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October 21, 2016

Sounds Of India, A Special Focus On The Arts Of India, Highlights White Light Festival

White Light Festival

Press Contact: Marian Skokan


[email protected]




Sounds Of India, A Special Focus On The Arts Of India,

Highlights White Light Festival


 Music and Dance Performances, Talks, and More Scheduled From October 25November 6


Free, Four-Part Film Series Featuring the Apu Trilogy by Satyajit Ray Opens Sounds of India on October 25


NEW YORK, NY, October 21, 2016 This year, Lincoln Center’s seventh White Light Festival casts its gaze on artistic expression originating in and inspired by South India with Sounds of India which runs from October 25 through November 6.  Celebrated choreographer Mark Morris, who has developed a deep interest in and relationship with the area over three decades, is the curator of this special focus whose works will explore place, culture, tradition, and the creativity of this vibrant region. Along with Morris’s own Mark Morris Dance Group, artists rooted in South Indian classical dance and music traditions will shed light on the universal nature of India’s artistic heritage and dynamism.


Sounds of India will feature ten performances in the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College, and two in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse (A Little Night Music late-night events), four films, artist talks, and the popular post-performance White Light Lounges, where performers and audience members have an opportunity to meet.  On view at the Anya and Andrew Shiva Art Gallery (adjacent to the Gerald W. Lynch Theater), where the pre-concert talks and White Light Lounges will take place, is an exhibition curated by Mark Morris entitled Masterji Series, featuring photographs by acclaimed Indian artist Dayanita Singh.


The program opens with a film series of free screenings (October 25 and 26) of Bengali auteur Satyajit Ray’s acclaimed Apu Trilogy: Pather Panchali, Aparajito, and Apur Sansar.  The trilogy, which was stunningly restored frame-by-frame after the original reels were devastated by fire, is paired with Jean Renoir’s groundbreaking 1951 color masterpiece The River, a work that Ray credited as a catalyst for his own artistry. All four films will be shown in the Bruno Walter Auditorium at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.


Indian classical vocalist Bombay Jayashri, known for her distinctive performance style rooted in the South Indian Carnatic tradition, is accompanied by percussion, violin, and tambura for the opening concert of Sounds of India on October 27.


Actors and musicians from a prestigious performing arts institution form the Kerala Kalamandalam Kathakali Troupe, which brings elaborate costumes and makeup, refined gestures, and the ornate singing of the mythic dance-drama Kathakali to the Gerald W. Lynch Theater on October 28 and 30, to perform “The Killing of Dussasana” from the epic Hindu tale the Mahabharata.


Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) will dance the world premiere of a new Mark Morris work, Pure Dance Items, set to the music of Terry Riley on a program that also includes revivals of two India-inspired solos from early in Morris’ career remade on members of the company, and a humorous duet set to a lively Tamil film score on October 29, November 3, and November 5.


Master percussionist V. Selvaganesh hails from a legendary lineage of Chennai musicians, and is renowned as one of the great khanjira (South Indian frame drum) players of his generation and a virtuoso of the konnakol tradition of percussive vocal patterns. He performs with his ensemble, which includes his Grammy Award – winning musician father, Vikku Vinayakram, on November 1.


Nrityagram Dance Ensemble hails from a village devoted to dance, whose all-female members complement their intensive training with studies of literature, Sanskrit, yoga, meditation, and martial arts to perfect the art of Odissi dance, a classical form dating back 2,000 years.  The ensemble will give two performances, November 2 and 4.


The Mark Morris Dance Group Music Ensemble and Nrityagram Music Ensemble will each be featured in intimate, hour-long, late-night A Little Night Music concerts, accompanied by complimentary wine, candlelight, and skyline views from the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse. Nrityagram Music Ensemble performs a traditional Indian music program on November 3, and MMDG Music Ensemble performs works by Esa-Pekka Salonen, Nico Muhly, Messiaen, and more on November 4.


The Sounds of India focus concludes on November 6 with a concert by T.M. Krishna, an Indian vocal visionary who brings striking innovations to traditional forms. Joined by a traditional instrument ensemble, the classically trained Chennai native performs ragas as well as Carnatic music shaped by a range of pan-cultural influences.


Tickets for Sounds of India are available online at, by calling CenterCharge at 212.721.6500, or at the David Geffen or Alice Tully Hall Box Offices (Broadway and 65th Street). Film screenings are FREE, but reservations are required. These can be made at or by visiting the Welcome Desk at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.


Programs, artists, repertoire, and ticket prices are subject to change.


