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Weekend Passport: ‘Durdhara: The Unstoppable One’ Features Classic Dance From India

Bharatanatyam is Indian classical dance with origins from the temples of Tamil Nadu and its neighboring areas. Presumed the oldest classical dance form in India, it traces its history to “Natya Shastra,” an ancient Sanskrit Hindu text on the performing arts. 

Bharatanatyam is also — like most Indian classical dances — a form of storytelling. Dancers tell stories through gestures, footwork and facial expressions. 

Ishti Chicago is an initiative of Preeti Veerlapati and Kinnari Vora, two dancers whose artistry draws inspiration from their Eastern and Western dance trainings. Sarmishtha Sarkar is a veteran Bharatanatyam dancer and dance teacher in India. 

The three women collaborate on a production of ‘Durdhara: The Unstoppable One,’ based on the life of Amba, a heroine from the Mahabharata, a Sanskrit epic of ancient India. The performance takes place Saturday night at 7:30 P.M. near the University of Chicago. They join us in studio to talk about their production along with global citizen, Nari Safavi, who talks about a few more picks for your global weekend in Chicago.

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