Concerts from the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

APRIL 19, 2018, 12:00 PM

Sattriya Dance Compnay with the Dancing Monks of Assam

Coolidge Auditorium

Sattriya is a dance form which is more than 500 years old, and which comes from the Vaishnavite monasteries of Assam northeast India. The dance was not accessible to women for centuries. In 2000, the Indian government recognized Sattriya as one of the country's major dance forms.

The Philadelphia-based Sattriya Dance Company was launched in 2009 with a mission to tell the story of Sattriya and raise awareness about Majuli and its sattras (monasteries) through performances, lecture demonstrations, and classes. The company's artistic directors are Madhusmita Bora and Prerona Bhuyan.

Madhusmita Bora was born and raised in Assam, and grew up to the rhythms of Sattriya practiced routinely at her village prayer house. She made her debut as a dancer before she turned four, performing at her village temple for the annual Raax festival, dedicated to celebrating the life of Lord Krishna. Madhusmita trained under Padmashree Jatin Goswami, Guru Ramkrishna Talukdar, Guru Naren Barua and Adhyapak Gobinda Kalita from the Uttar Kamalabari Sattra. She has also intensively trained and performed with Kathak Guru Janaki Patrik of New York. 

Prerona Bhuyan was introduced into the world of dance by her mother at the age of four. She studied Sattriya under the guidance of Nirtyacharya Padmashree Jatin Goswami, Guru Naren Barua, Anita Sharma and Guru Ramkrishna Talukdar. Prerona is also a producer with Folk Beats, a music production company, dedicated to promoting and preserving Assamese folk music. She worked on the documentary film Borgeet- Eti Dhrupad Sampad, about a corpus of Assamese songs written by the 15th-16th guru Shrimonto Shankardev and his disciple Madhavdev. She divides her time between the United States and India, promoting Sattriya.

The company will be joined by the Dancing Monks of Assam, a group for internationally performing monk artists led by Sattriya exponent Adhyapak Dr.Bhabananda Barbayan. The monks are engaged in the promotion and propagation of Sattriya art and culture through workshops, seminars, and cultural events.

Support for this project was provided to Madhusmita Bora by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Philadelphia.
Other sponsors include Oil India Limited and Headlong, where Madhusmita is an incubated artist.

A free noon concert series presented by the American Folklife Center and the Music Division of the Library of Congress. Most concerts are held in the Coolidge Auditorium (located on the Ground Floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress) or the Whittall Pavilion (next to the Coolidge, on the Ground Floor, Jefferson Building). Occasionally, concerts may be in other locations, which will be specified above in the concert description. Presented in Partnership with the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. NO TICKETS REQUIRED.