Nrityagram-ChitrasenaThese two renowned Indian dance companies will combine the efforts of their master dancers as they present a free Lecture/Demonstration on these two historical Indian dance forms. It will be held on Monday, March 25, from 11:20-12:20 (common hour) in the Rehearsal Studio, located on the 2nd floor of the Performing Arts Center.

The performance by the two dance companies is at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26, in Fisher Auditorium. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling the Lively Arts at 724-357-2787 (ARTS), or in-person at the Box Office 1 hour before the start of the show.

The Lec/Dem presentation will begin with a brief lecture on the history and evolution of each dance form and a demonstration of the unique technical features of both. This is to establish the cultural commonality and differences that influence both dance traditions and how they can come together in one performance space.

These technical differences are demonstrated separately through music, rhythms, basic body positions, basic movement vocabulary and nuances such as walks, spins and jumps. This is followed by a demonstration of hand gestures, facial expressions and stylized body language – techniques unique to Odissi, which are used to tell stories. Finally the technique and language of Odissi and Kandyan dance are brought to life through presentation of short dance sequences in each forms and a collaborative section from Āhuti.

The event culminates in a Q&A session with the companies.

Founded in 1990 just outside of Bangalore, India by Odissi dancer Protima Gauri, the all-female ensemble, Nrityagram Dance Ensemble is one of the premier Indian Classical dance ensembles performing today. It has the unprecedented distinction of making the New York times “Best Dance of the Year” list two consecutive years in a row (2015/16).

Located on 10 acres of converted farmland, it is a setting for study, practice, and teaching of dance, and is dedicated to creating excellence in Odissi through guru-Shishya Parampara, the traditional method of learning that is a unique and sacred relationship between mentor and disciple.

The Chitrasena Dance Company was founded in 1943 by Guru Chitrasena with a vision to inspire and exhilarate through the traditional dances a drums of Sri Lanka. As they push boundaries, they continue to uphold Guru Chitrasen’s 7-decade old philosophy, “The new is but an extension of the old.”

For more information about either the Lec/Dem or performance, contact the Lively Arts office at 724-357-2787 (ARTS), or at