Dance Festival

The Rasa Dance and Theater Festival, produced and presented by Akshara, will feature Ann Arbor’s well-loved Akshara dance ensemble, led by Sreyashi Dey, and three invited dancers/groups and theater groups from Washington, DC, Pittsburgh and Chicago. This one-day festival is a part of the annual multi-arts Rasa Festival produced by Akshara. In the last few years, the Rasa Festival has presented thoughtful and acclaimed performances, visual arts exhibitions, literary events, film festivals and culinary events, attracting large and enthusiastic audiences.

The dance and theater festival on June 15, 2019 features:

  • Sreyashi Dey and the Akshara ensemble, Ann Arbor: Odissi
  • Kasi Aysola, Washington DC: Bharatanatyam
  • Nandini Mandal and Nandanik ensemble, Pittsburgh: Contemporary
  • Alka Sharma and Mandi Theater, Chicago: Dastangoi

Event Details:

Saturday, June 15, 2019
3:00PM – 5:30PM
Riverside Arts Center – 76 N Huron St.
Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Tickets: $25 general, $15 students and seniors
Available at:

Click to download the festival flyer (or open and then download the pdf file)

About the artists:

  • Sreyashi Dey and the Akshara ensemble, Ann Arbor: Odissi
    • Sreyashi Dey is one of the foremost Odissi dancers in the US. With a long and distinguished performance career in the US, India and many other parts of the world, she is also a thoughtful choreographer and has founded two arts organizations – Srishti and Akshara. She has been honored by awards and grants from regional, state and national organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, and her performances have received glowing reviews in media such as the New York Times. Sreyashi Dey, along with the Akshara ensemble will present the Odissi style of Indian classical dance. While Sreyashi Dey will perform a solo piece, there will be two other Odissi pieces performed by the ensemble.

  • Kasi Aysola, Washington, DC: Bhratanatyam
    • Kasi Aysola is the Co-Founder/Co-Artistic Director of Prakriti Dance. Kasi is a rising Bharata Natyam dancer, choreographer, and nattuvanar who trained under his Guru, Viji Prakash, for over ten years and is now under the mentorship of Mythili Prakash. Kasi has been privileged to learn with many leading exponents of Bharata Natyam. He has performed solo and group work in the US, India and abroad. A versatile and composite artist, Kasi continues to further his study of classical Indian dance and music. He is a Kuchipudi disciple of the late Guru Sri Vempati Ravi Shankar. Kasi continues his learning in Kuchipudi under Smt Yamini Saripalli.


  • Nandini Mandal and Nandanik ensemble, Pittsburgh: Contemporary
    • Nandini Mandal is a renowned dancer and teacher of Bharatanatyam, an Indian classical dance form. She started learning Bharatanatyam under the guidance of her teacher, Guru Snigdha Pal, Kalamandalam Venkitt, Preetha Venkitt,India. She specialized in Abhinaya or expressions under the legendary Guru Sonal Mansingh. Nandini is constantly expanding her creativity by collaborating with local artistes and performing in schools, colleges and at other public forums. She was the cultural ambassador of India with the World Affairs Council, UNO, Pittsburgh chapter in 2009 and 2012. Her philanthropic activities include fundraising through Dance for Cure events for the Leukemia Lymphoma Foundation, and American Cancer Society. A leukemia survivor, Nandini is a dance activist, and works as freelance interpreter and translator.
  • Alka Sharma and Mandi Theater, Chicago: Dastongoi
    • Mandi Theater, a Chicago based charitable organization is dedicated to producing the “Classics” of Indian/International dramatic literature, which are not accessible to a wide audience in USA. The strengths of Mandi’s brand of theatre are original scripts by Indian and international playwrights (in translation), excellent performances by talented actors, innovative staging techniques, and a wide experience in performing in regular theatres and informal performance spaces.

Riverside Arts Center
76 N. Huron Street,
Ypsilanti, MI 48197