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Annual RASA Festival to kick off this week in Ann Arbor

Learn about Indian dance, ritual floor paintings, music

Photo: Riddhiman Bhattacharya
Photo: Riddhiman Bhattacharya

ANN ARBOR, Mich.Kicking off this Thursday at the downtown branch of the Ann Arbor District Library, the annual Rasa Festival will offer a range of events in Ann Arbor.

Organized by Akshara, a multicultural organization that celebrates various artistic media and collaboration, the annual festival will offer five innovative and public events through the month of September. 

Tomorrow, Rasa Festival will commence with an interactive talk about ritual floor paintings from India by Renu Malhotra and Meena Khashnabish. Held in the AADL's Secret Lab at 7 p.m., the talk will discuss traditions behind ritual floor painting followed by a demonstration with hands-on opportunities for the public.

On Sept. 19, there will be a demonstration of classical and traditional dances of India. From 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., in the downtown branch of AADL, the dances, followed by a discussion and question and answer session, will allow audiences to learn about the rich history of dance in India. 

Two more Rasa Festival events will happen at the library. On Sept. 20, there will be a short concert at 7 p.m. of collaborative Indian and western music. Concert musicians, all coming from different backgrounds, will discuss concepts from Indian and western music before the concert.  

On Sept. 24, audiences will be able to join Natalie Robbins, Jackie Miller and Gayatri Malik as they discuss their travels through India at 7 p.m.

Events held at the Ann Arbor District Library will be free. 

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However, the biggest event of this year's Rasa Festival will be an exciting performance at Washtenaw Community College's Towsley Auditorium on Sept. 21. From 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., dancers from Ann Arbor and the surrounding area will entice audiences with a variety of dances including Indian and Bangladeshi classical, traditional, folk and regional dances. There will also be an East-West music concert featuring local musicians.    

 Tickets for the performance cost $25 ($15 for students and seniors) and can be bought here though A2tix.

For more information about Akshara or the Rasa Festival, visit its website. 

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