This Saturday, November 21st, Flushing Town Hall will celebrate the Festival of Lights with its first-ever Diwali Festival, featuring internationally renowned musicians and dancers from India, workshops, a fashion show, traditional foods, and family-friendly activities.
The three-hour celebration, which runs from 1:00 to 4:00, will feature a number of master artists. Tickets – $20/$15 Members/$10 Students & Children –are available at by clicking here.
One of our Teaching Artists, Abha Roy, will perform at the event. She has blazed a trail of her own in the sphere of Kathak, a classic northern Indian dance form.
Abha started her career as a classical dancer in 1984, completing her diploma in Kathak under the guidance of late great Guru Kundan Lal Gangani. She attained professional precision under the training of Pt. Durgalal when she completed her specialization in Kathak Kendra, New Delhi.
She has served on the Indian Council of Cultural Relations, dancing Kathak around the world as commissioned representative of Indian dance. Abha has conducted workshops and classes for New York City schools, universities, libraries and museums since 1992 and is the founding director of Srijan Dance Center.
The other artists performing at the event are:
- Sarika Persaud is a senior student of Abha’s. She has been learning Kathak for 13 years. Sarika had her rangmanch pravesh, or professional debut, in October 2014. She is currently a doctoral student in the Clinical-School Child Psychology program at Pace University.
- Amanjeet Kaur has been learning Kathak under the guidance of Abha for 11 years. Since beginning at the age of 11, she has advanced in ability learning Kathak and is now on her way to mastering intricate footwork, technical compositions, and contemporary dance pieces. She has performed both classical and fusion pieces, gained experience in folk dance, collaborated with live musicians, and performed thumris, taranas, tihais, and gatas.
- Santa Nandi started her training in Indian classical dance at a very young age, and has attended undergraduate and medical schools as well as dance classes at the same time. She has been completely comfortable practicing medicine as her profession, while passionately pursuing dance performances.
- Falu is internationally recognized for her rare ability to seamlessly blend a signature modern inventive style with a formidable Indian classically shaped vocal talent. In her early years in Bombay, Falu (aka Falguni Shah) was trained rigorously in the Jaipur musical tradition and the Benares style of Thumrie. She later continued studying under the late Sarangi/vocal master Ustad Sultan Khan, and continues to study with the legendary Smt. Kishori Amonkar (Jaipur style).
- Naren Budhakar is a versatile tabla player with high aesthetic sense. He has worked with various prominent vocalists, instrumentalists and dancers of Indian classical music tradition. He also has contributed his table to varied musical genres, including pop, rock, Irish Celtic, and jazz. He has played at prestigious venues such as the Kennedy Center, Metropolitan Museum, Getty Museum, Indian Ambassador’s residence, the U.S. Open National Tennis Center, and Carnegie Hall, as well as abroad, including in France, Czech Republic and Scandinavia.
- Indrajit Roy-Chowdhury is a disciple of the sitar master Pandit Subroto Roy-Chowdhury. Groomed in the Veen-kar style of the Senia Gharana, which maintains the Dhrupadi origins of Indian classical music, Indrajit strives to innovate while keeping a firm connection with the past. Indrajit has received the Bennenson Award for the Arts to further his study of Indian classical music. Since then, he has taken the profession of a full-time sitarist and has performed on stages across the world, including at such prestigious venues as Gyan Mancha, Hammerstein Ballroom, and the Kennedy Center.
- Rohan Misra is the son and disciple of the great sarangi virtuoso Pandit Ramesh Misra. Rohan started earning the sarangi from this father at the age of six. He also learned the piano, clarinet, and table. His exposure to music since childhood influenced him to play an Indian instrument and become the ninth generation in his family to play sarangi. He has performed across the country, including at Carnegie Hall, Columbia University, MIT, and the Smithsonian.
The Diwali Festival is supported by New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Mayor Bill de Blasio; The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation; Con Edison; The New York Community Bank Foundation, and Flushing Bank.