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Michelle Tabnick
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Dixon Place
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New York City
New York
New York, NY

Jiva Dance presents the World Premiere of THE FOUR HORSEMEN, March 7, 8 & 10

by Michelle Tabnick
January 28, 2019
Dixon Place
258 Bowery, 2nd Floor
(btw Houston and Prince)
New York, NY 10012
Jiva Dance presents the World Premiere of The Four Horsemen on March 7 & 8, 2019 at 8pm and March 10, 2019 at 4pm at Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002. There will be a post-show talk-back on March 8 with the choreographers Maya Kulkarni and Sonali Skandan, moderated by NYC Indian classical dance veteran and curator Rajika Puri. Tickets are General - $28 (Early Bird Until Feb 14) / $30 Advance / $35 Door Students and Seniors  ($25 Early Bird Until Feb 14) / $28 Advance / $30 Door and can be purchased at https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/1004759.

THE FOUR HORSEMEN is an innovative Indian Classical dance production, exploring symbolism from the story of the Apocalypse through Indian classical dance, music, and Sanskrit poetry. The work centers around four vignettes of life and death through four female protagonists who stand for universal human experience. The stories - a woman shackled to the life of a courtesan (conquest), a woman reminiscing the night she spent with her lover who is at war (war), a mother searching for nourishment for her child in the midst a sandstorm (famine), and finally a woman at the end of her life recalling memories that span youthful joy to hardship and loss (death) - are touchingly timely. The new work challenges the notion of Indian classical dance content and technique and moves beyond the traditional to incorporate a cross-cultural analysis of female experience.

The work highlights original choreography by Maya Kulkarni and Sonali Skandan with music commissioned to the celebrated composer Rajkumar Bharathi (Chennai, India) and Bala Skandan (NYC) with sound design by Sai Sharavanam of Resound, India. The show features a cast of four dancers. The project is supported by funds from the inaugural Dance/NYC Dance Advancement Fund, and the NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs. The initial choreographic ideas and dramaturgy were developed in residency at Queens College through the CUNY Dance Initiative from 2017- 2018. The script was written by Shiv Subramanian and narrative guidance from our Dramaturge Kate Farrington from Pearl Theatre and Queens College.

MAYA KULKARNI (Concept Designer, Choreographer) is a New York Dance Master Teacher and a leading exponent of Bharatanatyam. She studied dance under illustrious Gurus Parvati Kumar,  Jayalaxmi Alva, Dandayuthapani Pillai, and Kittappa Pillai. She trained under Kalanidhi Narayanan in mime and expressions and has performed extensively in the United States and India to great critical acclaim. Maya is noted for brilliant footwork, a symmetry of form and line and narrative interpretations. Anna Kisselgoff of The New York Times describes her as the "dancer's dancer" who has a natural "blend of dramatic and technical excellence … a performer who never forgets to communicate with her audience." She choreographed and produced dance dramas such as Shakuntala a classic play by 5th Century poet Kalidasa's Ananga Bhasma and Meera. Kulkarni also studies the Indian aesthetic theory and was awarded a grant by the New York State Creative Artist's program in Choreography for a comparative study of Indian and Japanese (Zeami's) aesthetics. Last year she choreographed and directed new dance pieces, which were premiered by Danseuse Mesma Balsare at the TriNethra dance festival in Boston in November 2017. Currently, she teaches several established dancers the art of abhinaya, interpretation, and acting.

SONALI SKANDAN (Artistic Director, Concept Designer, Choreographer and Dancer) is a passionate and accomplished artist of Bharatanatyam and one of the more visible artists in the field today. Sonali was born in India and immigrated to the US at the age of 5. Sonali has been an NYC resident for almost 30 years, and her work reflects the urban, dynamic and diverse atmosphere inherent in the city. She has received praise in the New York Times, Financial Times, and The NJ Star Ledger, among others and has presented solo and group Bharatanatyam worldwide. Sonali is the Artistic Director of Jiva Performing Arts, where she teaches and creates engaging dance productions to increase the accessibility of the classical arts, and Jiva Dance, a professional dance company presenting compelling works based on Bharatanatyam. She is a long-time student of the legendary C.V. Chandrasekhar and Bragha Bessell of India and receives creative mentorship from the acclaimed Maya Kulkarni.  Sonali has been on the dance faculty at Sarah Lawrence College, as well as the first Indian dance faculty for the Joffrey Ballet Summer Intensive. In 2017, under Sonali's leadership, Jiva Dance was also the first Indian Classical dance company to be awarded the CUNY Dance Initiative residency at Queens College. Sonali recently finished filming Bharatanatyam introductory lessons for Juilliard's new online program. Jiva Dance's debut dance film,"Urban Nritta," was an official selection for the 17th New York Indian Film Festival. Sonali will be teaching a course on Bharatanatyam at Queens College in the Spring of 2019.

Jiva Dance is a critically acclaimed dance company based in NYC. Under the artistic direction of Sonali Skandan, Jiva Dance sees the importance of preserving and promoting the traditional arts, yet also understands the need to incorporate innovative techniques to reach diverse audiences. Jiva Dance holds the belief that tradition is a continuum of evolution and hopes to invigorate classical works with a freshness and unique voice. They have presented at Universities, Colleges, and Festivals across the US and internationally to much acclaim. Their debut dance film, 'Urban Nritta,' has garnered much attention, and was an official selection for the 2017 New York Indian Film Festival. www.jivadance.org
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