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Workshop Classical Sattriya Dance (Leiden)

20 mei 2017 @ 14:00 - 16:00


Sattriya (pronounced ‘Hottriya’) is one of India’s eight classical dance forms. The dance emerges from a five hundred years old comprehensive theater tradition nurtured in the Vaishnavite monasteries called “Sattras” in Assam, India. Its creator a Vaishnavite saint and social reformer named Sri Sankardeva employed the art, both plastic and performance to propagate his neo-Vaishnavite movement of the universal message of peace and social harmony. For years, this dance was confined to the walls of the monasteries where celibate male monks performed and practised the art as a part of daily rituals and ceremonial offerings. Today Sattriya is flowing from the monasteries to the contemporary world and performed widely amongst men and women.

Dancer: Deepshikha Boro

Venue: LAK studio K031 (basement)
Lipsius Building, Humanities Faculty,
Cleveringaplaats 1, 2311 BD Leiden, The Netherlands

Tickets: For students €7,50, For others €12,50



1.       Opening

2.       Sutradhar Nritya
Sutradhar Nritya is primarily a male dance and a combination of nritta (pure dance), nritya (expressive dance), natya (abhinaya or facial expression) and narration. This is a one-act play called Ankiaya Bhaona composed by Sri Sankardeva. The character of Sutradhar tells a story and presents the spiritual value of Vaishnavism in a complete classical format.

3.       Dashavatar Nritya
Dashavatar Nritya depicts the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu known as Dashavatar. The session will demonstrate and invite the audience to try different hand gestures or hastas in Sattriya style to depict the forms of ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. The ten avatars are Matsya- the fish, Kurma- the tortoise, Varaha- the boar, Narasimha- the man-lion, Vamana- the Dwarf, Parasurama- the warrior with the axe, Rama- the prince and king of Ayodhya, Balarama- one who holds the plough, Buddha and Kalki- the destroyer of filth.

4.       Krishna Nritya
Krishna Nritya is one of the major dances in Sattriya style depicting the childhood of Lord Krishna and his playfulness. Krishna dance is a pure dance performed in ektaal and sutataal.

5.       Rasar Nach
In Rasar Nach, Lord Krishna and gopis or the milkmaids dance in a circle, with multiple forms of Krishna appearing magically to dance with each gopi. A simple choreography will offer the audience to participate in the dance form.

6.       Mukha Bhaona with Hanuman Mask
A short presentation of mask ballad will show how masks are used to depict demons and special characters in the dramas of religious plays in Assam. The art of mask making is an integral part of Sattriya culture and originated in the Sattras of Assam.

7.       Discussion

About the artist and the Gurus
Deepshikha Boro was born in Assam, India. She started her dance training in Bharatanatyam at the early age of nine under Guru Indira P.P. Bora, an internationally acclaimed dancer and exponent of Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi and Sattriya. Indira P.P. Bora is a Sangeet Natak Academi awardee and a direct disciple of Late Rukmini Devi Arundale. She is also one of the first female pioneers of Sattriya dance. Deepshikha, however, explored her roots of Sattriya dance under the training of Guru Atulananda Goswami, a dancer of repute. Born in a culturally rich environment of Majuli, he has been trained in Sattriya art since his childhood under the training of his father the Late Narayan Chandadera Goswami who was a saint from the Ahatguri Sattra in Majuli. Guru Atulananda Goswami has acquired accreditation as an artist through several awards.

As a young modern artist, Sattriya is Deepshikha’s identity as an Assamese performer yet she remains open to other cultures. She is now exploring the classical Javanese dance under the training of Dr Clara Brakel Papenhuyzen, who is presently residing in Leiden, the Netherlands. Dr Brakel has been researching, performing and teaching the classical Javanese as well as Indian classical dances internationally at many well-known academic institutions. She personally met the Late Rukmini Devi Arundale who invited her to lecture at her institute for classical Bharatanatyam dance in Madras in the 1980s. Deepshikha has performed the classical Javanese dance in several workshops with Kuwung- Kuwung, the Javanese dance group of Leiden University, in museums, and at cultural events in the Netherlands to spread the knowledge of the art form.


20 mei 2017
14:00 - 16:00
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