Sarika | July 31, 2015

“The Exhibit: It’s Alive”

One of our cast members, Mehak Prasad, has written a blog post on her experience thus far with Living Beyond Bollywood! Doesn't want make you want to come check out the cool exhibit and our award winning piece??? See you this weekend!!! 

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Being new to Washington DC and SAPAN, I didn’t know too much about the exhibit or the show. At the first rehearsal, I was in awe of all the actors’ performances. The expressions, the accents, and the stories they told roused an array of emotions from laughter to tears. I went home that day and asked my roommate – Did you know Indians worked as farmers in the early 1900s? Did you know Indians worked on the British steamboats? Did you know that Indians couldn’t always become citizens? Did you know any of this? I was both stunned and saddened by these questions. Stunned that my Indian roots had been part of American history for centuries, but saddened that until that day, I had no idea the impact Indians have been making in this country for generations. I always thought I knew my heritage very well, but the Living Beyond Bollywood experience has opened my eyes to the true history of Indians in America.

Photo Courtesy of Kristen Lem Stevens
Photo Courtesy of Kristen Lem Stevens

In the past, I have been part of numerous cultural performances, but this experience is like no other. Living Beyond Bollywood is a show that takes the audience through the exhibit and brings the exhibit to life. The audience is transported through time. Every scene is captivating and brings to light key moments throughout history. In this show, I play the role of the guide that takes the audience on this journey. I have enjoyed experience the show with the audience and learning about their own personal stories and experiences. The opening day for the show was a success. I would urge everyone to attend the show and experience the exhibit come to life! 

About the Author

Sarika began learning Bharatanatyam at the age of 6 and performed her Arangetram (solo dance debut) in 2000 under the tutelage of the Kunhiramans. Throughout her training, Sarika also attended the Natya-Adyayana-Gurukula (summer dance camp) conducted by the world renowned Dhananjayans. She has performed in multiple venues within California and was a part of the Dhananjayan dance drama, Satya Shivam Sundaram which toured through the East Coast. Although Bharatanatyam was Sarika’s first exposure to dance, she has since developed a love for other South Asian performing arts by performing with the UC Davis Girls Bhangra Team, Ronak Punjab Ki. She has also used her expressive talent to perform Bollywood film songs at weddings, at the University of Maryland Cultural Shows and a Virginia-based dance company. Sarika continues to pursue all forms of dance and has found that it has shaped many other aspects of her professional and personal life. Professionally, Sarika is a consultant specializing in Program Management and Strategy.

Photography courtesy of Sardar Aziz and Shan Jalla
sapan dancers
sapan member playing guitar

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