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For Press Inquiries, contact Camille Cintrón Devlin, Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications at 703-993-8794 or cdevlin6@gmu.edu

NRITYAGRAM DANCE ENSEMBLE RETURNS MAY 5

April 13, 2006
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.

GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS &
WASHINGTON PERFORMING ARTS SOCIETY
PRESENT
THE INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED
NRITYAGRAM DANCE ENSEMBLE
SACRED SPACE/ MARGAM—THE PATH
WASHINGTON DC AREA PREMIERE!
FRIDAY, MAY 5, 8PM


Fairfax, Virginia, April 13, 2006—“It took less than a minute after the curtain rose for the audience to know that the performance of Nrityagram was a great one,” declared The New York Times after a recent performance by this, India’s singular guardian of ancient dance traditions. The Nrityagram Dance Ensemble returns to the Center for the Arts on Friday, May 5, 2006 at 8PM, in a co-presentation with Washington Performing Arts Society, with a performance of Sacred Space/Margam – the Path, an incredible journey into the inner reaches of sacred Hindu temples. As Nrityagram’s artistic director Surupa Sen explains, “The first half of the performance will be pure dance, pure movement, while the second half tells stories, taken from mythology, usually poetry.” A pre-performance discussion begins 45-minutes prior to the curtain on the hall’s Grand Tier.
Nrityagram’s dances are recreations of typical Odissi recitals, which normally progress from mangalacharan (an invocation) through pallavi (pure dance) and traditional abhinaya (interpretive verses) to moksh (dance of liberation). Although the Odissi dance form may be centuries old, Surupa Sen explains that Sacred Space is new and the choreography totally original. She says, “Odissi is the language with which we tell the story.”

Sen goes on to explain that Odissi is a “more rounded, lyrical and sensuous” dance than the other classical forms. Intricately related to the temple architecture and sculptures, Odissi gives the audience the illusion that statues become a moving motif. “Wherever you catch a movement,” comments Sen, “it's a replica of something from the temple.”

The Nrityagram dancers are renowned for their impeccable precision, timing and relation to each other -- qualities gained through intense training and communal living on the Nrityagram village outside Bangalore. The dancers tend the grounds and grow their own food, study yoga, Sanskrit, dance history and philosophy. In this way, explains Sen, the dancers learn that “dance is a way of life, that it is a tradition rather than a technique.”

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Tickets for Nrityagram Dance Ensemble are $42, $34, $21. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit www.tickets.com. The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K. Visit www.gmu.edu/cfa