• Odissi Dance: 
temples, sculptures, ritual dances, stories and rhythms of eastern India

Friday, July 7, 2017, 7-8:30 pm, Ann Arbor Downtown Public Library

A demonstration and talk on the ancient Odissi classical dance style of eastern India, presented by Sreyashi Dey/Akshara and Madhulita Mohapatra, acclaimed Odissi dancer from Bangalore, India, with her dance company Nrityantar. The audiences will get a view into the intricate language of gestures of Indian dance, fascinating stories from the rich mythology, watch temple sculptures come alive and enjoy an aesthetically enriching experience through the performance.

  • Ritual Floor Paintings of India

August 17, 2017, Ann Arbor Downtown Public Library

Demonstration and audience participatory workshop

Artist: Meena Khasnabis

Talk: Dr. Paroma Chatterjee


The art of Alpana hails from Eastern India. Alpana represents free hand designs drawn on floors, at altars, and at home entrances signifying welcome offerings to the Higher Spirit into ones’ own abode. Traditionally Alpana is created using paste made from rice flour and water and is applied to natural surfaces; but over time, the tradition has evolved to include many mediums, including paint on paper, cement and other surfaces. Alpana typically is used in celebrations of many auspicious occasions such as weddings to religious ceremonies. Patterns integrated into this art often depict fauna, floral designs, the conch and a focal point at the center of a circular design.


Over five weekends over August, September and October 2017, Akshara will produce Rasa, an India-themed multidisciplinary arts festival taking place at a series of venues in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, Michigan.