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Opening Ceremony

Presented By:Manjari School of Performing Arts
Concept and direction : Pinky Ghoshal
Choreographer:Sanchita Chatterjee (India), Barkha Kishnani (New Jersey)

Summary of Opening Ceremony 2009/SATF: “Journey back to the roots”

Our Goal: Bringing south Asian communities together by exploring their mythologies & bringing them under one broad umbrella of “Theater Arts.” “ As in Indian theater, dance revolves round the Rasas or emotions…” {“India”, PP. 246-47, D.K Publishing, c 2008.}

This year the Opening Ceremony can boast of an unique concept dating back to Rig Veda and the surrounding Mythologies which suggest that Dramatic Theater came into being in India around 8th cent B.C. Saint Bharata, the Creator of “Natya (theater) Shastra” (treatise) suggested that descent on earth as a new knowledge, the success of Indian dramatic performances depended upon a group’s ability to manipulate & exploit the Nava (nine) Rasas (Aesthetics of emotions/Sentiments) are Love or Erotic, Comic, Pathetic or Kindly, Furious, Heroic, Terrible, Odious, Unusual or Marvelous, Tranquil or Peaceful. The total Ceremony is divided into three segments. 1) “Dasavatara”, story of 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu and how he saved the earth from destruction by negative powers. This is the focal point around which the concept of Buddhism (South-East Asia) and Sufism (North-West Asia) evolves. This is written in Sanskrit by celebrated Bengali poet Jayadeva , in 12th cent. A.D. 2) The 9th incarnation in “Dasavatara” is Lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, a religion that taught the world to live in harmony with nature and mankind, forsaking materialistic greed. Relating one of the Jataka (Buddha’s previous births) stories, we will showcase the inter-dependency of man and nature. 3) We bring in the Love and energy of Sufism, taking help from the famous poem of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai. Finally, all the mythologies and teachings come to a dramatic end espousing the wealth of our ancient roots. Music, dance & theater culminate and bring a positive end to a wonderful concept.

Sanchita Chatterjee – Director, Nriti Kala Kendra, India

Nriti Kala Kendra was established on September 1990. Today the group has established itself as premier dance institution In Eastern India. With blessing and guidance from Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, Late Ram Gopal Bhattacharya, Thankomoni Kutty and Poushali Mukhopadhyay the institute has over 100 disciples and still growing. Nriti Kalakendra has been in the Forefront of Fusion dancing, mixing classical Oddisi with dance drama penned by Tagore, Nazrul and others. Over the years the Institute has performed folk dances based on various regions of India in Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and other places across India.

The institute has been featuring regularly an annual event organized by Government of West Bengal.

Nriti Kala

Barkha Kishnani – Choreographer, New Jersey

An energetic woman, Barkha is professionally a successful real-estate agent. Highly talented in Folk and Contemporary dance styles she is an excellent choreographer. She is the Vice-President of Indian Cultural Society (ICS), a community based organization of East-Brunswick, NJ. A talented actress, she was also a part of SATF’S first Hindi drama “Rudali”. She was a coordinator of last year’s Opening Ceremony (2008) of SATF, sponsored by NJPAC. She is the publicity expert for South Asian Theater Festival (SATF), working untiringly for a non-profit, with an unselfish devotion. A good manager, her understanding and patience with children and teenagers, make her a pride of any organization.





SATF 2009 will be held at NJPAC, New Jersey on December 12th and 13th 2009



Venue NJPAC – Victoria Theater
12th December 2009

7:45pm - Opening Ceremony
8:30pm - Red Oleanders

13th December 2009

3:15pm - Chehre
5:00pm - Post performance discussion


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