More About “Sounds of India” Presentations

Artists and Programs Listed in Chronological Order


Tuesday, October 25 and Wednesday, October 26

Sounds of India on Film

Bruno Walter Auditorium, NY Public Library for the Performing Arts

In this free film series, curated by Mark Morris, audiences will experience the breathtaking visual storytelling of Bengali auteur Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy in stunning new prints, restored frame-by-frame after the original reels were devastated by fire. Held aloft by unforgettable imagery and the pulse of Ravi Shankar’s vibrant score, the Apu Trilogy distills one boy’s life into universally resonant moments of grief, grace, and humor. The groundbreaking works are presented together with Jean Renoir’s 1951 color masterpiece The River, a work that Ray credited as a catalyst for his own filmmaking.

Sounds of India film series is presented by Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival and The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, in association with the Film Society of Lincoln Center


Tuesday, October 25 at 6:15 pm

Film Program 1: Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road); Satyajit Ray. 1955, 125 minutes.

Bengali with English subtitles

Young Apu begins his journey in a remote Bengali village where the stars of his life are his dutiful mother, Sarbojaya, and his spirited sister, Durga.


Tuesday, October 25 at 9:15 pm

Film Program 2: Aparajito (The Unvanquished); Satyajit Ray. 1956, 113 minutes.

Bengali with English subtitles

Set in the cities of Varanasi and Calcutta, the center panel of the triptych offers a poignant portrait of the relationship between a widowed mother and her adolescent son.


Wednesday, October 26 at 6:15 pm

Film Program 3: The River

Jean Renoir. 1951, 99 minutes. In 35mm

English and Bengali with English subtitles

Three young British women come of age on the banks of the Ganges in Renoir’s first color feature, filmed entirely on location in India and considered one of the most beautiful color films ever made.


Wednesday, October 26 at 8:45 pm

Film Program 4: Apur Sansar (The World of Apu); Satyajit Ray. 1959, 107 minutes.

Bengali with English subtitles

Apu, now a young adult, struggles to find his place in the world, faced with the ephemeral nature of love and the existential force of fatherhood.


Thursday, October 27 at 6:15 pm

Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery, John Jay College

Sounds of India: Opening Talk

Mark Morris

Lakshmi Vishwanathan

Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 7:30 pm

Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College, 524 West 59th Street

White Light Lounge follows the performance

Bombay Jayashri

Bombay Jayashri, vocals

Embar Kannan, violin

V.V. Ramanamurthy, mridangam

K.V. Gopalakrishnan, khanjira

Amrit Ramnath, tambura

Bombay Jayashri is a celebrated Indian classical music performer who catapulted to the global stage with her Oscar-nominated Tamil lullaby in Ang Lee’s 2012 film Life of Pi. Trained as a Carnatic vocalist, she will present a concert of traditional works molded into her own distinct style, which she has developed through collaborating extensively with western classical musicians. Jayashri is particularly interested in exploring the therapeutic and healing value that music can generate across cultures, conveyed through her deep roots in the Carnatic tradition.


Friday, October 28, 2016 at 7:30 pm

Sunday, October 30, 2016 at 5:00 pm

Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College, 524 West 59th Street

Pre-concert lecture by Lakshmi Vishwanathan on Friday, October 28 at 6:15 pm

White Light Lounge follows each performance

Kerala Kalamandalam Kathakali Troupe

Dussasana Vadhom (“The Killing of Dussasana”), from the Mahabharata

A troupe of performers from Kerala Kalamandalam, a premier performing arts institution in southern India, presents the mythic dance-drama of Kathakali, an art form based on ancient ritual folk dances in the state of Kerala, practiced in its current form since the 17th century. Kathakali dancers often spend a decade of intensive martial arts training preparing for their roles. Utilizing elaborate costumes, colorful makeup, refined gestures, ornate singing, and accompanying percussion, this all-male troupe will bring to life mythological tales from a Hindu epic.


Saturday, October 29, 2016 at 7:30 pm

Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 7:30 pm

Saturday, November 5, 2016 at 7:30 pm

Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College, 524 West 59th Street

Pre-performance discussion with Mark Morris on Saturday, November 5 at 6:15 pm

White Light Lounge follows each performance

Mark Morris Dance Group

Mark Morris, choreographer

MMDG Music Ensemble

O Rangasayee


The “Tamil Film Songs in Stereo” Pas de Deux

Pure Dance Items (World premiere)


Choreographer Mark Morris has spent decades traveling to southern India, attending annual festivals, concerts, and dance performances. This specially curated program for the Mark Morris Dance Group reprises two India-inspired Morris solos, O Rangasayee (1984) and Serenade (2003), performed for the first time by members of his company, as well as a humorous 1983 duet set to a lively Tamil film score—one of the rare Morris creations using prerecorded music. The program culminates in the World premiere of Pure Dance Items set to live music composed by Terry Riley, and choreographed for a small ensemble.

