Rahul Acharya

As the fall cultural season gathers momentum, I’ve just received word of a unique Vancouver dance festival happening at the end of October. The Second Annual Mandala Arts Gait to the SpiritFestival of classical dance of India – commemorates the year of India in Canada with three days of entertaining (and always colourful!) Indian dance events at Scotiabank Dance Centre, with one performance at Burnaby’s Shadbolt Centre for the Arts.

I love the costumes and gracefulness of Indian dancers; the Gait to the Spirit Festival surely won’t disappoint in either area.

Priyadarsini Govind
[Priyadarsini Govind]

Two world renowned dancers from India, Priyadarsini Govind and Rahul Acharya, will perform during the festival.

Priyadarsini Govind is currently the reigning queen of bharata natyam. Her elegance, presence, and style have endeared her to fans and students of bharata natyam around the world, where she continues to tour, give master classes and workshops. Priyadarsini will also conduct a two day bharata natyam workshop on October 30 & 31, from 6 – 9 pm.

Rahul Acharya hails from a direct tradition of gotipuas male temple dancers. He continues to perform and teach master classes around the world, and is recognized as one of India’s best male Indian classical dancers. Mr. Acharya will also give a free lecture demonstration on odissi, explaining the demands and subtlety of this curvaceous dance style.

As part of the festival, Mandala Arts and Culture will introduce a few dancers from the Indian classical dance movement’s new generation. Last year, the organization presented Odissi dancer Scheherazaad Cooper (from England) and Bharata Natyam dancer Shruti Javali (from Toronto). Kiruthika Rathanaswami will be presented at this year’s festival. A graduate of the Jai Govinda Dance Academy, Kiruthika will present a new Bharata Natyam repertoire completed in Bangalore India with the assistance of a prestigious national arts fellowship from the Indo Canadian Shastri Institute.

Mandala Arts and Culture is a Vancouver based company dedicated to producing, developing, and presenting the classical dance forms of India, supporting the artistic vision of director Jai Govinda. Mandala also aims to create a legacy of excellence for bharata natyam through student training at the Jai Govinda Dance Academy. In this manner, they are given a platform to perform, share, and even train other students.


Scotiabank Dance Centre and Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Burnaby


Friday, October 28, 8 pm
Rahul Acharya: Odissi
$22/$20 (students/seniors)
Scotiabank Dance Centre

Saturday, October 29
Lecture Demo by Rahul Acharya, 1:30 to 2:30 pm
Scotiabank Dance Centre

Priyadarsini Govind and orchestra: Bharata Natyam, 8 pm
$30/$25/$22 (adults/students/seniors)
Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Burnaby

Sunday October 30, 1:30 pm
Kiruthika Rathanaswami: Bharata Natyam
Pay what you can ($5 suggested price)
Scotiabank Dance Centre

Tickets are available at the following locations:

Banyen Books (by phone, 604.737.8858 or at the store, 3608 W. 4th Ave.)
Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, either via the website by calling 604.205.3000 (for tickets to the October 29 Shadbolt performance only)

This festival is supported in partnership by The Dance Centre and the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, in addition to the generous support of The City of Vancouver, the BC Arts Council, CHUM Radio (via their Arts Fact program) and Heritage Canada’s national training program.

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