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Nrityagram Dance Ensemble, Chitrasena Dance Company at BYU March 14

Top performing ensembles from India, Sri Lanka

Traveling from India and Sri Lanka, the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble and the Chitrasena Dance Company will present “Samhara” in the de Jong Concert Hall as part of the Brigham Young University Performing Arts Series Thursday, March 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for the event are available through the Fine Arts Ticket Office at (801) 422-4322 or online at byuarts.com/tickets. General seating tickets are $19, with discounts available to students, alumni and senior citizens. The show is also part of the BYU Performing Arts Series and artsPASS season ticket packages.

Regarded worldwide as one of India’s foremost dance companies, Nrityagram’s acclaim stems from its ability to create and communicate powerful imagery and captivating movement through Odissi dance and live music. “Samhara,” a collaboration with Sri Lanka’s Chitrasena Dance Company, explores the meeting point between the Odissi and Kandyan dance techniques.

At the Nrityagram dance village, dance is a way of life. Founder Protima Gauri converted ten acres of farmland into an ideal setting for the study, practice and teaching of classical dance. Reminiscent of ancient ashrams where gurus imparted not only technique but also a philosophy of being, it is a creative space where dancers, musicians and choreographers live together, sharing their skills and developing their art. The dancers study yoga, meditation, the martial arts, as well as Sanskrit, mythology and literature.

Choreographers, movement specialists, sculptors, painters, writers, musicians and theatre admirers from all over the world frequently visit the village to perform and give workshops and seminars on their art.

Since 1996, the year of its New York debut, Nrityagram has toured the United States annually. The company has performed sold-out shows from New York to Hawaii and Bozeman, Mont., to Key West, Fla.

In 2003 and 2004, the group’s soloists were invited to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In addition, the ensemble has performed in Denmark, Holland, Portugal, the Middle East, Singapore and Japan.

The Chitrasena Dance Company is Sri Lanka’s oldest and most prestigious dance company.The company was established in 1943 by Guru Chitrasena who was instrumental in bringing Sri Lanka’s rural dance traditions to the modern stage. Chitrasena’s vehicle of expression both in traditional and contemporary dance set the standard and transformed dance theatre in Sri Lanka.

For more information on the company, visit www.nrityagram.org.  For more information on the Provo performance, contact Ken Crossley at (801) 422-9348.

Writer: Preston Wittwer

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