NRITYAGRAM DANCE ENSEMBLE

One of the premier Indian dance ensembles performing today, Nrityagram Dance Ensemble has the unprecedented distinction of making The New York Times’ “Best Dance of the Year” list two consecutive years in a row (2015, 2016). More than a dance company, Nrityagram was founded as a Gurukula (school) devoted to Odissi dance. The all-female ensemble’s daily life of intensive training and meditation brings to the stage compelling captivating performances that are at once sensual and lyrical.

Running Time: 95 minutes (with a 20 minute Intermission)
Featuring Nrityagram & Chitrasena dancers
Performed with live music

Following the revival of their international hit Sahāra, Surupa Sen has collaborated with the Chitrasena Dance Company from Sri Lanka for a new work. The company is joined by male and female guest dancers from this Kandyan dance troupe along with members from Nrityagram’s Odissi dance ensemble. 

VIRTUAL PRESENTATIONS

Streamed from the Nrityagram Dance Village studios, these virtual offerings allow audiences worldwide, to engage with a globally renowned Odissi dance company. Hailed by The New York Times as “among the world’s greatest dancers” these virtual ac<vi<es give audiences access to the company and their dance village like never before.

  • Technology: Zoom or other live streaming platform provided by presenter.

  • Company requires Presenter to provide a stage manager to run virtual ac<vi<es. A tech rehearsal with the stage manager is required before every event. 

  • All activities are adaptable and can be tailored to meet the needs of the presenter.

CURATED ARCHIVAL SERIES (Option to include live chat)

Offering streaming opportunities for curated archival collections that provide a rare chance to watch or rediscover dances from earlier years of the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble, with an introduction by Artistic Director and Choreographer Surupa Sen.

This Series is available to Presenters interested in exclusive footage from the Video Vaults of Nrityagram, that has only been viewed live and is not available online. 

Option A: Excerpt of dance work with a recorded introduction by Surupa Sen.
Approx running time: 15 minutes total

Option B: Select Excerpts from a show introduced by Surupa Sen
Approx running time: 30 minutes total + 15-20 minute Post Performance Chat with Surupa Sen

Option C: Evening Length show introduced by Surupa Sen
Approx running time 50 minutes total + 15-20 minute Post Performance Chat with Surupa Sen.

Note regarding Introductions: Surupa will briefly introduce Odissi dance followed by an explana<on about the piece the audience is about to see. These introduc<ons, which are a part of all Nrityagram performances, offer a window to the viewer to enable them to find and understand the nuances and meanings of a stylized classical dance. 

VIRTUAL TOUR: NRITYAGRAM DANCE VILLAGE

Go on a virtual tour of the Nrityagram Dance Village. Located outside Bangalore in Southern India, this lush ten-acre dance village founded by Protima Gauri in 1990, has been home to the internationally renowned Nrityagram Dance Ensemble for almost 30 years.

A rare opportunity to visit the grounds of this exemplary company that has been visited by notable personalities including Mark Morris, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Mick Jagger.

Led by Artistic Director Surupa Sen, the tour may include a brief view of rehearsals-in-progress or footage of performance excerpts not available online. 

Details:

  • Live Tour option possible, contact Pentacle for details.

  • Running Time: Approx 50-60 minutes (40 minute multimedia and talk + 10-20 minute Q&A) 

SCHOOL MATINEE: DANCE VILLAGE ODYSSEY

The Nrityagram Dance Ensemble transports students on a magical journey through time and space to Eastern India, the birthplace of Odissi – one of the world’s oldest dance forms.

Geared specifically for young audiences, company members illustrate the breathtaking beauty of the dance, demonstrating how it reflects the motifs of ancient Odisha temple sculpture as well as the poetry from the deep wellsprings of Oriya music.

This engaging lecture-demonstration includes audience participation, will introduce the language of Odissi, from body positions and basic movement to the “Language of Expressional Dance” with hand gestures and facial expressions.

Excerpts of Nrityagram’s vast repertory will also be streamed as part of the presentation. A one-of-a-kind cultural exchange, students engage with India’s premiere dance ensemble, culminating in a Q&A session with the dancers. 

Details:

  • Op<on to include Chitrasena Dance Company available. Contact Pentacle for more information.

  • Student Audience Grade Range: Grade 4 (ages 9-10 yrs old) to High School (ages 14-18)

  • Running Time: Approx 50 minutes + 10 minute Q&A 

NRITYAGRAM & CHITRASENA: A MEETING OF TWO CULTURES

Join Surupa Sen, Artistic Director of Nrityagram and Heshma Wignaraja, Artistic Director of Chitrasena Dance Company from Sri Lanka, as they discuss their collaboration over the years, beginning with their first work Sahāra and their most recent collaboration, Āhuti, bringing Odissi and Kandyan dance forms together. 

