An NCPA Presentation
Lok Gatha- Women Speak
Rajasthani Folk Dances and Kathak Dance Production
Lok Gatha, initiated by the NCPA, serves as a platform dedicated to promoting and preserving tribal and folk traditions and rituals. This innovative initiative inspires artists to collaborate on productions that blend various dance forms, creating a vibrant tapestry that celebrates India’s diverse and rich heritage. Join us for an enchanting evening featuring the renowned artists Shila Mehta and Maya Sapera as they showcase Rajasthani folk dance dances and a Kathak dance production inspired by legendary figures and popular folklores.
Shila Mehta is the Artistic Director and Founder of Nupur Zankar Academy of Performing Arts & Research Centre, Mumbai. Mehta has trained as a Kathak artiste under eminent gurus including Prahalad Das, Vijai Shankar and Birju Maharaj, to name a few. She is renowned for her versatility and novel choreographies. Mehta regularly performs and teaches abroad, including at the Maya Sapera Dance Company, Belgium, as a Resident Guru.
Maya Sapera is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Maya Sapera Dance Company, a Belgium-based production company that collaborates with different dance and music groups. Sapera endeavours to bring Indian and Asian arts to Belgian audiences through unique productions combining different cultures in a creative and authentic way. The company has been promoting Kathak and Indian folk dances in Belgium and other countries. Sapera has also tied up with Shila Mehta’s Nupur Zankar Academy to provide dance students with a certified degree in Kathak from India.
Lok Gatha will feature:
‘Women Speak, Inspired by Mahasati’ – A legendary character from Indian literature who with her positive attitude overcame the challenges that life threw her way. Mehta and Sapera embark on a journey that melds Kathak with folk dance in a rare combination to present a brave, inspiring and compelling story.
Kalbeliya – Performed as a celebration, it is an integral part of the ‘Kalbelia’ (snake charmer community) culture. Their dances and songs are a matter of pride and a marker of identity for the Kalbelias. The dance represents the creative adaptation of this community, its changing socio-economic conditions and its role in Rajasthani rural society.
Terataali – Performed by the ‘Kamada’ tribe of Rajasthan, it refers to the 13 manjiras (or cymbals) attached to different parts of the dancers’ bodies and includes the balancing of earthen pots on the dancers’ heads. A folk form, the dance is supported by music on the ektara (single-string instrument) while the rhythm is created by the manjiras.
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