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Oct. 25, 2011
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:


SRU presents ‘Dances of India Concert’ Nov. 9

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. ­– Colorful dances originating in India will be on display when Slippery Rock University presents the “Dances of India Concert” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9 in Swope Music Hall. The concert will raise funds to send SRU students to India for a four-week classical dance workshop sponsored by the dance department.
     Kathak and Bharata Natyam, two of India’s classical styles will be presented during the concert. Guest artists from Pittsburgh, including Shobhtha Ravi, Shipra Kumar, Ruby Jain, Ramita Ravi, and dancers from the Carnegie Mellon University Bhangra Group, will perform.
       Classical Indian dance is rooted in the sacred Hindu theatre style that is thought to go back to 400 B.C.
     “The classical forms are far older than Western theatrical forms, which date back about 500 years. Classical Indian forms date to ancient times,” said Nola Nolen Holland, assistant professor of dance. “
Indian dancers study the classical forms for several years in order to master the eye, facial, hand, arm and body positions.  Additionally, a Bharata Natyam dancer must be very rhythmic and musical as well as an actor.”
      Nolen Holland; Jaya Mani, instructor of dance; and Srinivasa Mani, retired SRU professor of anthropology, prepare the concert annually. It supports SRU’s Dance in India Initiative, which covers the costs of a four-week workshop in southern India, students’ costumes, books and supplies as well as room and board. Students pay their airfare and for three days of sightseeing in New Delhi, Jaipur and Agra.
        While in India, students study with master teacher Revathi Ramachandran, founder and director of a school in Chennai.
       SRU has offered Indian dance for several years. Students begin their study of Bharata Natyan in the “World Dance” course taught by Jaya Mani.
       The suggested donation for the “Dances in India Concert is $3 for students and $5 for general public.
Those interested in contributing to the Dance in India Initiative may send contributions to the SRU dance department. Tax-deductible donations should be payable to the Slippery Rock University Foundation Inc. Donors are encouraged to indicate "Dance Initiative" on any contribution.