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SAP Speaker Series, Dance for Social Change, by Mallika Sarabhai

Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 4:30pm to 6:30pm

Klarman Hall, KG 70
232 East Ave, Ithaca, NY 14853

The arts are primarily seen as entertainment, yet their influence on attitudes and mind sets, fashion and foibles are well documented. In most ancient cultures, the arts were the primary source of education and socialising, creating  pathways to direct individuals to the understanding of good and bad, civil and uncivil, ethical and unethical behaviour. 

Darpana has been at the forefront of using the arts for social change, for the last forty years, inventing new forms and adapting traditional ones to create awareness and help question prejudices that reduce humanity to divided, frightened and unhealthy groups hating each other and forever trying to diminish others for perceived personal gain. Dr. Sarabhai will share her journey in using the arts to make a difference in the world.

Dr. Sarabhai and the Darpana Dance company will be performing The Colours of Her Heart on Friday, April 12 at 7:00 pm at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse.

Mallika Sarabhai has been one of India’s leading choreographers and dancers for over three decades. In constant demand as a soloist and with her own dance company, Darpana, she has been creating and performing both classical and contemporary works. She has a PhD in Organisational Behaviour and has been honorary Director of Darpana Academy of Performing Arts for 40 years.

She first came to international notice when she played the role of Draupadi in Peter Brook’s The Mahabharata for 5 years, first in French and then English, performing in France, North America, Australia, Japan and Scotland. Always an activist for societal education and women’s empowerment, Mallika began using her work for change. In 1989 she created the first of her hard-hitting solo theatrical works, Shakti: The Power of Women. Since then Mallika has created numerous stage productions which have raised awareness, highlighted crucial issues and advocated change, several of which productions have toured internationally as well as throughout India. In the mid 90s Mallika began to develop her own contemporary dance vocabulary and went on to create short and full-length works which have been presented in India and in over 50 other countries.

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Dance (Performance)


South Asia Program, Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Asian Studies



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Daniel Bass

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