Apr 15th 2018

Seeking peace through lasya, the dance of the feminine spirit.

Odisha-based international artist, Sonali Mishra, presents Odissi dance and Mandala artist, Ashwaty Chennat, presents Bharatanatyam dance.

Join us in the Logan Center Penthouse on Sunday, April 15th at 3:00pm. Chat with the artists over tea following the program 😉

The feminine spirit is resilience, grace and power. It is a devotion to and celebration of life. “She” has a complex and energetic existence, but her love is simple and constant. How do we use our bodies to tell the story of “She”?

Mandala South Asian Performing Arts presents “Amita, Without Limits,” a showcase of two Indian classical dance artists: Sonali Mishra and Ashwaty Chennat. These artists have a definitive presence and dedication to their forms, Odissi and Bharatanatyam, respectively; both have found spaces to explore new expressions while maintaining generational continuity and honoring tradition. Through movement, they hone in on the experience of the female form.

“Amita” tells classic stories from South Asian poetry, literature and mythology. “She” may be a young woman yearning for affection from her promiscuous lover, a queen suffering from isolation and anger with her lack of agency , or a goddess who takes responsibility for the troubles of the world. Classical Indian music takes lines of text and plays with them, building meaning upon meaning, and allowing for the dancer to explore story and movement in new and exciting ways.

Classical Indian dance forms are reliant on Nritta, movement that focuses on precision, shapes and rhythms, and Abhinaya, movement that tells stories through hand gestures and facial expressions. Throughout the performance, the two types of movement build a back and forth, seamlessly building a strong, undeniable energy within the dance artist. This is known as Bhakti, a complete surrender to the music, dance and story. For the dancer, this experience is spiritual and intangible, at times. While difficult to articulate, ask each artist: Bhakti is wholly personal and what drives them to continue sharing the form.

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