Philadelphia-based Sattriya Dance Company was established in 2009 by sisters-in-law Madhusmita Bora and Prerona Bhuyan with a mission to promote Sattriya, a 600-year-old dance from the Vaishnavite monasteries of Assam. Sattriya is a living art form, preserved and practiced by celibate monks, many of whom reside in monasteries located in the river island of Majuli. The dance was not accessible to women for centuries. In 2000, the Indian Government recognized Sattriya as one of the country’s major dance forms.
Sattriya Dance Company has presented its work at notable festivals such as Erasing Borders, Drive East, From the Horse’s Mouth and San Francisco Ethic Dance Festival.
Prerona has performed Sattriya widely at celebrated venues in India and the U.S. In 2009, she co-founded the Sattriya Dance Company with a mission to promote and preserve Sattriya. Prerona has studied Sattriya under the guidance of Nrityacharya Padmashree Jatin Goswami, Ustad Bismillah Khan Awardee Guru Naren Barua, Guru Ramkrishna Talukdar and Sangeet Natak Akademi Awardee Anita Sharma. Prerona is co-owner of Folk Beats, a music production company dedicated to promoting and preserving Assamese folk music. She divides her time between India and U.S. promoting Sattriya. She is the recipient of the Nritya Jyoti Puraskar 2015; IIDF Award 2016; and Devdasi Nritya Pratibha Puraskar 2016.
Madhusmita has presented Sattriya in festivals and lecture performances in the U.S. and her native India. She’s a disciple of Padmashree Jatin Goswami, Guru Ramkrishna Talukdar, Guru Naren Barua and Adhyapak Gobinda Kalita from the Uttar Kamalabari Sattra. She had also previously trained with Kathak Guru Janaki Patrik of New York. Madhusmita’s work has been funded by three Art & Change Grants from the Leeway Foundation and two Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Grant. She is the recipient of the Naatya Saradhi Award in 2014 and the IIDF Award in 2016. Her collaborative works include “When the River Meets the Sea” with Annielille Gavino, “Sattriya-Tap” with Robert Burden Jr. and “The Art Profound” with Reggie Tapman Meyers. She is the co-director of Sattriya Dance Company.