Ann Arbor’s annual festival celebrating Indian culture goes virtual in October

2020 Rasa Festival features multi-arts performances

Rasa Festival artistic director Sreyashi Dey performs a traditional Indian dance. (Akshara)

ANN ARBORAkshara, an Ann Arbor-based Indian arts organization, will present its annual Rasa Festival virtually for the first time in October.

Each weekend throughout the month, Indian-inspired multi-arts performances will be released on the organization’s Facebook and YouTube channels.

“This year, so much is different around us, yet the process of making art and its presentation has had to adapt, like everything else," said Akshara’s artistic director Sreyashi Dey in a statement.

"We have had to migrate to virtual platforms to reach our audiences. However, instead of simply replicating our typical format of in-person concerts, exhibitions, and other participatory events online, this year we invited the artists to create shorter experimental works, and they have specially created wonderful original works for our festival.”

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All performances will premiere on the Akshara YouTube channel and Facebook page from 11 a.m. to noon during the festival.

See the full lineup of virtual events below.

Weekend 1

Thursday, Oct. 1:

  • Mandali: India and the World
  • Group art exhibition, in partnership with Ann Arbor District Library

Saturday, Oct. 3

  • Sreyashi Dey: Dance
  • Amie Maciszewski: Music
  • Kohal Das: Dance
  • Zilka Joseph and Veena Kulkarni-Rankin: Poetry and Piano
  • Nina Hauser: Illustrated Talk on Travel-Photography-Art

Sunday, Oct. 4

  • Anu Naimapally: Dance
  • Stories from Cocoons: Group Art Exhibition

Weekend 2

Saturday, Oct. 10

  • Pallabi Chakraborty: Dance
  • Charlee Brodsky, Sreyashi Dey and Zilka Joseph: Photography-Dance-Poetry
  • Somdatta Chakraborty: Music
  • Pika Ghosh: Illustrated Art History Talk
  • Rakae/Mughal-e-Funk: Music

Sunday, Oct. 11

  • Kasi Aysola: Dance
  • Uday Hajra: Photography
  • Sreyashi Dey: Dance
  • Sunita Shanker: Fashion Design and Craft Traditions
  • Bono Sen: Art & Social change

Weekend 3

Saturday, Oct. 17

  • Priyadarshini Ghosh: Dance
  • Sunita Shanker: Fashion Design and Craft Traditions
  • Sreyashi Dey: Dance
  • Sudeshna Basu & Manjula Kumar: Rabindrasangeet and Spoken Word

Sunday, Oct. 18

  • Anurekha Ghosh: Dance
  • Paroma Chatterjee: Illustrated Art History Talk
  • Poly Varghese: Mohan Veena Music and Poetry
  • Manasi Joshi-Singh: Music
  • Sumita Chakraborty: Poetry

Weekend 4

Saturday, Oct. 24

  • Dheeman Bhattacharyya: Movement, Music, and Spoken Word
  • Monit Pal: Music
  • Sreyashi Dey: Dance
  • Sunita Shanker: Fashion Design & Craft Traditions
  • Zilka Joseph: Poetry

Sunday, Oct. 25

  • Ravi Naimpally: Music
  • Aniruddha Sanyal: Film & Music
  • Kohal Das: Dance
  • Charlee Brodsky, Sreyashi Dey & Zilka Joseph: Photography-Dance-Poetry
  • Deepak Paramashivan: Music

For more information, visit