Celebrate Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights

12/08/13 | 1:30-3:30pm

Pelham Art Center

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Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, returns to Pelham Art Center as part of its Folk Arts Series, Sunday, December 8 from 1:30-3:30pm. Join us for this popular event with free hands-on workshops and activities, held during ArtsWestchester’s Free Arts Day!

Throughout the event visitors have the opportunity to watch an Indian classical dance performance, participate in two art-making workshops and receive Mehndi body art from artist Manjula Kandaswamy. Also known as henna tattoos, Mehndi is a temporary form of skin decoration using henna ink, an all natural paste derived from the Henna plant. At 2pm, dancer Kritika Rajgopalan will perform Bharata Natyam a contemporary dance-theatre form that is rooted in the ancient traditions of South Indian performance. It is renowned globally as a powerful rhythmic and theatrical style of dance. The dance incorporates distinct and powerful percussive sounds of rhythmic footwork, intricate and nuanced bodily movements, precise hand gestures and theatrical story-telling that communicates complex emotions. As a performance form, Bharata Natyam truly transforms music and literature into visual poetry movement. Viewers should expect an interactive performance and will be given time to ask questions. For more information on Bharata Natyam visit Lavanya Misra will once again lead the art-making workshops. In the Warli workshop, participants can decorate a Diwali paper door hanging with a rudimentary style of painting that dates back to 2500 BCE and is similar to prehistoric cave paintings. In the Rangoli workshop, participants can create decorative designs using brightly colored lentils. This traditional folk art is practiced to bring good luck and welcome Hindu deities into the home.

This event is made possible, in part, by Broadway Electric, New York, NY, the ArtsWestchester with funds from Westchester County Government. Pelham Art Center also receives funding from New York State Council on the Arts.

About Diwali -

Diwali is a major festival for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains, who believe that light is a metaphor for knowledge and signifies health, wealth and peace. Diwali is celebrated as the "Festival of Lights,” in which participants light diyas—cotton-like string wicks inserted in small clay pots filled with oil—to signify victory of good over the evil within an individual, and uplifting of spiritual darkness. The festival symbolizes unity in diversity as every region of India celebrates it in its own unique way. The five day Diwali festival usually occurs during October or November, with the main day of celebration varying regionally.

About Krithika Rajagopalan -

Krithika Rajagopalan has a diverse and extensive background in the arts, both with Natya Dance Theatre and beyond. Krithika is an acclaimed choreographer, dancer, master teacher and lecturer, who serves as co-choreographer on all works produced by NDT. She is NDT's featured principal dancer in numerous productions. In addition to her company performances, Krithika has presented more than 200 solo performances at prestigious venues all over the world, including the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, DC; Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois; the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago; the Kentucky Centre for the Arts; the Music and Dance Festival of Madras, India; and the National Centre for Performing Arts, Mumbai, India. Her highlight engagements include the honor of appearing for President Bill Clinton, performances at Chicago's Millennium Park with acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, and performances with the Silk Road Ensemble at New York's Rubin Museum.

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