37th annual Navaratri Festival to be held at Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts October 10-13, 2013

37th annual Navaratri Festival to be held at Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts October 10-13, 2013

Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts presents
37th annual Navaratri Festival
October 10-13, 2013
Indian culture festival to feature music concert by Shashank Subramanyam
and Connecticut debut dance performance by Aparna Ramaswamy

Middletown, Conn.— Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts presents the 37th annual Navaratri Festival, celebrating the traditional culture of India with performances by some of the country's leading artists, from Thursday, October 10 through Sunday, October 13, 2013 on the Wesleyan campus in Middletown, Connecticut. One of India's major festival celebrations, Navaratri is a time to see family and friends, enjoy music and dance, and seek blessings for new endeavors. Please see below for further details.

"For us Indian musicians traveling all over the world and especially in the U.S., this campus has been a place of great respect and wonder because of its ability to sustain this program for over thirty years," said tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, who performed a sold-out concert on October 30, 2010 in Crowell Concert Hall with Niladri Kumar. "It is a privilege and a blessing to be a part of this incredible environment," said Mr. Hussain.

A special Navaratri Festival subscription package is available, which features a 15% savings on all three ticketed performances in Crowell Concert Hall: B. Balasubrahmaniyan (Friday, October 11 at 8pm), Shashank Subramanyam (Saturday, October 12 at 8pm), and Aparna Ramaswamy (Sunday, October 13 at 3pm). The Navaratri Festival subscription is available for $36 for the general public; $29 for senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff, and non-Wesleyan students; and $18 for Wesleyan students. Subscriptions are available by phone at (860) 685-3355, or in person at the Wesleyan University Box Office, located in the Usdan University Center, 45 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown. Tickets are available online at http://www.wesleyan.edu/boxoffice and may also be purchased at each event beginning one hour prior to the performance, subject to availability. The Center for the Arts accepts cash, checks written to “Wesleyan University”, and all major credit cards. Groups of ten or more may receive a discount to the performances by Shashank Subramanyam and Aparna Ramaswamy — please call (860) 685-3355 for details. No refunds, cancellations, or exchanges.
The 37th annual Navaratri Festival at Wesleyan University is made possible by the Music Department, the Center for the Arts, the Jon B. Higgins Memorial Fund, the Madhu Reddy Endowed Fund for Indian Music and Dance at Wesleyan University, the Raga Club of Connecticut, the New England Foundation for the Arts, Middlesex Community College, Haveli Indian Restaurant, and individual patrons.

For more information about the 37th annual Navaratri Festival at Wesleyan University, please visit http://www.wesleyan.edu/cfa/navaratri All programs, artists, and dates are subject to change.
Henna and Chaat hosted by Shakti
Thursday, October 10, 2013 from 7pm to 9pm
Olin Library Lobby, 252 Church Street, Middletown

Experience South Asian culture through henna art and sampling of chaat (savory snacks), hosted by Shakti, Wesleyan's South Asian Students' Association. Shakti is comprised of students that are united by their love for, connection to, or interests in South Asian culture. Shakti is an organization devoted to promoting cultural awareness among South Asians and the greater community. The organization is committed to emphasizing the social, political, and cultural aspects of the South Asian diaspora through lectures, cultural events, and fundraisers.

B. Balasubrahmaniyan: Vocal Music of South India
Friday, October 11, 2013 at 8pm
Crowell Concert Hall, 50 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown
$12 general public; $10 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students

Vocalist B. Balasubrahmaniyan, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music, is joined by Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music David Nelson on mridangam, violinist L. Ramakrishnan, and Sriram Ramesh on kanjira.
Talk by Assistant Professor of Dance Hari Krishnan: Celluloid Classicism—Intertwined Histories of the South Indian "Dance Revival" and Early South Indian Cinema
Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 1pm
CFA Hall, 287 Washington Terrace, Middletown

Wesleyan University Assistant Professor of Dance Hari Krishnan recasts the making of modern Bharatanatyam (South Indian classical dance)—the period of the so-called "dance revival"—from the vantage point of early Tamil South Indian cinematic history. Staged performances of Bharatanatyam were deeply and irrevocably affected by cinema in the early part of the 20th century, and representations of dance in cinema were constructed in dialogue with the new morality and aesthetics of the reinvented dance. Mr. Krishnan argues for a new, critical reading of dance history in South India that takes seriously the shared registers upon which Bharatanatyam and Tamil film were mutually invented between the 1930s and 1950s. Using archival and ethnographic sources, he focuses on two inter-related historical issues that mark the complex and overlapping relationship between dance and early Tamil cinema—the consistent devadasi (courtesan) presence in early cinema eclipsed by the entrance of non-devadasi, high caste women in the 1940s and 1950s, similar to the new, middle-class world into the modern Bharatanatyam; and the participation of the so-called "dance revivalists" such as Rukmini Arundale (1904-1986) and E. Krishna Iyer (1897-1968) in the making of early Tamil cinema and the moral and aesthetic valences of their contributions to Bharatanatyam.
Lecture/Demonstration by Shashank Subramanyam
Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 3pm
Crowell Concert Hall, 50 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown

A free lecture/demonstration by bamboo flute artist Shashank Subramanyam.

Shashank Subramanyam
Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 8pm
Crowell Concert Hall, 50 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown
$15 general public; $12 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students

"The notes that emerged from Shashank's flute were marked by lyrical and tonal beauty. The depth and appeal of his playing sprang from layers of silences and cadences."
The Hindu (Chennai, India)

Trained by his father and vocal maestros R.K. Srikantan and Palghat K.V. Narayanaswami, Shashank Subramanyam started performing in 1984 at the age of six. Today, Mr. Subramanyam is considered one of the best bamboo flute artists in Indian classical music. He has collaborated with Zakir Hussain, John McLaughlin, and Ustad Sultan Khan. At Wesleyan, Mr. Subramanyam will be accompanied by violinist Nishanth Chandran and Sai Giridhar on mridangam.
Saraswati Puja (Hindu Ceremony)
Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 11am
World Music Hall, 40 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown

This religious service, led by A. V. Srinivasan, marks the most auspicious day of the year for beginning new endeavors. The audience may participate and bring instruments, manuscripts, and other items for blessing.
Aparna Ramaswamy: Sannidhi (Sacred Space)
Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 3pm
Crowell Concert Hall, 50 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown
$15 general public; $12 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students

"A marvel of buoyant agility and sculptural clarity."
Dance Magazine

The new solo dance work Sannidhi (Sacred Space) by Aparna Ramaswamy, performed with live music, highlights Indian-American artists of the next generation who retain roots in their collective history while bringing their own voices to the contemporary stage. In the work, the stage becomes the sacred ground upon which to celebrate the guru, the divine, the natural world and the richness of human relationships. In five sections, Sannidhi (Sacred Space) weaves together music and movement, rhythm and lyric, spirit and emotion, creating an invisible link between dancer, musicians and audience. The Navaratri Festival will be the Connecticut debut of Ms. Ramaswamy.