Mudra Dance Studio dancers and drummers rehearse "Gyaan" at Lakewood Cultural Center

(Photo: CPR/Stephanie Wolf)

This weekend, Mudra Dance Studio, a classical Indian dance company and school based in Aurora, premieres its new production “Gyaan.” The show's title means “truth through knowledge,” and it is a 45-minute rumination on the futile acts of violence and discrimination that can shake a community.

In anticipation of the performances, the dance ensemble created a radio dance for CPR’s airwaves. Choreographed by Mudra principal dancer Eishita Nariani, the piece features dancers and drummers from “Gyaan.”

Artist Statement

This radio dance brings together the east and the west, blending the styles of Bhangra and hip hop dance. Bhangra is an Indian dance of celebration. It originated as a celebration of the wheat harvest, but is now a celebratory dance for many special life events. In the dance, you will hear the dancers’ ghungroos -- bells they wear on their ankles -- which capture the rhythms of their feet as they move. These rhythms harmonize with drums from different parts of the world, including the djembe from West Africa and an Indian drum called the dhole. Bringing these elements together highlights the bigger theme behind “Gyaan.” The show intends to mediate on the senseless violence in the world and seek out human connections despite our differences.

To listen to more from CPR’s “Radio Dances” project or make your own 30- to 60-second radio dance, click here.