“Not every time do we get to see the true culture of India,” Aditya said. “Sometimes you get diluted versions of it, but here the performers at Parampara are really experienced. You will see the rich, natural and ancient type of art form that is being portrayed.”
Parampara features solos and duets by seven artists based in North Carolina and Canada.
There are eight major forms of Indian classical dance, some of which date back to at least 200 BCE. In addition to hosting Parampara, Aditya will perform solos in two of these forms: Kathak and Mohiniattam.
Kathak is named for the Sanskrit word for “story” and originated in northern India. This form is characterized by elegant movement and fast, complex footwork. Mohiniattam consists of more fluid, graceful movements.
Sudeshna Maulik, a Parampara performer based in Canada, described the spiritual connection she feels through classical dance performance.
“I have taught many workshops about the relationship between classical dance and spirituality,” Maulik said. “I could give that sense of spirituality, that sense of happiness, to my dance and even to the audience.”
Maulik began dancing in Calcutta, India, when she was seven, and classical dance is deeply rooted in both her culture and her family. Now an internationally recognized artist, she travels throughout Canada and the United States to perform and teach dance workshops.
On Sunday, Maulik will perform in two duets that juxtapose multiple styles and rhythms of classical dance. These fusions highlight the diverse culture of the art form, she said.
Though the event focuses primarily on dance, it also includes traditional Indian instrumental performances, including the sitar and tabla. A sitar is a plucked string instrument, and a tabla is a kind of drum.
General admission for Parampara is $25, and student tickets cost $15. Part of the proceeds from the event will go toward a non-profit dance organization called Abilities Dance.
Caroline Le, now a junior at UNC, founded Abilities Dance when she was 16. Based in Cary, the organization provides free dance instruction for children with intellectual disabilities.
“I wanted to incorporate my passion for the special needs community with my dance training that I’ve had since I was a kid,” Le said.
This mission aligns with Parampara’s goal of using dance to tell stories and offer new perspectives.
Though the styles of Indian classical dance are thousands of years old, they continue to provide rich forms of cultural and emotional expression.
“It’s a kind of contemporary language,” Maulik said. “A language of dance.”