Celebration of Diwali Festival of Light at Main Street Arts

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SAXTONS RIVER >> Diwali, the Indian festival of light, will be celebrated Saturday, Oct. 29 at Main Street Arts, 35 Main St., Saxtons River.

The evening begins at 5:30 p.m. with the lighting of the Diwali lamps and an invocation by Prachi Dalal, followed by a short demonstration of Indian music by Do One Thing, the duo of Gordon Korstange on south Indian flute and Joel Eisenkramer on north Indian slide guitar.

Dalal will then present movement and rhythms from the classical dance repertoire of Kathak, a dance form that evolved in Northern India through the confluence of Hindu and Islamic aesthetics, and conclude by leading the audience in a circle folk dance.

The ceremony and dance will be followed by an Indian dinner prepared by The Spice Chambers Indian restaurant of Keene, N.H. Tickets for the event are $15, with children under eight free, and the dinner an additional $12 per plate, with reservations recommended.

Diwali is a festival of light with many symbolisms: dispelling darkness and ushering in light, the victory of good over evil, dispelling ignorance and ushering in wisdom, and bringing in prosperity and happiness.

Born in Mumbai, Dalal is a dancer and choreographer trained in Kathak, a classical Indian dance form. She choreographed the Indian segment for the production Roads of the Roma for the Washington Revels (2003) and the chamber opera production Phoolan Devi: The Bandit Queen composed by Shirish Korde (2010). She has been the Dance Festival Director for Erasing Borders: Festival of Indian Dance. The festival was launched in 2008 under her direction and has grown to become a major presenter of Indian dance in New York City. She has given several performances and workshops in India and the United States. She currently lives in Vermont with her son.

Korstange began learning south Indian music on the bamboo flute as a Peace Corps volunteer in south India. Upon his return to the U.S., he studied with the eminent flutist T. Viswanathan at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., from which he received an M.A. in World Music and Creative Writing. He has been part of the group Kirtana, which has performed Carnatic music in the New England area as well as India for 25 years.

Eisenkramer is a multi-instrumentalist from southern Vermont who has been studying Hindustani slide guitar since 2008 with Dr Ranjan Kumar of Delhi, India. He has also studied Indian music with Ustad Aashish Khan in Santa Cruz, Calif., and with tabla maestro Pandit Subhash Nirwan in Delhi.

Reservations can be made by contacting Main Street Arts at info@mainstreetarts.org or 802-869-2960.


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