ICMC’s India Dance Festival will host the US premiere of "Meet Me on the Meadow" on Saturday August 24, 2019. The 90-Minute Kathak-based musical was launched in India in 2017 and has had multiple performances since, all winning media and audience acclaim.
Kathak (Story-Telling) - the dance style from North India has the charm and subtlety associated with miniature paintings. Nurtured in the holy precincts of the Hindu temples, Kathak was further enhanced under the Persian influence during the Moghul reign in India, attaining supreme refinement as a Classical dance form and establishing a discipline through various gharana’s and styles thereof.
Meet Me on the Meadow the musical portrays an epic love tale through music and dance, in another timeless context. The musical is written, directed and produced by Anita Kulkarni, Founder-President-Artistic Director at Renu – The Foundation for Art, a NJ Non-Profit, with Guru Akhila Rao of Kathak Rhythms, Dallas-TX choreographing the Kathak dance sequences for the Show US Tour, 2019. The dances are performed by her senior disciples.
In the story, a gorgeous girl, often losing herself in the thoughts of Vrindavan chances upon beautiful love on the meadow. Love blossoms, then meeting an uphill road of separation where mortal challenges of suspicion and fear dislocate her poise. Will she endure it? Will they rise in love? The show takes away from the Radha-Krishna metaphor, leaving the audience with a liberating message in a sensory journey of music, poetry and dance.
Architect-Artist Anita Kulkarni works with the mission of interpreting the uplifting Indian arts to global audiences. Her conceptualized artistic themes, often illustrated through brilliant aesthetics, celebrate art by drawing people into the experience. Anita sees art as a powerful aesthetic expression to convey a holistic message. Anita’s productions have done extremely well world-over, with "Panorama" – the Kathak-BharataNatyam integration performing in France at a prestigious festival during its India run, ‘Gandhaar’ and ‘Pancham’ (Music Appreciation programs, supported by art grants), ‘Arts of India’ executed in partnership with The Taubman Museum of Art in Virginia-USA, ‘Sangam’ - a novel artistic presentation she directed in Houston-TX, ‘Nirmohi’ - a solo musical on the life-poetry of Kabeer and MeeraBai, and ‘Bhaav Bhairavi’ – A musical portrait of raag Bhairavi’s momentous emotional appeal. Anita is based in NJ-USA and splits time between India and the US.
Akhila Rao has been in the field of Kathak for over 40 years and is the Founder-Director of Kathak Rhythms, a leading Dallas-based school training students in the art form of Kathak since 20 years. Many of her students have completed the Visharad (Graduation) level and their Manch Pravesh (Dance Debut). Her senior students have performed at prestigious programs receiving acclaim and recognition globally, through festivals such as Kal-Ke-Kalakar, Lotus World Festival, Gandharva Festival, Internaitonal Kathak Festival etc, and were honored with titles like Singar Mani, Natya Praveena and Nritya Gandharva. Akhila’s artistic work is noted for providing an opportunity to the second generation Indian diaspora and dance lovers to see Kathak in its purity and entirety, with the nuances of abhinaya (Acting), layakari (tempo-highlighting footwork) and padhant (rhythm reciting) that characterize Kathak. Akhila, with her choreographic designs and dance direction beautifully brings out the drama on the meadow.
Written, Directed, Produced: Anita Kulkarni
Choreography & Dance Direction: Akhila Rao
Music: Anita Kulkarni, Satyajit Kelkar, Amod Kulkarni, Chinmay Kolhatkar
Costumes: Anita Kulkarni, Akhila Rao
PC: Gaurav Rokade
Pompi Mukherjee (Odissi Dance) - From a young age, Pompi Mukherjee ,a Dallas based Odissi dancer was introduced to Odissi, under Late Guru Muralidhar Majhi. As a young adult, she pursued this dance form with Nritya Shiromani Guru Smt. Aloka Kanungo and is presently learning from Guru Supradipta Datta. In India, she has performed in prestigious venues like Kalamandir, Gyan Manch, Gorky Sadan and Rabindra Sadan to name a few. She has also been a regular artist of the network television of India. During her stay in the US, she also had the privilege of performing in the Indian Association of North Texas, Bengali Association of Dallas Fort Worth, The North American Bengali Conference, Karya Siddhi Hanuman Temple, DFW Hindu Temple Society - Ekta Temple, AlokUtsav, Houston, The Dupree Theater, Dallas, Odissi Conference at North Carolina. Additionally, she has collaborated with legendary dancers like Guru Smt. Kalavati Devi (Maha Raas) and Meenakshi Sheshadri (Ganesh Vandana)