O Rangasayee premiered March 15, 1984, at Dansechange Montreal; Serenade premiered March 8, 2003, at George Mason University Center for the Arts in Fairfax, Virginia. The “Tamil Film Songs in Stereo” Pas de Deux premiered December 15, 1983, at Dance Theater Workshop, Bessie Schönberg Theatre, New York, and was broadcast on PBS in 1986.


Tuesday, November 1, 2016 at 7:30 pm

Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College, 524 West 59th Street

Pre-performance artist discussion at 6:15 pm

White Light Lounge follows the performance

V. Selvaganesh, hybrid drums and khanjira

Vikku Vinayakram, chathur ghatam

V. Umashankar, ghatam and konnakol

Swaminathan, khanjira and konnakol

A. Ganesan, morsing and konnakol


Chennai native V. Selvaganesh, known for his work with Remember Shakti, is a percussionist trained in the Carnatic tradition and one of the world’s leading kanjira (south Indian frame drum) players. As he creates an expanded palette for the kanjira bordering on a techno vibe, Selvaganesh uses the constant bell-like jangle of the kanjira to evoke the warp-speed jungle groove of drums and bass. For this performance, Selvaganesh will demonstrate his innovative approach, integrating Indian classical music with contemporary musical forms.


Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 7:30 pm

Friday, November 4, 2016 at 7:30 pm

Gerald W. Lynch Theater, 524 West 59th Street

Post-performance artist discussion on Wednesday, November 2

White Light Lounges follow each performance

Nrityagram Dance Ensemble

Surupa Sen, choreographer

Nrityagram Music Ensemble



Panchtaal Pallavi

Lalita Lavanga





In a village devoted to dance in southern India, Nrityagram dancers complement their intensive training with the study of literature, Sanskrit, yoga, meditation, and martial arts. The result is an all-female troupe expertly channeling the powerful imagery, compelling physicality, and emotional honesty of Odissi dance, a classical Indian form dating back 2,000 years. Odissi dancers create the illusion of temple sculpture coming to life through balancing weight on one foot and using isolated, curved torso movements, forming an eternal “S” pattern with the body in space.


Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 10:00 pm

Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, Rose Building, 165 West 65th Street, 10th floor

A Little Night Music

Nrityagram Music Ensemble

Jateen Sahu, vocals and harmonium

Rohan Dahale, voice and mardala (percussion)

Sanjib Kunda, violin

Manu Raj, bamboo flute

An evening of music selected from the vast range of musical traditions of India?from Hindustani classical ragas to traditional music from Odisha to folk melodies.


Friday, November 4, 2016 at 10:00 pm

Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, Rose Building, 165 West 65th Street, 10th Floor

A Little Night Music

Mark Morris Dance Group Music Ensemble

Esa-Pekka Salonen:       Homunculus

Nico Muhly:                   Drones & Viola

Messiaen:                     Selected Preludes for piano

And more


Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 5:00 pm

Gerald W. Lynch Theater John Jay College, 524 West 59th Street

White Light Lounge follows the performance

T.M. Krishna, vocals

T.M. Krishna is a classically trained Carnatic vocalist who performs ragas spanning centuries, gliding between microtones revelatory to the Western ear. Revered as an Indian music “powerhouse” (Washington Post), the iconic and controversial musician brings his groundbreaking technique to the White Light stage for this performance.




Bombay Jayashri

October 27

With a career extending over two decades, Bombay Jayashri Ramnath is among the most sought-after Carnatic musicians. Born into a family of musicians with rich lineage, Jayashri represents the fourth generation of music practitioners in her family. She has been groomed under the guidance of legends Lalgudi G. Jayaraman and T. R. Balamani. As a cultural ambassador of India’s rich heritage, Jayashri has performed extensively in India and abroad in the most prestigious venues, drawing worldwide critical acclaim. Jayashri had the rare privilege of being the first Carnatic classical performer in the Playhouse Opera Theatre in Durban, South Africa, and the Alexander Theatre in Helsinki, Finland. Learn more at