Details:

  • Excerpts of their collaborative work, Sahāra and Āhuti, are featured through the talk.

  • Presenter to provide moderator or may be provided by company.

  • Running Time: Approx 50-60 minutes (40 minute mul<media and talk + 10-20 minute Q&A) 

VIRTUAL ACTIVITIES

MOVEMENT WORKSHOP: INTRODUCTION TO ODISSI DANCE

This introductory class is an opportunity to learn basic abstract movement phrases and the body-training specific to Odissi, as evolved and practiced at Nrityagram.

The company begins with a brief lecture that traces Odissi dance from its origin to how it is practiced today, specifically at Nrityagram. This is followed by a demonstratin to illustrate the body training practiced at Nrityagram, the language of Odissi: body positions, basic movement technique, and the use of hand gestures and facial expressions for expressional dance. To end the demonstration, the technique and language of Odissi dance is brought to life through the performance of an excerpt.

Participants then learn Isolated body training techniques used at Nrityagram, and a basic phrase that provides a brief but complete experience of Odissi dance vocabulary. 

Details:

  • Instructor: Pavithra Reddy

  • 25 students Max

  • Dress code: Full-length tracks or yoga pants & a comfortable t-shirt. No Shorts or Skirts.

  • Running Time: 90 minutes 

LECTURE DEMONSTRATION: ODISSI DANCE

An introduction to Odissi dance as evolved and practiced at Nrityagram, the lecture – demonstration provides an opportunity for participation and interaction with the dancers and serves as a tool to better understand a performance.

The company begins with a brief lecture that traces Odissi dance from its origin to how it is practiced today, specifically at Nrityagram.

This is followed by a demonstration to illustrate the body training practiced at Nrityagram, to prepare the dancer’s body and prevent injury.

The dancers then demonstrate the language of Odissi: body positions and basic movement technique are deconstructed, and the language of expressional dance is explained with hand gestures and facial expressions.

And finally, the technique and language of Odissi dance is brought to life through performance of a dance piece.

The event ends with a Live Q&A session with the company. 

Details:

  • Includes Company members

  • For young audiences, lecture is reduced and dance / demonstrations are increased.

  • Running Time: 75 minutes + 15 minute Q&A 

LECTURE DEMONSTRATION: A MEETING OF TWO CULTURES

An Introduction to Odissi dance as evolved and practiced at Nrityagram and Kandyan dance as developed and practiced by the Chitrasena Dance School.

The presentation begins with a brief lecture on the history and evolution of both dance forms and a demonstration of the unique technical features of both. This is to establish the cultural commonality and differences that influence both dance traditions and how they can come together in one performance space. These technical differences are demonstrated separately through music, rhythms, basic body positions, basic movement vocabulary and nuances such as walks, spins and jumps.

This is followed by a demonstration of hand gestures, facial expressions and stylized body language – techniques unique to Odissi, which are used to tell stories.

Finally the technique and language of Odissi and Kandyan dance are brought to life through presentations of dance sequences in each form and the streaming of an excerpt from Āhuti.

The event culminates in a Q&A session with the companies.

Details:

  • Includes Company members

  • Running Time: 75 minutes + 15 minute Q&A 

ARTIST TALKS & PANEL DISCUSSIONS

Topics include but are not limited to classical Indian dance, Āhuti – a mee<ng of two cultures, Odissi and sculpture, Odissi dance music and rhythms, the poetry of the Geeta Govinda, religion and dance, temple architecture and dance, the Natyashastra, storytelling through dance, costumes, body conditioning and injury prevention, gender studies, and the Nrityagram dance village. 

>> FAQ about Nrityagram Dance Ensemble’s Outreach Activities <<

While on Tour the company will present Classes, Workshops and Lecture-Demonstrations with live musical accompaniment by Nrityagram’s Music Ensemble. 

Odissi Dance Class

This introductory class is an opportunity to learn basic abstract movement phrases and the body-training specific to Odissi, as evolved and practiced at Nrityagram.

The company begins with a brief lecture that traces Odissi dance from its origin to how it is practiced today, specifically at Nrityagram. This is followed by a demonstration to illustrate the body training practiced at Nrityagram, the language of Odissi: body positions, basic movement technique, and the use of hand gestures and facial expressions for expressional dance. To end the demonstration, the technique and language of Odissi dance is brought to life through the performance of an excerpt.

