In this dance showcase dedicated to the performing arts from the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, we feature a range of dance forms – classical, semi-classical, neo-classical and Rabindrik, the style developed by poet Rabindranath Tagore. These unique and soul stirring performances are by Sreyashi Dey, Arpita Mukherjee, Urmimala Gupta Sarkar, and Kohal Das and Samadrita Bhattacharyya.
Saturday, April 30, 2022
USA: 11am EST
India: 8:30pm IST
Sreyashi Dey is one of the foremost exponents of Odissi in the US, and the Founder and Artistic Director of two arts organizations – Srishti Dances of India and Akshara.
She is a disciple of Guru Gangadhar Pradhan, who was also an exponent of Bharatanayam and a disciple of Guru Saroja Vaidyanathan. As a thoughtful artist, she constantly expands her creative horizons with new choreographies and collaborations across artistic genres. Sreyashi regularly tours the US and has performed all over the world – in Europe, Asia and India.
Her work has been critically acclaimed by well-known critics in leading newspapers and magazines in the US, such as the New York Times, as well as in India. She has been the recipient of several awards, notably the Harry Schwalb Excellence in the Arts award, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and several premier foundations in the US.
Sreyashi was instrumental in founding two arts festivals – the annual multi-arts Rasa Festival in Ann Arbor, and the annual KathaAngika classical dance and theater festival in Kolkata, India.
Arpita Mukherjee started her classical dance training at a very young age in Bharatnatyam and Gaudiya Nritya under the tutelage of dance scholar Prof. Mahua Mukhopadhyay, culminating in national scholarships from the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India, in both the dance styles. She then went on to receive Jugal Srimal scholarship from Nehru Children’s Museum, Kolkata.
She has performed as a soloist in various prestigious national dance festivals and venues in India and Bangladesh including at Uday Shankar Dance Festival (Kolkata), Kalamandalam (Kerala), Guruvayur Temple, (Kerala), Shankardev Kalakshetra (Assam), Indira Gandhi National Center for Arts (New Delhi), Bangladesh National Museum (Dhaka) & Shilpa Kala Academy (Dhaka). Arpita has been featured in documentary films by the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India on original research into the art forms of ancient Bengal and on the development of a canon for Gaudiya Nritya. After relocating to the US in 2015, Arpita has performed as an invited soloist for Yale University’s South Asian Culture Centre, Department of Ethnic studies at Rowan University, and Terpsichore Festival in Corvallis, Oregon
Urmimala Gupta Sarkar is a Manipuri and Rabindra Nritya Dancer. She has completed a masters degree in Manipuri dance from Sangit Bhavan, Viswa Bharati. At present she is a teacher in Nava Nalanda Santiniketan. She has been learning and practicing dance for the past 20years. and has performed in various programs , competitions and in television. Dance has always been her first love and she will cherish it forever.
Kohal Das, son of Shri Chira Ranjan Das and Smt. Minakshi Das, the 32 year old is a scientist/biologist by profession. He completed his PhD form Indian Institute of Science (IISc.) and moved to the USA for his postdoctoral training. As an only child of dancer parents, he has always had an innate love for Indian Classical dances, which flourished as he grew up. He began his Odissi training from a popular dancer Rina Jana in Kolkata, which he had to discontinue when he got into the PhD programme of IISc.
Recently he revived his Odissi training under Smt. Madhulita Mohapatra at Nrityantar, Bengaluru. As a part of Nrityantar Kohal, Kohal has performed in many festivals, including Rasasvada 2016, Natarajotsava 2017, Articulate Festival 2017 – Organized by Shri. Mysore Nagaraj – , Kerala Kalamandalam Festival 2017, Nrityakalakshetra Festival 2017, IIDF, Hyderabad 2017, Naman 2017, Odissi Utsav, Bangalore 2017, and more.
Apart from Odissi Kohal, he has learned Bharathanatyam under Shri Parshwanth Upadhye and Smt. Shruti Upadhye after he moved to Bengaluru. As a part of Upadhye School of Dance, he has performed in prestigious events like Perur Natyanjali – at Pateeshwarar Temple – in 2016 and Sharadotsav, Bengaluru 2016. He also completed his Bharathanatya Rangapravesha in Feb 2017. Kohal believes in creativity and innovation, which is central to science and dance. Furthermore, he wants to pursue a scientific career which could accommodate his passion for dance while enabling him to contribute to and embrace his Indian Heritage.
Samadrita Bhattacharyya is a professional Indian classical dancer with a portfolio of achievements in Bharatnatyam, Creative (Srijanshil Nritya), and Rabindra-nritya (style of dance that was popularized after Bengali Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s literature and music). She trained in Bharatnatyam from Shri Tushar Kanti Dey at Pushpasree Dance Center, Kolkata, India and received Visharad from Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh, India. Samadrita also trained parallely in Modern Bengali folk/creative dance and Rabindra-nritya from Shri Tushar Kanti Dey as well. She was awarded scholarship for “Under 16 Winner in Rabindra-nritya” and “Under 16 Second runner-up in Bharatnatyam” at Sarbabharatiya Sangeet O Sanskriti Parishad (National level) in 2006 by President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. She has also been winners and runner-ups in multiple regional dance competitions and dance festivals from 2001-2013 in Kolkata and Odisha, India. After moving to the United States, Samadrita has been successful in pursuing her dance forms by performing solo and with artists in Texas and Massachusetts, USA. Samadrita was invited to perform at the Art and Music festival at University of Texas, Dallas from 2015-2019 and also performed as a guest artist at Boston Durga Festival in 2021. Samadrita still continues to train in Bengali Neo-classical dance from Shri Chira Ranjan Das, Kolkata, India and is the principal artist alongside Kohal Das to establish and launch Neo-classical dance form in Massachusetts.