Indian Classical Dance

Madhusmita Bora, a performer of the Sattriya Dance Company, takes you on a journey through a 500-year-old dance tradition from Assam in India. Sattriya was preserved, nourished, and practiced by monks in monasteries located on a tiny river island. The outside world had very little access to the dance until about the year 2000. In the program,  students are exposed to the ritualistic practice of Sattriya, stories from Hindu mythology and will learn about the monks and their lives through a documentary screening (12 minutes). Masks, costumes and props help to bring the tradition to life.  Madhu will also lead students in movements and exercises and uses percussion instruments and chanting to investigate Sattriya's musical elements.

Pennsylvania Curriculum Standards

(A=Assembly; W=Workshop; R=Residency)

9.1 Production, Performance and Exhibition of Dance, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts A, W, R

9.2 Historical and Cultural Contexts A, W, R

10.5 Concepts, Principles and Strategies of Movement W, R

15.4 Learning Through Experience A, W, R

25.3 Pro-Social Relationships with Adults W, R

25.4 Pro-Social Relationships with Peers W, R

Art Form(s): Music, Dance

Genre: Asian

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About Madhusmita Bora

Sattriya is Madhusmita's heritage. Born and raised in Assam, she grew up to the rhythms of this incredible art form practiced routinely at her village prayer house. She made her debut as a dancer before she turned four, performing at her village temple for the annual Raax festival, dedicated to celebrating the life of Lord Krishna. Madhusmita has trained under Padmashree Jatin Goswami, Guru Ramkrishna Talukdar, Guru Naren Barua, Anita Sharma, Adhyapak Dr. Bhabananda Barbayan and Gobinda Kalita from the Uttar Kamalabari Satra. Her dedication to propagate the art form has been recognized by the media in her native Assam, U.S. and also by the City of Philadelphia. Madhusmita is also a freelance business journalist and teaches English at Lincoln University. Her film, Dancing the Divine, received wide appreciation at its maiden screening at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She curated and produced the first U.S. tour of the Dancing Monks of Majuli.
Awards: Art & Change Grant from Leeway Foundation, 2009, 2010 and 2011; Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Grant, 2013, 2016; Nritya Sharadi Award, 2014; IIDF Award 2016; The Pew Center for the Arts and Heritage Grant, 2016

ASSSEMBLY

Madhu will introduce the gathering to the rich history of Sattriya and its practitioners. She will also screen her documentary short called Dancing the Divine and perform a few pieces from the repertoire. Students will have a chance to view the masks that are used in performances and also get acquainted with the musical instruments.

Best for: ELC  •  PreK-12  •  Special Needs  •  After-School/Community

WORKSHOP

Sattriya Dance Company offers workshops on makeup, dance movements, rhythmic cycles and chanting and mindfulness movements. Students will learn to express themselves through their facial expressions and hand gestures and will have a basic introduction to the dance and its melodies, stories and rhythms.

RESIDENCY

During a residency, students will dive deep and explore the rich vocabulary of Sattriya and focus either on a traditional 500 year old work from the repertoire or an invocation that investigates storytelling through movement and mime. The residency will culminate with a student performance on ground exercises and showcase the work that they have learned during their time with Madhu.

Sattriya is Madhusmita's heritage. Born and raised in Assam, she grew up to the rhythms of this incredible art form practiced routinely at her village prayer house. She made her debut as a dancer before she turned four, performing at her village temple for the annual Raax festival, dedicated to celebrating the life of Lord Krishna. Madhusmita has trained under Padmashree Jatin Goswami, Guru Ramkrishna Talukdar, Guru Naren Barua, Anita Sharma, Adhyapak Dr. Bhabananda Barbayan and Gobinda Kalita from the Uttar Kamalabari Satra. Her dedication to propagate the art form has been recognized by the media in her native Assam, U.S. and also by the City of Philadelphia. Madhusmita is also a freelance business journalist and teaches English at Lincoln University. Her film, Dancing the Divine, received wide appreciation at its maiden screening at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She curated and produced the first U.S. tour of the Dancing Monks of Majuli.
Awards: Art & Change Grant from Leeway Foundation, 2009, 2010 and 2011; Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Grant, 2013, 2016; Nritya Sharadi Award, 2014; IIDF Award 2016; The Pew Center for the Arts and Heritage Grant, 2016

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