Kerala Kalamandalam Kathakali Troupe

October 28, 30

Kerala Kalamandalam is the premier public institution for the preservation and promotion of the Indian state of Kerala’s traditional performing arts. Since its founding in 1930, it has been a thriving cultural center for artists, art scholars, historians, theater directors, and choreographers. Troupes from Kerala Kalamandalam have travelled widely in India and abroad for programs, lecture-demonstrations, and workshops. Kerala Kalamandalam Kathakali Troupe has represented India in many international dance and theater festivals, including the 2011 maximum INDIA festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Learn more at

Mark Morris Dance Group

October 29, November 3, 5

Mark Morris formed the Mark Morris Dance Group in 1980 and has since created close to 150 works for the company. Over the years he has had several productions presented at the White Light and Mostly Mozart Festivals, starting with L’Allegro, Il Penseroso ed il Moderato in 2002, and most recently Acis and Galatea in 2014. From 1988 to 1991, he was Director of Dance at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, the national opera house of Belgium. In 1990, he founded the White Oak Dance Project with Mikhail Baryshnikov. Morris is also an acclaimed ballet choreographer, with 20 works commissioned by ballet companies worldwide. Morris also works extensively in opera, directing and choreographing productions for The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, English National Opera, and The Royal Opera, Covent Garden, among others. Learn more at


Founded in New York City in 1980 by artistic director and choreographer Mark Morris, the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) has been called “the preeminent modern dance organization of our time” (Yo-Yo Ma). The company has toured with its own musicians, the MMDG Music Ensemble, since 1996. Through Access/MMDG programming, the Dance Group provides educational opportunities in dance and music to people of all ages and abilities while on tour internationally and at home at the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn, NY. Visit


V. Selvaganesh

November 1

V. Selvaganesh is a renowned kanjira (south Indian frame drum) player and one of the leading musicians in the world of percussion. He was born in Chennai, India, to Grammy winner T.H. “Vikku” Vinayakram, a legendary musician and former member of the original Shakti. He is also the grandson of Sri T. R. Harihara Sarma, who founded the Sri Jaya Ganesh Tala Vadya Vidyalaya (Sri JGTV school) in Chennai. A child prodigy, Selvaganesh’s concert career began at the age of ten. He emerged on the international music scene in the early 1990s in Masters of Percussion, and late ’90s, when he joined Shakti to play alongside John McLaughlin and Zakir Hussain. Along with playing authentic Carnatic music, he has performed in fusion, jazz, blues, flamenco, symphony orchestra, Celtic, Latin, electronic music, and world music, Talavadya (percussion ensemble), and jugalbandhi concerts and participated in numerous international music festivals with renowned Indian musicians. He has also composed and produced albums and played with the Swedish bass virtuoso Jonas Hellborg, and American guitarist Shawn Lane. Selvaganesh formed the group Dr. JSM with the U.K.-based Goan songwriter-producer Dr. Joel and the young Carnatic singer Mahesh; their Indo-Celtic album, Turn on the Dreams, was released in the U.K. in 2005. His debut international solo album, Soukha, released in 2006 featured members of Remember Shakti including McLaughlin, Hussain, U. Srinivas, and Shankar Mahadevan, sitar player Niladri Kumar and Selvaganesh’s father, Vinayakram. In addition, his compositions are featured in Mira Nair’s movies Vanity Fair and Monsoon Wedding.


Nrityagram Dance Ensemble

November 2, 4

The Nrityagram Dance Ensemble, Nrityagram Dance Village’s repertory company, is regarded as one of the foremost dance companies of India, performing all over the world, including an annual tour to the United States. Although steeped in and dedicated to ancient practice, the Ensemble is also committed to carrying Indian dance into the 21st century. Supported by grants from the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts, and more recently from the Joyce Theater, New York, Nrityagram’s dancers not only explore creative expansions of tradition but are also able to commission new compositions from leading Indian classical musicians. Learn more at

The Nrityagram Dance Village is located outside Bangalore, India. It was founded in 1990 by Odissi dancer Protima Gauri, who converted ten acres of farmland into a setting for the study, practice and teaching of dance. Reminiscent of ancient ashrams where gurus imparted not only technique but also a philosophy for living, the village is a creative space where dancers, musicians, and choreographers live together, sharing their skills, and developing their art. To enrich their practice, dancers are also taught yoga and martial arts along with Sanskrit and classical literature.


A Little Night Music with Nrityagram Music Ensemble

November 3

Jateen Sahu, vocals and harmonium, learned Odissi singing under the tutelage of Guru Ramahari Das at The Music College, Odisha. He lives in Mumbai and has worked with Nrityagram since 2008. He is the lead vocalist at Nrityagram and also a concert singer.


