CCR Fall 2019
1) Odissi by Suma mondal
2) Lecture-demonstration on "Raga & Bhava" by vocalist Archana Bennur
3) Kathak by Ambieca Saha
Suma Mondal has been learning Odissi from her Guru Dr. Ratna Roy, direct disciple of Adi Guru Pankaj Charan Das, for several years. She has represented Urvasi Dance Ensemble at various local events like Northwest Folklife, Bellevue Art Museum, Evergreen College, Kelucharan Gunakeertanam (Portland), Bothell Oriya Community Rathayatra, ISCON Rathayatra, and a number of South East Asian Community Events. Suma has participated in the prestigious Odissi International Festival and Odisha Government Festival in Bhubaneshwar. She is often invited as an instructor at World Dance Party workshops, a collaboration of various Seattle-based organizations. She has performed and choreographed numerous times for Pratidhwani shows. She also leads a group called La-Bonyo which also collaborates with other groups that specialize in other classical forms like Katthak, Mohiniattyam, etc. This year Suma and her group members were invited to perform in Vancouver, Canada by the Indian (Probash Bangla) Community. She is passionate about Odissi dance and performing arts. Her goal is to excel at every performance.
Archana Bennur is an acclaimed professional South Indian classical musician tracing back her lineage to a family of traditional classical court musicians in the Kingdom of Mysore. Beyond her training under renowned classical musicians for years since her childhood, she has Bachelors in South Indian Classical Music from the University of Madras. Subsequently, she graduated from her Masters in Music, at University of Mysore with a Gold Medal. Archana is a graded artist in the All India Radio and has performed at prestigious events and institutions all over India, including Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai. She has won numerous awards and has performed on national and private television networks. Currently residing in the United States, she has presented Lecture Demonstrations and concert performances to popularize and Kindle interest in South Indian classical music amongst the local populace. Rave reviews and words of encouragement are a tribute to her hard work and dedication.
3) AMBIECA SAHA:
A prominent accomplished Kathak dancer from India, Ambieca is known for her captivating stage
presence and uninhibited abhinaya. Her extensively traditional presentations reflect centuries of technical
refinement in the art as it has evolved from temples to the modern theatre. She has performed for various
world dignitaries and thousands of audiences in USA, Europe, South East Asia and India. She engages the
audience through various styles solos, duets, group presentations, lectures and demonstrations. An
Electrical Engineer from University of Illinois and a Finance Graduate from Harvard University, she is one of
the few artists who successfully combined two parallel careers, and one of the even fewer in this side of the
She started her training under her first Guru, Nrityashri Alaknanda, from whom she learnt to love dance as though it were human, to feel its all-encompassing beauty, to be free and fearless, to center herself within body and mind. After 13 years of primary training, she joined her second Guru, the legendary exponent Guru Rani Khanam, to further her training. She learnt the essence of dance and the ability to understand the intricate relationship of the body to the space that surrounds it.
When she moved to the US, the distance from her Guru and cultural roots ironically brought her even closer to dance. She began cultural tours with her Guru, performing at prestigious national and international events and festivals to spread awareness of the rich Indian culture across the globe. Her riveting performances in Singapore and various cities across
Europe and US, where Bharatnatyam rules the roost as far as Indian classical dance forms are concerned, won her acclaim and fans quickly.
When asked what dance means to her, she says Dance is my identity it is what has taken me up, brought
me down and given me the buffer between the rise and fall to realize things I can do in the middle. When I perform it is seva of the audience a selfless expression of creativity which doesnt give me anything tangible in return but so much unmeasurable satisfaction.
Eastside Bahai Center (View)
16007 NE 8th St
Bellevue, WA 98008
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