From Persia to Indonesia
Mandala stretches beyond the rich density and history of Indian dance and music to include artistic traditions from across southern Asia. With national borders being more porous than ever, rapid cultural exchange, exciting hybridities, and the development of new forms are constant and a reality of today's world. Mandala presents performances and concerts that put the full spectrum of South Asian cultural achievement on display.
Mandala's Executive Artistic Director, Pranita (Jain) Nayar, has twenty years of experience bringing the dance and music of a culturally rich subcontinent to Chicago and the US. Classical performances associated with rituals and royal courts, dance and music popularized by cinema and digital media, examples of folk traditions—Jain has presented and produced them all.
Nayar has choreographic experience working in many genres. She worked with I Gusti Kertayudha Nguraah of Bali and JJ from Thailand to weave three dance and music styles together to create The Story of Rama, performed at The Art Institute of Chicago and Chicago Humanities Festival. Tatva, a choreographic work developed by Nepalese dance artist Prajwal Ratnacharya and Nayar explored the importance of the environment and the respect afforded it in ancient cultures. Jain has collaborated with belly dancer Erika Ocho and Oud artist Ronnie Malley on a number of programs.
Bharata Natyam, Oddissi, Kathak, Kathakkali, Barong, Cecak, Legong, Chari Nritya, Thai, Kandyan, and Belly dance are all forms and practices that Mandala curates and presents.