• Wed. May 22nd, 2024

Nrityangahara Spreads Sattriya Dance to Underprivileged Youth in Delhi Slums

Nrityangahara, a well-known Sattriya dance organization, partnered with the Uttejana Foundation and received support from the Asom Sattra Mahasabha of Guwahati to organize a unique two-day ‘Varnanam’ workshop. The event aimed to introduce the ancient Sattriya dance form, known for its graceful movements, intricate footwork, and expressive hand gestures, to underprivileged children living in the slums of Kirti Nagar, New Delhi.

The fourth edition of this impactful community outreach program was held on May 4th and 5th. The first day was dedicated to training the children in the fundamentals of Sattriya dance, such as mati-akhora (footwork), hand gestures and mudras, and the expression of the nine rasas or emotions.

On the second day, Nrityangahara’s Managing Director Anannya Mahanta, Programme Head Bishwasi Mahanta, and Project Director Swagata Sarma showcased Sattriya dance pieces for the students. The event concluded with a vote of thanks from Anurag Sehgal, founder and director of Uttejana Foundation, the local host organization.
“We are grateful for the immense support from the Asom Sattra Mahasabha in making this event successful,” said Anannya Mahanta. “It was a wonderful experience organizing the fourth ‘Varnanam’ workshop.”

Swagata Sarma added, “We tried our best to provide a foundation in Sattriya basics like hand mudras and nava-rasa to these underprivileged children and introduce them to the classical creations of the Sattriya ‘gurus.'”Bishwasi Mahanta stated, “Nrityangahara’s sole purpose has always been to promote and propagate the Sattriya art and culture to the best of our abilities. This event is just a humble attempt to spread awareness.”

The two-day workshop was attended by slum children from Kirti Nagar, residents, and members of the Uttejana Foundation team. Through grassroots programs like Varnanam, the rich Buddhist Sattriya dance heritage of Assam is finding new audiences and the next generation of practitioners in the cities of North India. Nrityangahara and Uttejana Foundation are committed to continuing this journey and expanding the reach of Sattriya dance to more underprivileged communities.


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