide acclaim and appreciation in their performances in educating audiences about the richness and diversity of dance traditions in India.
Special fund raising concert for Japanese artists affected by the Earthquake and Nuclear disaster:
WHAT: IN SYNC- Sambandh dance and music concert
WHERE: Williston Theater, Williston School, Easthampton
WHEN: June 18, 2011 at 7PM
CONTACT: Ranjanaa Devi at (413)586-8974 or (413)348-8922
In support of the artists in Japan affected by the Japan earthquake disaster, Nataraj Performing Arts of India, a premier western Massachusetts dance and cultural arts organization has gathered a group of remarkable performers for a dance and music concert to raise funds. The musicians and dancers spanning East and West traditions will present an evening of unique selections from music on the Japanese Koto, rhythms on the Indian tabla, contemporary dance and film projections to classical Indian dance styles. Join us for this concert to enjoy, see and hear new styles of music and dances and support the relief fund for Japanese artists.
Opening the evening concert will be music on the Koto by Anne Prescott, a well-trained Japanese Koto player and a specialist in the works of koto composer Miyagi Michio (1894-1956) who will perform Rokudan no Shirabe, composed by Yatsuhashi Kengyo (d. 1685) which is the oldest extant and one of the most famous works work for koto.
Eric Phinney, percussionist and Tabla player who studied Tabla drums for 16 years with Pandit Sharda Sahai (Benares gharana) and Samir Chatterjee (Farukkhabad gharana) will perform Tala Chakra an exciting exposition of different tala (rhythms) patterns in varying tempos to highlight the versatility of the Tabla drums.
Casting Shadows, Tearing Holes was described by one critic as Guerra's "most effective and moving piece [capturing] perceptions about memory, childhood experiences, and the rupture that adulthood creates in one’s life." This piece is set for five dancers with music of Ludovico Einaudi and cinematography excerpts from Angela Colson's When Things Were Simple. Merli V. Guerra is an emerging choreographer, film maker and artistic director of Luminarium Dance Company with co-founder Kimberleigh A. Holman. She is also a member of Nataraj Dancers, with whom she performed for their dance tour in Japan in 2009. www.LuminariumDance.org
Nataraj Dancers will present Darshan, a panorama of dance styles from India under the artistic direction of the eminent artistic director and teacher Guru Ranjanaa Devi. Dancer and scholar Justine Lemos trained in Mohini Attam style will present a beautiful Padam song to Lord Krishna. Mohini Attam is a beautiful lyrical dance style of Kerala from South India. Nataraj Youth Dancers will perform Fire, a visually arresting work that represents positive energy flow. Highlighting the Odissi dance tradition from East India will be two pieces- Ana Kunj Re an expressive song based on the childhood myths of Lord Krishna killing the demon snake Kaliya danced as a solo by Akshaya Tucker and an abstract work titled Saveri Pallavi, based on the beauty of the feminine. It features music and movement variations and is choreographed for five Nataraj Dancers.
Nataraj Performing Arts of India, is western Massachusetts one and only premier dance arts organization that specializes in Indian classical, folk and contemporary dance and theater. A not-for-profit cultural and educational organization based in the Pioneer Valley in western Massachusetts, but with its roots in India, Nataraj has become an integral part of the multicultural arts in the State and the South Asian community. Nataraj values its mission to promote an appreciation and understanding of the performing arts of India in the United States; working with dancers drawn from American societies and creating artistic exchanges. A strong focus is placed on making the dancers- young and old develop a social awareness though dance; to share their learning within the community they live as well as the world at large while being educated about the arts and cultures of India.
Nataraj Dancers 2010 Performance Schedule:
January 5, Dance Art in woven Textiles of India: talk by Guru Ranjanaa Devi
Loomis Communities, South Hadley
January 11- 24, India Dance tour by Guru Ranjanaa Devi
March 6, International Culture Celebrations
Hartford University in Connecticut
March 9, Workshops on Indian Dance
Anne Dunphy School, Williamsburg, MA
March 10, Dance workshop for Guru Ranjanaa’s class
Mount Holyoke College
April 15, Darshan ( 2 performances)
Springfield technical Community College, Springfield, MA
May 16, Multicultural Day
Fort River school, Amherst, MA
May 24, Workshop for First Generation
Rebecca Johnson School, Springfield, MA
June 13, In studio Recital
Nataraj Studio, South Amherst, MA
July 12-22, 2010 Dance Intensive with Guru Ranjanaa Devi
currently underway with advanced and intermediate dancers
October 30, Flowers at the Altar: Temple dance tradition
Bennington College, Vermont
November 19, Festival of Lights & Darshan (2 performances)
Elms College, Chicopee, Massachusetts
December 6-10 at Rowe Elementary School, Rowe, MA
October and November - Tico and the Golden Wings
Eric Carle Picture Museum, Nataraj Dancers will join the Amherst Ballet Company in multiple performances
of the children’s story Tico and the Golden Wings
PAST PERFORMANCES (2009 and Earlier):
Saturday, September 19 - Nataraj Dancers present “Darshan” for the Global Mala Project
Center of the Arts, Northampton, MA
Thursday, October 15 - Nataraj Dance Company and guests present Festival of Lights
Nataraj Studios, 7 Pomeroy Lane, Amherst
Friday, October 16 - Nataraj Dancers at Academy Hill School
Sunday, November 1 - Nataraj Dance Company presents Festival of Lights
Loomis Communities, South Hadley.
