The Dancing Monks of Assam & Sattriya Dance Company
6 PM Pre-Show Lec-Dem by Rajika Puri
First US tour of the Dancing Monks of Assam!
Traveling from beautiful monasteries on the river island of Majuli and surrounding Assam in north-east India, the Dancing Monks perform Sattriya - a form of dance-drama cultivated as a way to worship in the monasteries of Assam. The monks dance to honor god Vishnu in his flute-playing Krishna incarnation, narrating playful, sensuous and fantastical episodes of his life, as recounted in the ancient epics. For centuries, Sattriya remained confined to the monasteries, where celibate monks practiced, nurtured and preserved it as part of their daily rituals. Women had little access to it until the mid-20th century. In 2000, the government of India incorporated the dance into its pantheon of classical arts. It is an unbroken, living tradition that includes drama, dance, song and a special form of choreographed yoga.
The Philadelphia-based Sattriya Dance Company was launched in 2009 with a mission to tell the story of and promote Sattriya, as well as raise awareness about Majuli and the sattras through performances, lecture demonstrations, and classes.
Together, they will perform the premiere of Sattriya: An Odyssey of the Spirit
Support for this project has been provided to Madhusmita Bora by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Philadelphia.