Fall Photos: Nrityagram Dance Ensemble

Internationally acclaimed Nrityagram Dance Ensemble from Bangalore, India brought its exceptional synchronicity, compelling physicality, and emotional honesty to redefine dance and theater through powerful imagery and captivating dance as part of the 40th annual Navaratri Festival at Wesleyan on Sunday, October 30, 2016 in Crowell Concert Hall.

Photos by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography. Click here to view the entire album on Flickr.

Fall Photos: B. Balasubrahmaniyan – Vocal Music of South India

Vocalist and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music B. Balasubrahmaniyan was joined by Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music David Nelson on mridangam, violinist Sandhya Anand, and Karthik Venkataraman on kanjira as part of the 40th annual Navaratri Festival at Wesleyan on Friday, October 28, 2016 on Crowell Concert Hall.

Photos by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography. Click here to view the entire album on Flickr.

Fall Photos: Alarmél Valli

Internationally acclaimed Indian dancer and choreographer Alarmél Valli turned the traditional Bharatanatyam style into subtle, deeply internalized, personal dance poetry in her Connecticut debut in the Crowell Concert Hall on Sunday, October 11, 2015.

Click here to view the full album on Flickr. Photos by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography.

Fall Photos: Navaratri Festival’s Bhojanam (Feast)

Navaratri Festival’s Bhojanam (Feast) followed the concert by Sri Rajesh Vaidya in the Daniel Family Commons, Usdan University Center on Saturday, October 10, 2015.

Click here to view the full album on Flickr. Photos by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography.

Fall Photos: Sri Rajhesh Vaidhya

Sri Rajhesh Vaidhya, a highly accomplished veena (plucked string instrument) player and composer from Tamil Nadu, India performed in the Crowell Concert Hall with N. Mohanaraman and R. SriGanesh on mridangam, D. Chandrajit on tabla, and Saihari on gatam on Saturday, October 10, 2015.

Click here to view the full album on Flickr. Photos by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography.

Fall Photos: Navaratri Festival – Henna and Chaat

South Asian culture was experienced through henna art and sampling of chaat (savory snacks), hosted by Shakti, Wesleyan’s South Asian Students’ Association, in the Olin Library Lobby on Thursday, October 8, 2015.

Click here to view the full album on Flickr. Photos by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography.

Sonya Levine ’17 talks to Hari Krishnan about Alarmel Valli (Oct. 10 & 11)

Wesleyan University DanceLink Fellow and CFA Arts Administration Intern Sonya Levine ’17 talks to Associate Professor of Dance Hari Krishnan about internationally acclaimed Indian dancer and choreographer Alarmél Valli, who makes her Connecticut debut on Sunday, October 11, 2015 at 3pm in Crowell Concert Hall as the conclusion of the 39th annual Navaratri Festival. Mr. Krishnan will also have a conversation with Ms. Valli following the free screening of the film “Lasya Kavya: The World of Alarmél Valli” on Saturday, October 10, 2015 at 2pm in CFA Hall.

Alarmél Valli. Photo by Narendra Dangiya.
Alarmél Valli. Photo by Narendra Dangiya.

How does Alarmél Valli bring the forms of music, dance and poetry together? 

Seamlessly and with great sophistication and accessibility! As a dancer who embodies the word “articulate” in every fiber of her being, Alarmél Valli is also trained extensively in music, and has an innate love for literature and poetry. So, her dance is literally visual music in the highest order. She is acclaimed as an artist who sings with her body. She has often been described as a painter who uses her body as an empty canvas, painting upon it all the glorious colors, hues, and tints of life.

What are the stories that she tells?

Her stories are always about the sensual and spiritual coming together in a complex, integrated manner. Her stories give great hope and affirmation of life and humanity. Her stories have the unique ability to cut across linguistic, social, political, and cultural boundaries. Alarmél Valli is a rare, one-of-a-kind artist whose dance touches everyone universally.

Why is Alarmél Valli important to the dance world?

