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Storytelling and Gesture: Abhinaya Workshop with Rahul Acharya

  • Sound Space 2511 West Girard Avenue Philadelphia, PA, 19130 United States (map)

Internationally renowned, award-winning performer and scholar, Rahul Acharya will lead a one-of-a-kind workshop for professional dancers of all genres, theater artists, and enthusiasts of Indian Dance forms and aesthetics. Exploring the nuances of rasa bhava – the theory of emotions as reflected in facial expression and gestures used in danced storytelling (abhinaya), Acharya will draw from India’s ancient texts on performing arts, such as Natya Shastra and Abhinaya Darpana. Mr. Acharya will also guide participants through a series of exercises developed over many years to thoroughly condition the performer’s body, mind, and spirit to be able to perfect the art of abhinaya

Rahul Acharya’s performances are treasured the world over for their beauty, artistry, technical skill, and the spiritual force with which they are imbued. Immersed in the rich culture of Odissi and its devotional roots since early childhood, Mr. Acharya has cultivated a deep and dynamic approach to the dance form. Brian Seibert of the NY Times notes, “Mr. Acharya’s control is amazing, and as he molded himself with no sense of strain into some of the most acrobatic poses of the god Shiva, he cast a spell.” Renowned dance critic, Alistar MacCaulay writes, “Mr. Acharya's refined sculptural firmness, complex gestural eloquence, subtle musical phrasing and articulate grace are enough to extend most ideas of masculinity...he connects virility to virtuoso delicacy…” 

Dancer, choreographer, researcher, Sanskrit scholar, lecturer, and writer, Rahul Acharya was the 2014 recipient of the Aditya Vikram Birla Kalakiran Award. In 2013 he received the Ram Gopal Award for Best Male Solo Dancer from the Dance History Society of India. Mr. Acharya became the first male Odissi dancer honored by the Sangeet Natak Akademi with the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar Award in 2009. Internationally renowned as a virtuosic artist, he has performed as a soloist on many of the most celebrated stages around the globe. Rahul is part of UNESCO's International Dance Council. His dance is inspired by his teacher, Guru Durga Charan Ranbir, and the late Guru Debaprasad Das. For more on Rahul, please visit 

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