Art and Change Grant
Change Partner: Gobinda Kalita Bayan
Discipline: Performance ,Folk Arts
Madhusmita will document Sattriya, a 600 year-old dance originating in the Vaishnavite monasteries of Northeast India. For centuries this dance remained inaccessible to women and the world outside. Without record, the dance faces serious threats of dilution and identity. With experience as a dancer, writer, and a disciple of the monastery from which Sattriya comes from, she aims to be an ambassador for the dance form in the Philadelphia area. The project will document the basic grammar of the art form, which will help in preserving and promoting the form at a time when it is undergoing tremendous changes. She will use the documentation in the workshops she leads around the Delaware Valley area where she will promote Sattriya, it’s history, and raise awareness about how the severe erosion of Sattriya’s home, Majuli, is threatening the survival of the dance.
Photo credit: Anup Baruah