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EVAM 2020: 5th Edition of Classical Dance Festival in Mumbai

EVAM, India’s first crowd-funded classical dance festival has become one of the most awaited events in Mumbai’s cultural calendar. The festival not only garnered funds from people across the globe but was also one of the most successful crowd-funded campaigns. Over the years EVAM has featured the best names in classical dance like Rama Vaidyanathan, Vaibhav Arekar, Neena Prasad, Rani Khannum, Satyajith Dhananjayan, Meenakshi Srinivasan, Parshwanath Upadhye & several other youngsters.

This year, EVAM takes place in January and February and the first month hosts Jonathan Hollander’s Battery Dance, New York. An integral part of the fabric of New York City for 44 years, Battery supports the creative process; educates children in the New York City schools; enriches the general public through local programs and performances, national and international tours, and international arts exchange programs. They have won hearts with their innovative and emotion-stirring repertoire, spectacular dancers and unique collaborations with Indian artists.

Battery Dance is truly a globe-trotting dance company that has electrified audiences in 70 countries to date. India is undoubtedly its favourite port-of-call. Apart from dance productions, the Company has travelled the world, working with at-risk youth, teaching them the tools of choreography so they can tell their stories through dance in their ‘Dancing to Connect’ project which has reached over 50 countries. Jonathan Hollander’s exemplary social service was recognised with Germany’s highest civilian honour for 2018.

Battery’s outreach projects are wonderfully documented in the film MOVING STORIES which will be screened on 13th, January 2020 at Sumeet Nagdev Dance Company’s studio in Dadar from 3-5 pm.

On 14th January, the internationally-acclaimed BATTERY DANCE COMPANY will premiere their sophisticated and dramatic work, The Red Line, by Slovenia born choreographer Tadej Brdnik. They also present SHAKTI:  A Return to the Source – a work that has found a unique answer to the East-West puzzle and a reprise of the exuberant Observatory by South African choreographer Theo Ndindwa. A new classical solo by Unnath from Hassan, Karnataka will follow. The scintillating evening takes place at St. Andrews Auditorium Bandra, Mumbai 7 pm onwards.

This year EVAM wishes to recreate a magical and individualistic experience for audiences in an ambience that allows for a personal journey with the artiste as they present a solo performance with a live musical ensemble. The current icon of Bharathanatyam Smt. Rama Vaidyanathan & Kathak’s firebrand- Pt. Uma Dogra will enthral the audiences on February 15th,2020 at Ravindra Natya Mandir, 5 pm onwards.

Apart from star-studded shows, the festival provides an inclusive set of unique workshops to benefit students of dance. A body conditioning and fitness workshop by Amith Kumar from DanceWorx is highly anticipated & Bharathanatyam workshop by Rama Vaidyanathan is back again on popular demand.

Keerthana Ravi | PC: Inni Singh

Evam has grown every year and talking about its inception, the Festival Founder- Keerthana Ravi said, “The idea of the festival germinated as a sore point for me while attending programmes in Mumbai. I found that classical dance programmes had very limited patronage and participation, as most performances were attended by friends and family of the dancer or other dancers at most. I felt that the layperson isn’t drawn to watch a classical performance and that was worrisome because if the viewers do not grow then there will always be lesser platforms & opportunities for dancers. Hence, I felt that the onus is on me, as a young practitioner of the art. This led me to start RasaBodhi Arts foundation and EVAM to bridge the gap between artistes and art lovers and to create newer audiences for our glorious culture.”

The festival has found support in people from different walks of life. Anita Menon, Founder of ANKA fabric says, “Once again EVAM is bringing a fantastic line up of artists.  It is one festival I eagerly look forward to every year. Thanks Keerthana and team EVAM for this treat!” Shruti Ranade, Bharthanatyam dancer states, “As a dancer and a Rasika, one always marks the calendar when it comes to Festivals that bring to you the best. Evam is one such festival that brings us a plethora of amazingly talented artists. Eagerly looking forward to Evam 2020 for more learning and inspiration!” Entrepreneur and artist Anil Kumar Singh shares, “Keerthana’s infectious zeal drew me to EVAM in 2016. I couldn’t help but come on board and become a part of the core team. Over the years we have grown from strength to strength and this year promises to be even bigger.” This cultural extravaganza will prosper with the patronage of Mumbaikars.

  • Dates: January 13th & 14th and February 15th, 2020
  • Venue: SNDA, Dadar, St. Andrews Auditorium & Ravindra Natya Mandir, Mumbai
  • Ticket Price: 350 & 500
  • Online Ticket: HERE or call 9987110944 /9845263278 for details

Written by Shilpa Nanjappa, Bharthanatyam artist, choreographer & researcher based in Kodagu.

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