Join three distinct performers, who are featured in our current exhibition, Local Voices: Memories, Stories and Portraits, as they share their personal stories through dance, music and rap. Sansthita Pattanaik, Kiran Rajagopalan, and Slyck TwoshadeZ will perform live, focusing on themes of gratitude, hope, and family.
Sansthita’s work celebrates and reflects upon an ancestry of dreamers, honoring the risk takers that have traveled and dared to think beyond barriers and obstacles, reflecting on how the ‘dreamer gene’ has manifested itself in her own life.
Kiran will present an homage through dance to his late paternal grandmother that celebrates his Tamil heritage, upbringing in a Vaishnavite Hindu family, and love for South Indian classical music.
Slyck TwoshadeZ offers songs, “Forever Grateful”—an ode to his parents—and “Hold Your Hand”—a proposal of love to his wife.
This program is in tandem with the exhibition Local Voices: Memories, Stories, and Portraits.
About the performers:
Sansthita Pattanaik, known affectionately as “San,” started dancing when she was seven years old. Ever since, she has navigated many chapters of her life through dance. San learned Odissi, an Indian art form dating back to 500 BCE, under the loving guidance of Sri Guru Durgacharan Ranbir and Srimati Guru Bani Ray. She has been blessed with the opportunity to perform in a diverse array of platforms from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts DC to the Manhattan Movement and Arts Center NY and the 2017 International Dance Festival in Odisha, India. San currently explores the depiction of 21st century lyricism through the ancient dance vocabulary of Odissi and related folk-art forms. She is also interested in depicting how an ancient art form evolves with society while still retaining its essence.
Kiran Rajagopalan is an award-winning professional Bharatanatyam dancer, choreographer, educator, and podcaster based in New Jersey. Trained extensively in Bharatanatyam, Indian classical dance, for over 25 years, Kiran has given acclaimed performances in India, Indonesia, Germany, Spain, France, and the United States. A past recipient of a fiscal sponsorship from NYFA, he was artist-in-residence at Snug Harbor Botanical Garden & Cultural Center in 2017 and the Catwalk Institute in 2021. In 2017, he co-founded Daya Arts, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that aims to bridge diasporic communities of color through original, high-quality artistic productions rooted in West African and South Asian visual and performing arts. To date, Daya Arts has organized two sold-out showcases of South Asian LGBTQI+ artists at BAAD! Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance and produced three original dance-based works—Sāmityam, Twin Rivers, and Vaiśravaṇa. In 2021, he launched Off the Beat!—a podcast on South Asian dance with Richmond-based Kuchipudi dancer, educator, and writer Ameya King.
Slyck TwoshadeZ is a solo artist who is formerly one half of the duo 2-ShadeZ. A Delhi native and current New Jersey resident, he is a pioneer of the Delhi Hip Hop scene. Since 2006, he has traveled and performed in festivals in India, US, and Canada. As a part of 2-ShadeZ, he dropped EP’s like “Taking over the World,” “Dispensing A SounD,” and “Street Ghazals.” His bilingual music reflects his multi-cultural learnings. He is one of the fastest bilingual Indian rappers and is likely the founder of the chopper flow in India. His solo albums are Selfmade, Umreeki, and the soon-to-be released Aadat. Umreeki has over 80,000 streams on Spotify and received 4.5 out of 5 stars by Rolling Stone India. He is now starting his own label, Butter Chicken Gang Records, to amplify Indian Hip Hop music.
Local Voices: Memories, Stories, and Portraits and Spiral Q: The Parade Programs are supported by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.