Jefe's House

Einstein/Tagore: Seashore of Endless Worlds

by on Jun.12, 2012, under Shaheb Cafe, The Sixth Boro, Theatre


Philadelphia, PA –  Shiva3 and Mangalam Dance are proud to announce the world premiere of acclaimed Indian classical dancer Bidisha Dasgupta‘s solo concert EINSTEIN/TAGORE: SEASHORE OF ENDLESS WORLDS at the 2012 Philly Fringe.   The 45-minute show will be performed at Twelve Gates Arts at 51 N. 2nd Street in Olde City for a total of 6 performances.

Dasgupta’s show is a collection of original dance works that draws inspiration from Albert Einstein and Rabindranath Tagore‘s profound conversations in the late 1920s.  By combining a movement-based interpretation of their musings with inspiration from Tagore’s poetry and songs, her choreography explores human ties to the cosmos.  Her performance fuses the Bharatanatyam style of Indian classical dance with Tagore’s Rabindra Nritya dance style, as well as modern dance.

Bharatanatyam is one of the oldest dance forms in the world, originating in southern India some 3,000 years ago.  Originally performed in Hindu temples as a form of worship, this ancient dance style is celebrated today for its rhythmic, sculpturesque movements and use of hand gestures and facial expressions to convey a narrative.

Tagore was the greatest poet of modern Indian literature and one of India’s most influential thinkers.  In 1913 he became the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize for his poetry book Gitanjali.  This prolific Bengali writer authored over one thousand poems, a dozen plays and novels, and numerous essays on philosophy, education and religion.  Tagore was a celebrated composer, and set many of his poems to his own original tunes resulting in the music style known as Rabindra Sangeet, or “Rabindranath songs.”  He also created an entirely new dance form known as Rabindra Nritya, or “Rabindranath dance,” which broke away from traditional Indian classical forms, focusing instead on a more naturalized expression of emotions.  Tagore was highly educated, widely traveled, and well-versed in both Western and Eastern thought.  He took a great interest in science, particularly biology.

In 1926, Tagore met with Einstein in Berlin.  They began a years-long series of intellectually and spiritually riveting dialogues about science and spirituality.  Their meetings spanned continents and garnered considerable press.  The New York Times article “A Mathematician and a Mystic Meet in Manhattan” described Tagore as “the poet with the head of a thinker” and Einstein as “the thinker with the head of a poet.”  The transcripts of their conversations portray a fascinating discourse on the purpose of existence and humanity’s connection to the Universe.

A Unique Location
Twelve Gates Arts (which refers to the fortified gates that walled many ancient cities such as Delhi, Lahore, Jerusalem, and Rhodes – inside of which lay the heart of each city’s art and culture, and which today offer perspectives on history and possibilities), established in 2011, is a non-profit organization based in Philadelphia.  Through a unique and thought- provoking atmosphere, Twelve Gates Arts (12G) aims to showcase international arts bound by the sensibilities of a diaspora identity, including the South Asian identity, to create and promote projects crossing cultural and geographical boundaries, and to educate the community about diaspora culture.

About Choreographer and Dancer Bidisha Dasgupta
Bidisha has been dancing since the age of 4. As the past Dance Director of  New York City-based multicultural dance and theatre nonprofit eyeBLINK she worked with artists of various disciplines to curate and produce the 2007-08 Rhythms Showcase series.   In New York she has presented her original choreography at the Arya Dance Academy, Times Square Initiative, The Women’s Mosaic, Fordham University, Dance New Amsterdam (DNA), PMT, Steps on Broadway and in several festivals and showcases. She created and performed a Bharatanatyam piece for the space-themed Saving Hubble documentary film fundraiser.  She has guest lectured about Indian classical dance at New York University Tisch School of the Arts and Rowan University.  In 2008 she was an invited performer at a Durga Puja celebration in Kolkata, India.

Since moving to Philadelphia, Bidisha performed in Mascher Dance Co-OP’s INFlux Spring 2009 Choreographer’s Showcase and has presented her work at various venues including The Frontline Philly Showcase (2009), Philly Fringe (2009), and the Kimmel Center’s Summer Solstice Celebration.  She has worked with NJ/PA based Attitudes Dance Co. to develop classical dance-based fusion choreography.  In 2009 Bidisha was selected as a New Edge Mix artist by the Community Education Center (CEC), Philadelphia’s longstanding arts incubator.

An Indian classical dancer by training, Bidisha is also proficient in several other dance styles and is an avid choreographer. She studied Bharatanatyam at the Nrityanjali School of Dance (Boston) under guru Smt Jothi Raghavan and completed her arangetram (dance graduation) in 1990. For several years she was a member of the Srijan Dance Company (Boston) which specialized in the Amala Shankar style of Indian modern dance. During her undergraduate years at Case Western Reserve University Bidisha choreographed and performed in many Indian classical, bhangra, folk, western modern and competitive ballroom dance shows, garnering several awards.

A recent transplant to Philadelphia, Bidisha is eager to collaborate with local artists to create exciting new works and to continue to contribute to the city’s vibrant dance scene.

The concert also features Bidisha’s collaborative performances with Leslie Elkins and Jodi Aleen ObeidLeslie is an Associate Professor of Dance at Rowan University and author of Body-Presence: Lived Experience of Choreography and Performance, a phenomenological-hermeneutic study involving work with noted artist Deborah Hay and Philadelphia-based dance artists Grace Mi-He Lee and Tania Isaac, published by Lambert Academic Publishing. She is married to Andrew Buss, Director of Public Programs for the Office of Innovation and Technology in Philadelphia.  Jodi is a contemporary dance artist and movement educator.  She is a professor of Dance at Rowan University and recently finished a new dance theater performance “The House of Empty” produced by the nEW Festival in Philadelphia.

Listings Information

When: Friday 9/14/12 @6:30pm, Saturday 9/15/12 @6:30pm, Sunday 9/16/12 @2pm, Thursday 9/20/12 @6:30pm, Friday 9/21/12 @6:30pm and Saturday 9/22/12 @2pm

Where:  Twelve Gates Arts, 51 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA.

Tickets: $10, purchased only in advance through the Fringe Festival website.  No tickets will be sold in person at the door.

Festival Information
The 2012 Philly Fringe will take place September 7-September 22, 2012. Tickets prices range from free to $30, and can be purchased online at or by calling 215.413.1318.  The Festival Guide will be available the first week of August, and can be either downloaded as a PDF or picked up in hard copy at any Festival venue as well as at key “Hot Spots” (to be announced online in July) throughout the city. The Philly Fringe was founded in 1997. Today it serves as a collective home for artists bringing their work to audiences in every conceivable form–in traditional and untraditional venues, using new artistic forms and established ones.



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