Nrityotsav 2015 – Another Memorable Dance Festival In The Making
The golden autumn days set the stage not only for the festival season of Dussera and Durga Pooja, but also for the upcoming performing arts season in New England.
Based on the overwhelming support received for the first Nrityotsav dance festival in 2014, ‘Rasarang School of Performing Arts’ is continuing the tradition in 2015. The day-long Nrityotsav dance festival 2015 will feature for the first time solo and group classical dance competitions to encourage the creative talent of young local artists, in addition to performances by Boston-based dancers.
The featured presentation in the 2015 festival is the adventurous and daring stage adaptation of Don Quixote, the Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra directed and choreographed by Sheejith Krishna and the Sahrdaya Foundation. The production has skillfully used the medium of Indian Classical dance, contemporary theatre and mime to interpret the story of the idealistic dreamer Don Quixote in search of chivalry, honesty and justice with his sidekick Sancho Panza. The dance has been choreographed with nuanced precision and elegance to match the mood of the poignant operatic music. Set against the grand and vivid backdrop of the Sierra Mountains the expressive and theatrical elements in the production have been seamlessly blended to bring alive the characters in the novel.
Sheejith Krishna, the director and producer, is a highly accomplished and acclaimed artist. Sheejith Krishna, also the Director of the Sahrdaya foundation, studied at and then later served on the faculty of Kalakshetra, the world-renowned institute for the classical arts in Chennai. Sheejith has also produced, choreographed and directed Masquerade, an adaptation of Alexandre Dumas's Man in the Iron Mask in the idiom of Bharatanatyam.
Akhila Ramnarayan, who has scripted and adapted ‘Don Quixote’ to theatre, plays the role of the lively Sutradar in the production. She is an independent literary scholar and theatre artist who served as assistant professor of postcolonial studies at the University of Dayton's Department of English from 2005-2010 and has performed lead roles with the JustUs Theatre Repertory in Chennai since 2008.
Jyothismathi Sheejith Krishna, a musician and student of Kalakshetra, has composed the rousing and soulful music for the production in classical Carnatic style.
Fine productions such as Don Quixote that blend Western and Eastern cultural influences with theater and dance are critical to challenge and explore new artistic territories as well as to enrich our minds and senses. I am looking forward to taking the artistic journey on October 10th with Don Quixote and Sancho Panza and being part of this exciting adventure.