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November 6, 2015
A Moving Cultural Dialogue
Indian Classical Dance as Storytelling
      
 River of Light features Indian dancers as a powerful storytelling device.  "Incorporating Indian classical dancers as part of the story... is key to including Meera's past as something that she ...longs for and finally realizes has always been with her," says stage director Tanya Kane-Parry
   "The male and female dancers at times interact with the singers, and the singers occasionally use gestures that echo the dancers. In this way, the audience sees the relationship and connection to Meera's culture as a constant presence."   

   There are at least eight forms of Indian classical dance, the symbolic movement that evolved as a ritual in the
Antonia Minnecola
choreographer and
Kathak dancer 
 sanctum of temples, using mudrā, or hand gestures, as well as body movement, to narrate the story.
  Festival Opera's production employs the artistry of choreographer Antonia Minnecola, one of the few American artists recognized as a serious exponent of Kathak dance, the rhythmic and expressive style of North India, and the disciple of Sitara Devi, widely considered the greatest f
emale Kathak dancer of our time.
   Twice a recipient of the Marin Arts Council Individual Artist Grants for Choreography, Ms. Minnecola began her training in Kathak with Pandit Chitresh Das, and also studied classical Hindustani music with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. During this period, she undertook a serious study of taal, the rhythmic science of Indian performing arts, with Ustad Allarakha.
   Ms. Minnecola has appeared internationally, and is married to to renowned percussionist Zakir Hussain. 
  
   Featured in Festival Opera's production
are dancers Richa Shukla and Gopi.
   
   Richa Shukla is a Bay Area-bred Indian Classical dancer (Kathak) and actress. She has been a student of Srimati Anuradha Nag, 
Richa Shukla
featured dancer and former Miss India USA
1st runner-up (2008) 
disciple of the legendary Pandit Birju Maharaj. She has performed on the international stage and as a featured dancer at the 2014 Bollywood Filmfare Awards. Ms. Shukla is the granddaughter of
Prabha and
Mysore Gopal, and says, "I feel extremely honored to be performing for this program [Savitri] which is being dedicated to my recently deceased and beloved grandfather."



 
Weaving The Tale of Savitri  
Principal artists of Savitri
Maya Kherani
 
Philip Skinner
in Otello 2013
Jorge Garza
in About Face 2012
 
Get your seat NOW for Festival Opera's presentation of Gustav Holst's Savitri and Jack Perla and Chitra Divakaruni's River of Light

More production information at Festival Opera

Click here for TICKET INFO.
  
Calendar                TICKETS

November 2015
November 14  
2:00 pm Saturday 
Oakland Asian Cultural Center  
 
Holst's Savitri
Perla & Divakaruni's
River of Light

November 14  
8:00 pm Saturday 
Oakland Asian Cultural Center  
Holst's Savitri
Perla & Divakaruni's
River of Light
November 15 
4:00 pm Sunday 
Oakland Asian Cultural Center
Holst's Savitri
Perla & Divakaruni's
River of Light

December 2015
December 10 
6:30 pm 
Round Hill Country Club, Alamo
Holiday Gala
SAVE THE DATE!
Summer 2016
Todos Santos Plaza, Concord, CA
Opera in the Park

Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek
Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio 
Fall 2016  
TBA

Workshop: Wang Jie's
From The Land Fallen 
Contact Us

Festival Opera

1630 North Main Street, #61 

Walnut Creek, California 94596   

925.944.9610

www.festivalopera.org  

 

Sara Nealy - General Director

Dick Brundage, CBC - Marketing Director  

______________________    

Board of Directors    

Susie Hanson, Chair

Peter Johnson, Vice Chair 

David Baer, Secretary      

Nina Bancroft Dickerson 

Jennifer Kwock-Lau     

Diane Heald