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Sattriya: Classic Dance from Hindu Monasteries

October 06, 2020

Ever thought of a visit to India to experience their fascinating history, culture, and arts? Well, what if a bit of India came to you? 

Our Penn's Village audience enjoyed a window into Indian culture via dance. Our presenter, Madhusmita Bora, gave us a lecture on classic dances from the Hindu monasteries that provided a journey through a 600-year-old dance tradition. 

Sattriya was preserved, nourished, and practiced only by monks on a little island in Northeast India until recently. We enjoyed stories from Hindu mythology through the dance and learned about the monks and their lives. 

Masks, costumes, and props were displayed. We were led in movement exercises and learned some vocabulary of this ancient Indian tradition.

Madhusmita Bora is an Assamese American dancer, teacher, writer, filmmaker, and cultural producer.

She grew up to the rhythms of Sattriya practiced routinely in her village prayer hall in Assam and has been dancing since she was four years old.

She is a founder, Artistic Director and performer of the Sattriya Dance Company, and a recipient of many arts grants including one from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage in 2017.