Saturday, November 14 - Nataraj Dancers present Odissi: Classical Indian Dance For Wide Horizons
Nessacus Middle School, Dalton, MA.
Nataraj Dancers performed in Tokyo, Japan in July 2009
Presenting two unique concerts “Dances from the East” Nataraj Dancers and the Kitanodai Gagakukai presented a selection of dances- Odissi and Bugaku reflecting their classical traditions at Nihon (Japanese University) in Tokyo and at Hiratsuka Central Hall.
Under the artistic direction of Guru Ranjanaa Devi, Nataraj Dancers
(Abolee Montanari, Monica Bhowmik, Akshaya Tucker and Merli Guerra) presented her recent favorite choreographic works stretching the Odissi temple form from its folk roots to its present sculptural style.
Lighting design for the concerts was by UMass student Ayumi Mizuno. Japanese Performance Poster
October 22, Springfield College, Springfield MA
Ranjanaa Devi presented a talk on the "Tradition of classical dance in India"
followed by a masterclass for students in the dance program.
October 24 at 6:30PM Yoga Sanctuary, Northampton, MA
Nataraj Dancers presented a Tara Blessing dance in conjunction with the Healing in Tibetan Buddhism seminar.
November 2 at 7PM Diwali Festival at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Amherst, MA
Celebration Dances by Nataraj Dancers at the Diwali festival presented by the Pioneer Valley India Association.
December 7 from 2- 4PM
There was an Open House at the new Nataraj Studio at Pomeroy Lane, Amherst, MA
Please Click here to see a video clip from the Mudra performance.
(Download Windows Media Player for Mac)
Celebrating their 25th anniversary On November 1, 2007 Nataraj Dance Company under the leadership of its founder and artistic director Ranjanaa Devi, premiered its newest dance theater production at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
Mudra is a spectacular work linking dance, live music and theater through a series of arresting scenes. Drawing upon ancient ritual, dialogue, poetry, and image, Devi creates a remarkable visual tapestry of ideas that are expressed through gestures -- (abstract and literal), movements and spoken words. Mudra will expose the audience to the sheer beauty, power and skill of the hand; it will highlight the importance of the hand as a part of the human body and will show how the fingers help to express thoughts and emotions in their fullest sense.
Mudra is the Sanskrit word for a hand gesture depicting a thought, an idea or a word in classical Indian dance. Used in narrative and poetic dance sequences, Mudras uniquely tell the story in a literal way making the words of the song almost inconsequential for those educated in Indian classical dance. Mudra is also contemporary, as simple and complex hand gestures are used by people as a tool for communication on a daily basis. Mudra includes Nataraj dancers, guest musicians, dancers and theater and video artists as in this production.
Telling Their Stories:
Ranjanaa Devi was recently awarded the Massachusetts Cultural Council Traditional Arts Finalist ‘08 award. Her company Nataraj Dancers performed at the Jacob’s Pillow Community Day on July 20, 2008 followed by a workshop. Nataraj Dancers explored the day’s theme - Telling Their Stories – by retelling classic stories of Hindu Gods and Goddesses from the temple prayers through Devi’s blend of traditional and contemporary choreography.
Southeast Asian Water Festival:
On August 16, 2008 Nataraj Dancers joined the Somapa Thai Dance Company and Angkor Dance Troupe to jointly perform the Hindu epic Ramayana for Lowell’s outdoors Southeast Asian Water Festival.
(Images 1-3) Ranjanaa, The Nataraj Dancers, Justine lemos and Jessica Marglin perform at Hosei University,Tokyo,Japan...
(Image 4) Michelle Marroquin as Goddess Kali, Festival of Lights performance, Hampshire College...
(Image 5) Nataraj Dancers in Concert...
(Image 6) In Praise of Tara, Bowker Auditorium, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.