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Experience India at Ann Arbor's 2018 Rasa Festival

Month-long festival is in its second year

Photo: Riddhiman Bhattacharya
Photo: Riddhiman Bhattacharya

ANN ARBOR – Get ready to be inspired by innovative performances, visual art exhibitions and even a culinary experience this autumn.

Put on by local nonprofit Akshara, the aim of the Rasa Festival is to celebrate the Indian arts in collaboration with the local community.

"A couple of years ago, an art history professor at U-M and I founded Akshara," said president and artistic director Sreyashi Dey. "It’s a multi-arts platform. The idea wasn’t to bring art from India and plop it down here to present it; the idea was to see what’s going on with Indian arts in Ann Arbor in this community because there are so many people who are either inspired by or directly practicing Indian arts."

Sreyashi Dey (second from right) and dancers perform in Pittsburgh (Photo: Sreyashi Dey)
Sreyashi Dey (second from right) and dancers perform in Pittsburgh (Photo: Sreyashi Dey)

 

Dey is a professional Indian classical dancer and has performed all over the world. She will be performing again this year at the festival, which presents everything from visual art to dance, theater to poetry and more.

Having teamed up with the Ann Arbor District Library, the Riverside Arts Center in Ypsilanti, U-M and Washtenaw Community College, its events are wide-reaching, diverse, and a must for lovers of art and Indian culture.

Here's the schedule of events:

Sept. 7-28
Sonabai: Another Way of Seeing
An exhibition of the unique folk art of Sonabai Rajawar.
Riverside Arts Center, Ypsilanti
This event is free and open to the public

Sept. 7-29
An Other India: Diverse Impressions
Contemporary Art Exhibition
Riverside Arts Center, Ypsilanti
This event is free and open to the public

Sept. 6, 7 p.m. 
Sonabai: Another Way of Seeing
A visual presentation by anthropologist and art historian Dr. Stephen Huyler.
Ann Arbor District Library, Downtown Branch
This event is free and open to the public

Sept. 7, 6 p.m. 
Sonabai and Contemporary Arts Exhibition, opening reception
Riverside Arts Center, Ypsilanti
This event is free and open to the public

Sept. 5-30
Anthropologist Stephen Huyler offers a series of talks and teaching opportunities in local schools.

Sept. 11, 7 p.m.
Art from India: Printmaking workshop by Sajeev Visweswaran
Ann Arbor District Library, Downtown Branch
This event is free and open to the public

Sept. 15, 8 to 9:30 p.m. 
Poetry through the Ages
Dance, theater, performance, poetry and multimedia
Arthur Miller Theater, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
This is a ticketed event. Tickets can be purchased here.

Sept. 21, 7 p.m.
Voices of South Asia: Readings and reflections
Michigan poets Samiah Haque, Ashwini Bhasi, Zilka Joseph and Inam Kang will read their poetry.
Literati Bookstore, Downtown Ann Arbor
This event is free and open to the public

Sept. 22, 1 to 6 p.m.
Ayuryoga Wellness Festival
A² Yoga Studio, Ann Arbor

Photo: A2 Yoga
Photo: A2 Yoga

Sept. 22, 4-6 p.m.
Crossroads: New directions in Indian classical dance
Riverside Arts Center, Ypsilanti
This event is free and open to the public

Sept. 28, 7 p.m.
Voices of South Asia: Readings and reflections
Renowned authors Akil Kumarasamy and Oindrila Mukherjee will read from their fiction works.
Literati Bookstore, Downtown Ann Arbor
This event is free and open to the public

Sept. 30, 12:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Film festival
Satyajit Ray Retrospective
Ann Arbor District Library, Downtown Branch

Oct. 3, 7 p.m. 
Sarod concert and lecture -- demonstration by Diptavo Dutta
Ann Arbor District Library, Downtown Branch
This event is free and open to the public

Oct. 5, 7 to 9 p.m. and Oct. 6, 6 to 9 p.m. 
Rasa performance – dance, music and theater
Towsley Auditorium, Washtenaw Community College, Ypsilanti
This is a ticketed event. Purchase tickets for day one and day two.

Oct. 7, 3 to 5 p.m. 
Travelling Flavors: The Culinary Talkathon by chef and theater actor Sanchayita Bhattacharjee
Ann Arbor District Library, Downtown Branch
This event is free and open to the public

For more information, visit rasafestival.org.

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