Press Release

St. Louis Indian Dance Festival- 2010

Indian classical dances have been practiced and perfected for nearly two thousand years. The first text book of Indian Performing Arts – “Natya Shastra”, written two millennia ago, provided valuable information on Theater and Performing arts for artists and art-students for many centuries.  Most of the Indian performing arts including dance, music and theater have been developed further and enhanced based on this great resource guide.  St. Louis Indian Dance Festival brings alive the gems of this book to the Greater St. Louis area in the form of Indian classical and folk dances by inviting great artists from India and USA.  The second-generation Indian Americans, who have made this proud country their home, are very eager to share the eternal knowledge of performing arts, which they have mastered in the USA with their Indian peers. Hence bring an awareness of Indian Performing Arts to St. Louis area.

Soorya Performing Arts, a St. Louis based ‘not-for-profit’ organization for the promotion of dance and music, is bringing together more than 100 artists to present beautiful Indian classical dances such as Bharathanatyam, Kathak, Kuchipudi, Mohini Attam, Odissi and other styles on one platform. It also offers the avenue for innovative artists striving to create new trends by merging Indian and American values. There will be two innovative works showcased at the 3-day festival, “Fanaa” and “Yatra” along with several major productions–

1.      “Fanaa“ - A dance production based on the conflict between the physical boundaries of India and Kashmir. This production, choreographed by Guru Prasanna Kasthuri, from St. Louis, MO, highlights the need for peace and reconciliation among conflicting minds and populations, especially highlighting world peace in times of turmoil such as the experiences of Afghanistan and the like.

2.      “Yatra“ (Journey) - An amazing Kuchipudi performance choreographed by Guru Anuradha Nehru, artistic director of Kuchipudi Kalanidhi, an organization from Washington DC, explores dances based on Western classical pieces. Visit for more details

3.      “Paramananda” -  A unique dance production in 7 different languages  performed by a troupe of  16 dancers, choreographed by Guru Nirmala Madhav,  Artistic Director of Pampa Dance Academy, San Jose, California. Visit for more details

4.      A song and Story – A story on Women’s issues, narrates the story in English and performers use aerial techniques. Choreographed by Aparna Sindhoor, from Boston, Massachusetts, the dance item is based on Bharathanatyam, Yoga, Martial Arts and Theatre.  The performance encompasses spoken word, dance, theatre and contact improvisation in a powerful way to engage the audience. Visit for more details.

5.      Surya Namaskar – A special work involving the renowned Yoga practice of surya namaskar (oblation to the Sun) will be presented by Asha Gopal and her dance company from Phoenix, AZ. Visit for more details

6.      Madhumitha Roy – A professional Kathak artiste from Calcutta, India who is touring the USA, will be presenting rare pieces of the traditions of this dance form. Visit for more details.

7.      Suryanarayana Murthy – Mr. Murthy from Chennai, India, is known for his perfect technique in two Indian dance styles – Bharathanatyam and Kathakali. He will be combining both these styles to present traditional Indian pieces. Visit for more details

8.      Smitha Rajan, from St. Louis, MO, comes from a lineage of legendary Mohiniattam and Kathakali artists, presents, the enchanting Mohini Attam. Visit for more details

9.      Kathak Performances by Anila Sinha Foundation, Chicago, Illinois. Visit for more details.

Other features of this festival include

1.      Kuchipudi by Yamini Saripalli – A St. Louisian, settled on the Baltimore, MD, representing the second generation of Indian Americans who has passionately taken on dance and will present traditional Kuchipudi pieces.

2.      Yakshagana – A folk dance form from Karnataka performed by Kedlaya & Party from Indianapolis, IN.

3.      Indique – Young  Indian Americans from Dallas, Texas, present  new idiom of Indian dance

4.      Dashavatharam  by Mudra, a dance group from University of Missouri, Columbia,  presents  Odissi dance style directed by Adithi Bandhopadhyaya

5.      Bharathanatyam from the pioneer St. Louis dance academy, Asha Prem’s ‘Dances of India’.

6.      Kolata (rhythmic stick dances)– A folk dance from St. Louis Sangama Kannada association, St. Louis, MO.

7.      Raas - Folk dance from western state of India, Gujarat presented by Dance Group - “Nartan” and choreographed by Neelima Bhavsar, from St. Louis, MO.

8.      Apart from these, scores of Indian dance schools from St. Louis, Detroit, Minnesota will be participating in this festival

The venue is the Clayton High School auditorium and the 3-day festival will be held on April 16, 17, and 18, 2010. Tickets will be sold at Metrotix and also available during the performance.  This performance is supported by generous grants from the Missouri Arts Council and the Regional Arts Commission and additionally supported by local Indian businesses such as Mayuri India Restaurant, House of India, International Diamonds, Abhinaya, Seema Enterprises and Nithyananda Vedanta Temple.

For details please visit

Photos for Publicity

A beautiful posture in Bharathanatyam by Guru Prasanna Kasthuri

An elegant solutation by Kuchupudi Kalanidhi

A song and Story by Aparna Sindhoor

Odissi Pose by Adithi Bandopadhyay

Indique - The Indian American Group

Dancers from Soorya Performing Arts