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Otterbein to host Sreyashi Dey for Indian Dance Performance

November 08, 2016
Otterbein University

Westerville, OH—Otterbein University will host a performance by Sreyashi Dey, founder, president and artistic director of Srishti Dances of India, at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 15, in Riley Auditorium at the Battelle Fine Arts Center, 170 W. Park St. This event is free and open to the public. 

The performance is titled “Shiva-Shakti and the Goddess Kali: Gender Fluidity in Hindu Mythology” and will feature academic remarks from Suzanne Schier-Happell of the Otterbein University Department of Religion and Philosophy. This event is funded by the Robert F. Berkey ’52 Endowed Lectureship with the Department of Religion and Philosophy, and is part of the Otterbein’s Opening Doors to the World programming.

Sreyashi will be performing two dances, both preceded by brief introductory remarks by Suzanne Schier-Happell describing the mythic and philosophical context of each dance. Both dances will deal with a different aspect of gender fluidity in Hindu mythology. The first will be a dance focusing on Shiva-Shakti (the divine androgyne - male and female in one body) based on a text called the Ardhnarishvara Stotra. The second dance will be based upon the goddess Kali, who is the goddess of time and destruction.

More information about the Otterbein University Department of Music and its concert schedule can be found at http://www.otterbein.edu/music. For more information about this event, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/317387605311585/. For more information about Opening Doors to the World, visit www.otterbein.edu/openingdoors.


About the Artist

Sreyashi Dey is one of the foremost exponents of the Odissi style of Indian classical dance in the United States. A disciple of Guru Gangadhar Pradhan, Founder-Director of the Orissa Dance Academy in Bhubaneswar, she was initiated into Odissi by one of the original founding gurus of Odissi, Guru Mayadhar Raut in New Delhi. In addition, Sreyashi also trained extensively in the Bharata Natyam style. She tours the United States every year with performances that are critically acclaimed. She continues perform annually in India at premier venues such as the India Habitat Center and India International Center in Delhi, ICCR in Calcutta, as well as touring to several cities. Her performance at the Downtown Dance Festival in New York was recently reviewed in the New York Times.

Sreyashi is the Founder, President and Artistic Director of Srishti Dance of India, a dance company specializing in the performance and preservation of Indian classical dance. Through Srishti and as a soloist, Sreyashi is constantly expanding her creative horizons with new choreographies and collaborations with artists across genres. While remaining rooted in the classical dance techniques and performances of pure classical Odissi, Sreyashi continuously creates innovative new works that push the boundaries of performing arts. Her own dance has been noted for its grace, beauty and expressive power.

Sreyashi’s work has been acclaimed by well-known critics in leading newspapers and magazines in the US as well as India. She has been the recipient of several awards (notably the Harry Scwalb Excellence in the Arts) and grants (such as the National Endowment for the Arts and numerous other private foundations and at the state level and national level). She has played a significant role in bringing Indian classical dance to the mainstream in the US, while continuing to maintain high standards of excellence. Her work as a cultural leader has been recognized through several honors.

Sreyashi’s educational background includes an MS in Economics and an MBA. She has worked in Market Research consulting for several years. She is deeply committed to shaping cultural policy, and has served on the Board of Directors of the Multicultural Arts Initiative and the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, both in Pittsburgh. 

Sreyashi has worked extensively at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, to create new work in collaboration with the School of Music, Theater and Dance, the Residential College, the College of Literature, Arts and Sciences, and the University of Michigan Museum of Art.

Sreyashi’s landmark work at the University of Michigan was the conceptualization and creation of a large multi-arts performance titled “Celebrating Tagore.” This project included a 100-member university choir, a faculty jazz quintet, 24 dancers and a well-known poet in a historic performance that re-created Rabindranath Tagore’s work in new ways. This performance was introduced by renowned author Amitav Ghosh.

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