The acclaimed South Indian dance troupe, the Shakti Dance Company, will participate in a series of events at USC, including a master dance class, a screening and discussion of the film Dancing with Shakti and a full performance. The evening performance is open to the public and will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Bovard Auditorium.
Artistic director Viji Prakash founded the Shakti Dance Company as a way to introduce young South Asian American youth to the ancient art of Bharata Natyam dance. A virtuoso in this ancient classical dance form, Prakash is an internationally acclaimed dancer, choreographer and teacher. Her dynamic stage presence and her rhythmic command over the complex foot patterns and striking facial expressions bring to life the beauty and grandeur of this art form. She has had intensive training from an early age with the grandmasters of the Tanjavur tradition of Bharata Natyam--Guru Kalyanasundaram and Guru Mahalingam Pillai, directors of the Raja Rajeshwari Bharata Natya Kala Mandir in Bombay.
Viji has performed and toured extensively in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan and Thailand. Her choreographic works include the Los Angeles Festival's Sons of Kunti at the Wadsworth Theater, the musicals Purandharadasa and Meera at the Terrace Theater, Manifestations of Shakti at the Japan America Theater, Dance of the Immortals at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and the nationwide tours of Meera and Shyama.
Her choreographic works, Sant Meera and Prince to Buddha--Journey to Enlightenment, toured the United States with performances at the Lincoln Center and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC). The Bhagvad Gita, which toured the United States and Canada in 2002 and 2003, has received much acclaim from critics and connoisseurs alike.
Her newest choreographic dance ballet, Shiva-Shakti, has been commissioned to be presented at the United Nations in September 2006.
Viji received the Best Guru Award from the Madras Music Academy in Chennai, India in 2001. Viji is a two-time recipient of the Brody Choreographic Fellowship, the California Arts Council Award, and the Excellence in Arts Award of the Torrance Cultural Arts Commission, and she is an associate professor of dance in World Arts and Cultures at UCLA.
Organized by Nancy Lutkehaus (anthropology/gender studies), Priya Jaikumar (cinema), Dorinne Kondo (anthropology/Asian studies), Gelya Frank (occupational therapy), Doe Mayer (cinema) and Anita Kumar (anthropology).
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Added by kiracle on January 7, 2007