Rohan Dahale, voice and mardala (percussion), began his training with Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra and has continued his studies with Guru Banamali Maharana for the past 12 years. He lives in Mumbai and accompanies Odissi dancers from the region. At present, he is percussionist at the dance village and travels and performs with the Ensemble.


Sanjib Kunda, violin, started work with Nrityagram in 2006 after graduating in Hindustani violin playing from The Music College, Odisha. Since then he has performed with the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble while continuing to accompany other dancers in Odisha. He is the lead violinist at Nrityagram.


Manu Raj, bamboo flute, began his musical training as a vocalist when he was 11. At 14 he began to learn the bamboo flute. He moved to Mumbai in 2009 and has been under the tutelage of the renowned maestro Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia. He accompanies his Guru in concert, performs as a soloist and as part of several bands, and also accompanies dance.


A Little Night Music with MMDG Music Ensemble

November 4

The MMDG Music Ensemble, formed in 1996, is integral to the work and performances of the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG). The Ensemble’s repertory ranges from 17th-century works by John Wilson and Henry Purcell to more recent scores by Lou Harrison and Henry Cowell. The musicians also participate in Access/MMDG, the Dance Group’s program to deepen community engagement at home and on the road. Visit


T.M. Krishna

November 6

T. M. Krishna, widely known as “TMK,” is recognized as today’s foremost vocalist in the Carnatic tradition. He studied at the Krishnamurti Foundation’s The School in Chennai, and Jiddu Krishnamurti’s philosophy of “pathlessness” has unmistakably influenced Krishna’s in the Carnatic tradition. Krishna’s musical grounding was honed into mastery under the tutelage of Vidvans Seetharama Sarma, Chingleput Ranganathan, and the legendary Semmangudi Srinivasier. Krishna founded and continues his involvement in many organizations whose work is spread across the spectrum of Carnatic music, including research, archiving, and documentation, taking Carnatic music to smaller towns and villages, and supporting artists from rural south India. He coauthored Voices Within: Carnatic MusicPassing on an Inheritance, a book dedicated to the greats of Carnatic music. His most recent book, A Southern Music, was published by Harper Collins in December 2013. Visit


The White Light Festival is a presentation of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA), which serves three primary roles: presenter of artistic programming, national leader in arts and education and community engagement, and manager of the Lincoln Center campus. A presenter of more than 3,000 free and ticketed events, performances, tours, and educational activities annually, LCPA offers 16 series, festivals, and programs including American Songbook, Avery Fisher Career Grants and Artist program,  David Rubenstein Atrium programming, Great Performers, Legends at Lincoln Center: The Performing Arts Hall of Fame, Lincoln Center at the Movies, Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Awards, Lincoln Center Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Lincoln Center Vera List Art Project, Midsummer Night Swing, Mostly Mozart Festival, White Light Festival, the Emmy Award?winning Live From Lincoln Center, which airs nationally on PBS, and Lincoln Center Education, which is celebrating 40 years enriching the lives of students, educators, and lifelong learners. As manager of the Lincoln Center campus, LCPA provides support and services for the Lincoln Center complex and the 11 resident organizations: The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, The Film Society of Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center Theater, The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, the School of American Ballet, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. For more information, visit


Lincoln Center is committed to providing and improving accessibility for people with disabilities. For information, call the Department of Programs and Services for People with Disabilities at 212.875.5375


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The White Light Festival presentation of the Sounds of India is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation


Endowment support for the White Light Festival presentation of Mark Morris Dance Group is provided by Blavatnik Family Foundation Fund for Dance 


Artist catering provided by Zabar’s and


MetLife is the National Sponsor of Lincoln Center


American Airlines is the Official Airline of Lincoln Center


Nespresso is the Official Coffee of Lincoln Center


New York-Presbyterian is the Official Hospital of Lincoln Center


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High Resolution Images Return to Top

Sounds of India
Caption: Bombay Jayashri
Size: 1350x900
Sounds of India
Caption: Kerala Kalamandalam Kathakali Troupe "The Killing of Dussasana"
Size: 2700x1794
Sounds of India
Caption: V. Selvaganesh
Photo Credit: © Vedaraman
Size: 3150x2100
Sounds of India
Caption: T.M. Krishna
Photo Credit: S.Hariharan
Size: 3200x2128
Sounds of India
Caption: Nrityagram dancers
Photo Credit: Shalini Jain
Size: 3240x2160

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