Classical Indian Dance Featured In Denison Lecture/Demonstration
Posted: October 23, 2000
Kay Poursine, a member of Denison's world dance faculty this fall and a widely recognized performer, will give a lecture demonstration on a classical dance form of South India, Bharata Natyam, at 6:30 p.m. on Friday (Oct. 27) in the Doane Dance Center. Bharata Natyam, the oldest of India's classical dances, is celebrated for the beauty of its abstract movements, the rhythmic complexity of its footwork and for mimetic interpretation of poetry. It developed from ritualistic dances performed in the past as offerings to the deities of Hindu temples and, in a more sophisticated form, in the courts by solo female dances. This performance will be free and open to the public.
Poursine will also teach a master class in the rudiments of Bharata Natyam style from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday (Nov. 11) in the upper studio of the Doane Dance Center. This class is also free and open to the public.
Originally from New Orleans, Poursine studied ballet in Japan at age six and continued in the U.S. and Germany until she was 17. She later studied in Berkeley, Calif. with the legendary T. Balasaraswati, who at her death in 1984 was regarded as one of the world's foremost authorities on the Bharata Natyam style. Subsequently Poursine studied and performed in India with the support of three Smithsonian grants under the auspices of the American Institute of Indian Studies. Her performances in India received rave reviews.
A documentary on her experiences performing and teaching ("Dances of Love" by Connecticut Public Television) aired as part of the Festival India '85 celebrations. She was also featured in the American Institute of Indian Studies "Salute to India '85" Gala in Chicago.
She was invited to represent classical Indian dance on a roster of major artists at the 1998 International Dance Festival at Connecticut College and was also invited to present a program of Tajore Court style classical dance from South India at the Dancing in the Millennium 2000 festival in Washington D.C. More than 350 proposals from 21 countries were considered for this event.
Since Balasaraswati's death in 1984, Poursine has dedicated herself to preserving and exploring India's great living dance tradition through her performances in the United States and abroad.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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