Participants then learn Isolated body-training techniques used at Nrityagram, including information from the Abhinaya Darpana and Natyashastra, which are ancient texts of dance and theatre. The class ends with the teaching of basic phrases that provide a brief but complete experience of the Odissi dance vocabulary 

Details:

  • Instructor: Pavithra Reddy

  • 25 students Max

  • Dress code: Full-length tracks or yoga pants and a comfortable t-shirt. No Shorts or Skirts.

  • Running Time: 90 minutes – 2 hours 

Odissi Workshop (Two Days or More)

An extended workshop is also offered where participants experience more in-depth instruction and create a short paragraph of abstract dance based on the phrases that have been taught. 

Details:

  • Instructor: Pavithra Reddy

  • 25 students Max

  • Dress code: Full-length tracks or yoga pants and a comfortable t-shirt. No Shorts or Skirts.

  • Running Time: 90 minutes – 2 hours each day 

Kandyan Dance Class

This introductory class is an opportunity to learn about Kandyan Dance, an indigenous traditional dance form from Sri Lanka. Its origins date back to over 2500 years as a temple ritual, however it is only with the emergence of Chitrasena in the early 30’s and 40’s, that this ancient ritual art form was given a new life, through its stage adapta<on for contemporary audiences.

The company begins with a brief introduction to the history of the Kandyan dance, and how the Chitrasena dance style developed over the past seven decades and is being practiced today. This class is designed to deconstruct and decode the abstract Kandyan dance vocabulary and participants will learn some alphabets, basic word constructions, sentence structures and dynamic elements of the dance form like jumps and turns. By the end of the class, participants will be able to construct a longer sentence using the Kandyan movement vocabulary. 

Details:

  • Instructor: Thaji Dias

  • 25 students Max

  • Dress code: Full-length tracks or yoga pants and a comfortable t-shirt. No Shorts or Skirts.

  • Running Time: 90 minutes 

Lecture-Demonstration

Based on Odissi dance from India and Kandyan dance from Sri Lanka, the Lecture-Demonstration is an Introduction to Odissi dance as evolved and practiced at Nrityagram and Kandyan dance as developed and practiced by the Chitrasena Dance School. The presentation will begin with a brief lecture on the history and evolution of each dance form and a demonstration of the unique technical features of both. This is to establish the cultural commonality and differences that influence both dance traditions and how they can come together in one performance space. These technical differences are demonstrated separately through music, rhythms, basic body posi<ons, basic movement vocabulary and nuances such as walks, spins and jumps. This is followed by a demonstra<on of hand gestures, facial expressions and stylized body language – techniques unique to Odissi, which are used to tell stories. Finally the technique and language of Odissi and Kandyan dance are brought to life through presenta<on of short dance sequences in each forms and a collabora<ve sec<on from Āhu<. The event culminates in a Q&A session with the companies. 

Schooltime Matinee: A Meeting of Two Cultures

This one-of-a-kind cultural exchange transports students on a journey through <me and space to Eastern India, the birthplace of Odissi (one of the world’s oldest classical dance forms) and to the island of Sri Lanka, home to Kandyan dance (an ancient folk dance ritual).

Geared for young audiences, company members illustrate the breathtaking beauty of both dance forms, demonstrating how each reflects the culture of their homeland and thus the differences that set each apart.

Accompanied by Nrityagram’s live music ensemble and a Kandyan drummer, this engaging show includes audience participation and introduces students to the language of Odissi and Kandyan dance – from body positions and movement vocabulary to nuances such as walks, spins and jumps. Excerpts from Āhuti will also be performed.

The event culminates in a Q&A session with the companies. 

Details:

  • Study Guide Available.

  • Student Audience Grade Range: Grade 4 (ages 9-10 yrs old) – High School (ages 14-18)

  • Running Time: 50 minutes including Q&A session. 

Artist Talks and Panel Discussions

Topics include but are not limited to classical Indian dance, Āhuti – a meeting of two cultures, Odissi and sculpture, Odissi dance music and rhythms, the poetry of the Geeta Govinda, religion and dance, temple architecture and dance, the Natyashastra, storytelling through dance, costumes, body conditioning and injury prevention, gender studies, and the Nrityagram dance village. 

Post-show discussions available upon request. No pre-show discussions/talks.

  • The New York Times

  • The Herald

  • The New York Times

  • The New York Times

  • 09.26.2020

    Virtual: Streaming from Curated Archival Series

    CFAA Virtual Prakriti Festival

    Broomfield, CO

  • 02.16.2021 — 02.18.2021

    Āhuti

    The Arts Center at NYUAD

    Abu Dhabi, UAE

For more information, please contact:

Sandy Garcia

Sandy Garcia

Director of Booking

212.278.8111 ext. 3425

Nathalie Matychak

Nathalie Matychak

Artist Representative

212.278.8111 ext. 3422