Only Indian Classical Dance Drama Festival in U.S. celebrates life and culture of Indian subcontinent through dance and dramas

St. Louis April 19, 20, 21st -2019

ST. LOUIS/March 27, 2019 – A city rich in history and diversity, St. Louis is also becoming the “capital” of Indian classical dance. From April 19, 20, 201st 2019, the city will once again host Indian dancers from around the world at the 11th American Natya Festival.   This 3-day dance festival will includes dance dramas on varying themes – both western and Indian. This event will be presented in Clayton High School Auditorium, #1 Mark Twain Circle, St. Louis, MO 63105. The organizer – Soorya Performing Arts – will commemorate the 11th -year anniversary by focusing on education, performance, and recognition.  Other highlights of the Festival are Natya Idol, a national classical dance competition April 20th-21st; presentation of lifetime achievement awards; and 8 mesmerizing performances from groups across the country and from India.

This festival is the first and only Indian Classical Dance Drama Festival in the country.  The annual platform to create, discuss, present works, and showcase new ideas is part of a multi-pronged task of to preserve and promote this age-old dance style.  This year, more than 100 artists will entertain the growing international audience who flock to this yearly event that provides a rare opportunity for dance enthusiasts to enjoy the prestigious Indian American Classical Dance companies rarely seen in St. Louis.

The festival’s director, Guru Prasanna Kasthuri, enjoys seeing St. Louis community is supportive of a dance festival for 11th year. He also says very proudly the support he is getting from patrons, government agencies and corporate world to make this event possible. Since every year many productions are featured, St. Louis has become a venue for creative and artistic hub for Indian dance dramas.

On Saturday, April 20th, the festival will honor a senior Guru with the 2019 Lifetime Achievement award for her selfless service of Indian performing arts and cultural representation in Greater Kansas City area for over forty years. The award includes a cash prize of $1001, a plaque, shawl and the presentation will include a performance by her students.

Another exciting aspect for students is an opportunity to participate in “American Natya Idol,” a national level dance competition held only here in St. Louis. This year “American Natya Idol” will be hosted in three more cities apart from St. Louis. This competition provides a platform for students to showcase their skills and receive constructive feedback on various aspects of dance forms: abhinaya (expressions), dance complexity, clarity in poses, and choice of music.

The 11th anniversary schedule blends together solo, duet and group performances:

Friday, April 19, 2019 6 PM

  • Bharathanatyam & Kathak Performances by Soorya Dance school
  • Atma Lingam – Mythological Bharathanatyam Dance Drama by “Rani” group
  • Parvati’s Marriage  – by “Katha” – Indian Storyteller Group of St. Louis

Saturday, April, 20th, 2019 4:30 PM

  • Bharathanatyam by Kalanjali Dances of India
  • Tri-Nritya Shailee – Natyantaranga Dance Company of Bengaluru, India
  • Pied piper – Vismaya – BY Sanskriti School of Dance, New Jersey

Sunday April 21st 2019 2:30 PM

  • American Natya Idol Award Ceremony
  • Sri Sathyanarayana Katha – by Acharya School of Dance, Chicago
  • Four Horsemen – by  Jiva Academy, New york
  • Avatar – Conceptual dance by Performing Unit of Soorya Dance Company, St. Louis

Tickets for the three-day festival can be purchased online through Brown Paper Tickets, at Seema Enterprises in Manchester and Bombay Bazaar in Chesterfield. More details on the festival can be found at

This festival is supported by parents of Soorya Dance and Music School; Missouri Arts Commission, Bright Way Insurance, US Wide Financials, Stone Land Granite and Marbles, and support from other corporations and art patrons.

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