One of Carmel’s hidden gems is preparing to step out into the spotlight.
Since 2008 Carmel resident Mangala Anand has worked as the artistic director of NrithyaBharathi Institute of Dance that’s located north of Carmel and Arbor Drives. There she practices and teaches a form of dance known as Bharatanatyam set to Indian classical music.
Last year she conducted the institute’s first festival to celebrate the artform. Called Ranga Shankaraa, the event was held at the Zionsville Performing Arts Center. And this year’s Ranga Shankaraa has moved to the bright lights of Carmel’s Center for the Performing Arts and has grown in size and scope.
“As part of our cross cultural initiatives, we’d like to conduct an annual dance and music festival and would also like to propagate this rich art form to audiences around the world. We want this festival to be a beautiful art experience that is cherished by art lovers and will be a showcase that articulates this unparalleled experience to young aspiring talent,” Anand said. “We intend to be a crossroad for culture in the Midwest … and contribute a professional world class level event to Carmel — city of art.”
In addition to Anand, the largest celebration of Indian classical music and dance in North America will feature performances by world-reknown dancers Divyasena and Prashant Shah and music by Kalaimamani Nagai Muralidaram, Chennai Nagai Sriram and Kalaimamani Mannargudi Easwaran.
But the event is also intended to be a cross-cultural exchange where young dancers and artists can come to learn.
“It is very important to young aspiring talents training in different forms to have an opportunity to witness the same arts, with at most pristine purity and be able to emulate, as torch bearers to keep them alive in the right spirit,” Anand said. “It also means to give back to the community an avenue to bring social health and positive vibes and healthy minds contributing in a small way to building a healthy society.”
She also said that the message of Ranga Shankaraa is for people to come together in harmony because dance and music transcend any barriers and connect lives and people.
“We would like to urge people to not look at art as something different from life; it is very much a part and parcel of who we are,” Anand said. “There is much more magic that people should experience and enjoy and celebrate.”
“Ranga Shankaraa” Dance and Music Festival ● Booth Tarkington Civic Theater in Carmel ● 3:30 p.m. April 6 ● Tickets start at $8 ● For more information call 843-3800 or visit www.thecenterfortheperformingarts.org.