PASA's ‘Odissi,’ classical native dance of India was enjoyed by all in attendance

By: Angela Becnel - LIFESTYLES EDITOR
LAFAYETTE – Sumptuously-costumed dancers and a quartet of musicians played and danced for two hours on stage on the evening of Tuesday, April 6 at the Hymann Center for the Performing Arts in Lafayette.

The Performing Arts Society of Acadiana (PASA) presented Nrityagram, a dance ensemble that performed “Odissi.”

Odissi as evolved and practiced at Nrityagram, India, is a classical native dance.

Many audience members were dressed up in traditional Indian attire, paying homage to the country of the performers.

Shanna Higginbotham, executive director for PASA, was dressed in a beautiful outfit.

“My friend Holly Hernandez had this beautiful outfit handmade in India for her brother’s wedding over 15 years ago,” said Higginbotham. “He married an Indian girl and the wedding called for authentic Indian attire. Both she and her mom, Judy Herman, were measured, the outfits were made and shipped for the week long festivities in San Francisco. I was delighted with their kind offer for me to borrow it for Nrityagram’s performance.”

The dancers were in exceptional form for the event as they performed their seductive gestures, precise unison movements and suggestive facial expressions combining them into a mesmerizing display.

“I felt so relaxed during their routine,” said Lisa Hanchey of Lafayette who attended the performance. “I loved the hand movements and the way the dancers used their eyes.”

Also in attendance was Lafayette’s Mayor, Joey Durel who was accompanied by his wife, Lynne, in celebration of his birthday.

Nrityagram has made only four stops on their American tour. After touring New York, Iowa and Mexico they finally arrived in Lafayette.

Support for performances like this is provided through a grant from the Louisiana State Arts Council through the Louisiana Division of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Support is also provided by a grant by the External Agencies Funding Program grant, sponsored by Lafayette Consolidated Government and administered by the Acadiana Center for the Arts; a grant from the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission (800-346-1958 – www.lafayettetravel.com); a grant from the Louisiana State Arts Council through the Louisiana Division of the Arts; and the National Endowment of the Arts.

Founded in Founded in 1988, PASA is a non-profit organization that presents live entertainment at various venues.

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