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Ganga: A Choreographic Odyssey

Katha Dance Theatre (KDT) is pleased to announce the world premiere of Ganga: A Choreographic Odyssey at E.M. Pearson Theatre!

June 14 – 15 at 7:30 pm
June 16 at 2 pm (ASL-interpreted)

With this production, director/choreographer Rita Mustaphi is premiering a film screening and live Kathak dance combination to create a unique cultural spectacle. The dance film, Ganga to Mississippi, was filmed in both India and Minnesota. The Minnesota section was created in collaboration with Sharon Day, an Ojibwe leader and Indigenous activist, artist and writer, and Jane Ramseyer Miller, former artistic director of One Voice Mixed Chorus. In Ganga: A Choreographic Odyssey, the brand-new live component, North Indian Kathak dance will be performed with a non-traditional South Indian Carnatic live music accompaniments; the show’s composers come from South Indian Carnatic and North India Hindustani music traditions. Set to live music by these and other acclaimed guest artists, the live portion will be performed by KDT’s Company dancers and apprentices.

While Kathak dance is traditionally performed to purely North Indian or Hindustani music, the Kathak performers in Ganga takes on the challenge of performing to non-traditional South Indian Carnatic music, all original compositions by collaborators Nirmala Rajasekar and Jayanta Banerjee.

Ganga uses Kathak to convey the universal importance of protecting and conserving water sources. It portrays the mythological creation of the river Ganga (or Ganges), depicting Ganga as a nourishing river of life, a source of religious significance, but also one of the world’s most polluted rivers that needs saving from environmental destruction. Using the storytelling artform’s trademark rhythmic footwork, pirouettes and gestural and facial expressiveness, Ganga emphasizes how the crucial role the Ganges plays to Asian Indians is similar to the role the Mississippi plays to Minnesotans––especially to indigenous communities. Through these mythological and real-life frameworks, Ganga calls for systemic change and urges audiences to take action against pollution.

A roster of acclaimed guest musicians accompanies KDT’s Company on the live portion of the performance. They include: Nirmala Rajasekar (vocals), Dipankar Mukherjee (narration), Jayanta Banerjee (sitar), Satyaprakash Mishra (tabla), Sriram N. Iyer (Mridangam), Sujeet Phanse (flute), and Abhinav Sharma (percussion).

June 14 – 15 at 7:30 pm
June 16 at 2 pm (ASL-interpreted)

Runtime: 90 minutes, plus 20 minute intermission

E.M. Pearson Theatre
Concordia University
312 Hamline Ave. N.
St. Paul, MN 55104


General Admission: $35
Students & Seniors (65+): $20

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