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Riverside Ragas: The Monks of Majuli - Sattriya Dance

Riverside Ragas: The Monks of Majuli - Sattriya Dance

GemArts Masala Festival - A weeklong festival celebrating a mix and blend of the finest South Asian Arts and Culture

Monks from the beautiful island of Majuli, centre of Assamese Krishna worship, travel to the UK in July to perform and teach Sattriya, as part of GemArts Masala Festival.

This classical Indian dance was cultivated as a form of worship in the monasteries of Assam. The monks trace the origin of their art form to Sankardeva, the 15th century founder of Assamese ‘Neo-Vaishnavism’, a religion that venerates the Indian god Vishnu, particularly in his incarnation as the flute-playing Krishna. The monks dance in his honour and narrate playful, sensuous and fantastical episodes of his life as recounted in the ancient epics. Official recognition as an Indian Classical Dance form in 2000 has afforded practitioners of Sattriya new opportunities to share these fascinating tales beyond India’s borders.

For the first time ever, the British public have the chance to see performances, to learn sections of the dances, and to engage with conversations with original practitioners of Sattriya. The monks participation in GemArts Masala Festival forms part of a four-city tour of the UK organized by King’s College PhD candidate Georgie Pope, supported by the Arts Council, Culture at King’s, LAHP and the British Museum. 

As a GemArts Riverside Ragas event this performance is accompanied by a pre-concert talk with Georgie Pope.

Presented as part of GemArts Masala Festival, with Sage Gateshead

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