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Dances of India opens 38th season with ‘Incandescent’

Dances of India
Kiran Rajagopalan plays the deity of the sun in "Incandescent."

November 13 will mark the 38th season opening night for St. Louis-based Dances of India, the first classical Indian dance company to be established in Missouri. President NartanaPremachandra and Artistic Co-Director ThecklaMehta joined “Cityscape” host Steve Potter to discuss the organization and their 2015-2016 season.

Credit Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio
Theckla Mehta and Nartana Premachandra.

"Traditional Indian dance is not simply entertainment, it is deeply rooted in India," Premachandra said. "It serves as a metaphor for the entire universe. ... It is deeply rooted in Hindu religion, but nowadays it used to tell contemporary stories as well."

Indian dance is a form of movement that relies heavily on rhythm...so much so that it influence other, more modern forms of dance around the world, such as Flamenco as trade moved through Spain.

“Incandescent: The Luminous Love-Story of the Sun” opens the season. It is an original dance-drama that tells the love story of Surya, a sun deity, and a young girl. The performance will also include classical and folk dances. 

Credit Dances of India
Kiran Rajagopalan plays the deity of the sun in "Incandescent."

This year’s dance will be performed in memory of Dr. B.N. Premachandra, the founder of the dance company, who died late last year.

"He was a guiding light, not just for Indian dance but for dance all over St. Louis," Premachandra said of her father. "We've collaborated with all kinds of companies in our show...St. Louis ballet, Viva Flamenco. He very much wanted this to be about the entire St. Louis community, not just the Indian community."

Related Event

What: Dances of India Presents "INCANDESCENT: The Luminous Love-Story of the Sun"
When: Nov. 13 – 14 at 7:00 p.m. and November 15 at 3:00 p.m.
Where: Chaminade's Skip Viragh Center for the Arts, 425 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63131
More information.

“Cityscape” is produced by Mary EdwardsAlex Heuer, and Kelly Moffitt. The show is sponsored in part by the Missouri Arts Council, the Regional Arts Commission, and the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis.    

Kelly Moffitt joined St. Louis Public Radio in 2015 as an online producer for St. Louis Public Radio's talk shows St. Louis on the Air.

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