Alarmél Valli is an internationally acclaimed superstar Bharatanatyam dancer. She has been a leading light in the industry for the past 40 years, touring major theaters, festivals, and opera houses from Europe to Asia. She has transformed the traditional solo dance of Bharatanatyam into a vibrant, dynamic, and engaging solo dance style—current and relevant for a 21st century global audience. This is why she is much sought after by the most avant-garde theaters and festivals in Europe to the most conservative classical arts-friendly venues in India. On a personal level, it has been a long-awaited dream of mine to have Alarmél Valli’s appearance at Wesleyan. Her dance teacher and my dance teacher were cousins. She is also a dear friend, and I have followed her work since the late 1980s.

Why is Wesleyan an ideal site for this performance?

Wesleyan University is a major site for the performance of Indian dance and music for the past 50 years, and that is why all the great artists of India consider it an honor to perform on this campus. From a dance perspective, Wesleyan is also a major historical site for the preservation of an important strand of courtesan-style Bharatanatyam, so to have someone like Alarmél Valli, who intersects tradition and modernity, is a natural progression as a testimony to this great institution. The audiences are in for a treat on Sunday afternoon where an iconic dance artist who has been compared to [Rudolf] Nureyev and [Mikhail] Baryshnikov will grace the stage.

Alarmél Valli
Connecticut Debut
Sunday, October 11, 2015 at 3pm
Crowell Concert Hall, 50 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown
$18 general public; $15 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students

2015-16 Season Now On Sale! World, U.S., New England, CT Premieres

This year, we are looking forward to introducing you to artists who are asking important questions about our world today, questioning why things are the way they are, and helping us to envision how they might be.

Dorrance Dance make their Connecticut debut on September 25 and 26 as part of the Performing Arts Series.
Dorrance Dance make their Connecticut debut on September 25 and 26 as part of the Performing Arts Series.

Michelle Dorrance, described by the Chicago Tribune as “edgy, seductive and smart,” brings Dorrance Dance to the CFA Theater September 25 and 26. You’ll have the chance to see tap dancers push the boundaries of what tap dance looks and feels like: her company will dazzle you as they transform the stage into one sonic instrument.

At a time when our country is struggling to find its way in terms of race relations, we’ve invited writer/performer Daniel Beaty to campus for a residency that includes the October 9 performance of Mr. Joy, his highly acclaimed tour de force solo show about a community’s efforts to heal in order to dream again.

Composer, visual artist, and new media innovator R. Luke DuBois takes over the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery from September 16 through December 13 with his exhibition In Real Time, creating maps, scores, and videos that use real-time data flows and media footage to raise questions of artistic agency, privacy, and fair use. In time for the election season, the CFA has commissioned him to create a new work using research generated by the Wesleyan Media Project.

Dancer/choreographer Eiko Otake returns with a series of intimate performances in unlikely places, including a commissioned work in honor of the 100th-anniversary of Wesleyan’s Van Vleck Observatory.

This year’s Navaratri Festival of Indian music and dance features one of the world’s greatest veena players, Sri Rajhesh Vaidya, on October 10, and Bharatanatyam dancer Alarmél Valli on October 11.

All this shares the fall schedule with performances by faculty and students, including the final class performance by students of Adjunct Professor of Music Abraham Adzenyah, who is retiring after teaching Ghanaian drumming at Wesleyan for the past 45 years. You won’t want to miss that concert on December 4.

As always, we hope you will look to the CFA as a place of enlightenment and enjoyment in the months ahead.

Sincerely,

Pamela Tatge
Director
Center for the Arts

Fall Photos: Malavika Sarukkai – Rasamanjari

Acclaimed dancer Malavika Sarukkai presented the New England premiere of Rasamanjari, a celebration of the classical dance language of India, as the conclusion of the 38th annual Navaratri Festival. Photos from the Sunday, September 28, 2014, performance at Crowell Concert Hall. Images by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography. Click here to view the full album on flickr.