East Indian dance teacher visits Cranbrook and Kimberley

An accomplished teacher of East Indian dance will lead two workshops this weekend.

Dance teacher Amrita Choudhury will hold two workshops in Cranbrook and Kimberley this weekend.

Dance teacher Amrita Choudhury will hold two workshops in Cranbrook and Kimberley this weekend.

An accomplished teacher of East Indian dance will lead two workshops in Cranbrook and Kimberley this weekend.

Fresh from a stint at the Banff Centre last week, Amrita Choudhury will conduct a workshop called “Yoga of Dance” in Kimberley on Friday, and one called “Gypsy Bollywood” in Cranbrook on Saturday.

“She is a very high calibre artist and teacher of East Indian dance (classical and folkloric),” said Shannon Duncan, who is organizing the workshops.

“She comes from a family of a long lineage of dancers and yogis in India and has adapted her classes to the North American audience through the many years she’s lived in Canada.”

Now based in Montreal, Amrita began learning dance from her mother at age 4. She studied at Santiniketan, a world renowned institution founded by Nobel Prize winning poet Rabindranath Tagore.

She is trained in Indian classical and sacred dance styles such as Odissi and Bharatanatyam, and, with a degree in anthropology, has conducted research into the ancient temple dancers of Orissa.

Amrita has been performing since she was six years old, and teaching since she was 16. Over the past 28 tears, she has performed and taught all over the world, in Europe, Central America, Asia and North America.

Her repertoire includes Indian classical and sacred dance, folklorique/tribal/gypsy/bollywood dance, patriotic/revolutionary dance, and contemporary dance.

Amrita also gives talks, demonstrations and performances and works in the field of dance and education for government and educational institutions.

She believes that movement, dance and yoga is the source of life, an expression of life and simply a way of life; where union with oneself and the world surrounding us is achieved through the universal language of movement and dance.

In the “Yoga of Dance” workshop, participants will experience the joyful union of the body, mind and spirit through Nritya Yoga postures, meditation in motion, trance dance, mudras (hand gestures) and sacred mantra chanting. Nritya Yoga was created by Amrita herself.

“Gypsy Bollywood” will take participants through the rhythms of Gypsy dances from India with rhythmic footwork, eye, torso and hip movements, mudras and dance step combinations.

No experience is necessary to take the workshop, Shannon explained.

“These workshops are open to everyone and very therapeutic at the same time as being a lot of fun. Amrita has a true gift in teaching many levels at once as what she does has so many levels to it.

“She is also a trained dance therapist, which comes through in the healing nature of her classes.”

Shannon said she hopes the workshops will create a stronger sense of community.

“I’m hoping these workshops will bring together a wide range of ages and personalities and be a truly community experience. Dance can be an extremely powerful community builder and healing when practiced with this energy.”

“Yoga of Dance” will be held at Mountain Pose Yoga Studio in Kimberley on Friday, October 18 from 7 to 9 p.m, with prices on a sliding scale from $35 to $40.

“Gypsy Bollywood” will be held at Exhale Yoga Studio in Cranbrook on Saturday, October 19 from 1 to 5 p.m., with prices on a sliding scale from $65 to $75.

“Trades will be considered from those who feel the price is inhibitive,” said Shannon.

To register or for more information, contact Shannon Duncan at 250-427-7981 or shannongreyduncan@gmail.com.

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