Dance drama world premiere is August 13 in St. Louis

The Indian community of St. Louis joins hands in celebrating 75 years of India’s Independence with Samarpan, an artistic rendition of the Indian freedom struggle against British colonial rule. The world premiere of Samarpan is at 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 13th, 2022, at Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center.

This dance drama has been conceptualized, written, and directed by American-based artist Prasanna Kasthuri, the artistic director of Soorya Performing Arts in St. Louis. Music is scored by veteran Indian musician Tirumale Srinivasan (Chami) and will involve the Indian dramatist Gaurang Bhavsaar (MFA in drama from Baroda University).

The dancers include Samanvita Kasthuri, the Fox Teen Talent Dance winner of 2017 and 2019; Bianca RadhaKrishna (India); Manipuri dancer Sanjeeb Bhattacharya (Cincinnati) and Amarnath Ghosh (India). Veteran dance master Pulikeshi Kasthuri (India) will be offering professional guidance and support to the production.

Historical events showcased in Samarpan will be depicted in five languages—Hindi, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Bengali—by more than 120 artists from India, the United States, and Canada. This mega dance drama honors the freedom fighters and highlights this struggle with the entire St. Louis community and beyond.

This production depicts events beginning from the 16th century, marking the arrival of the East India Company, weaving its way to dominating by the 1860s eventually, later facing the resistance freedom fighters from North-South, East-West, and every part of India, culminating with the events that led to freedom in 1947.

“It reminds us of the unforgettable sacrifices of the brave men and women who fought valiantly to get India out of the shackles of slavery,” producers say. “This is a glimpse into history like never before! A reminder for our generation and an eye-opener for kids.”

The world premiere showcase will portray the contribution of ideals such as ahimsa (non-violence), satyagraha (agitation for truth), and asahakara (non-cooperation)—the original ideas of Mahatma Gandhi. This idea of non-violence has become the mainstream thinking of freedom seekers worldwide, including leaders like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.

For ticket information and more details, click here.