Press / Publicity





Nayikas Indian Dance Company Begins Third Year with Exciting New Work March 15-19
Presented by The Rubin Museum of Art in association with Indo-American Arts Council

Nayikas will be holding a special press preview on the afternoon of Friday, March 11 from 2-4pm at the Rubin Museum of Art. Press and camera crews are welcome.

Nayikas Dance Theater ~ NY's first resident Indian Odissi dance theater company
For Gala March 15 -- celebrity guests including Mira Nair, Ismail Merchant, Mahmood Mamdani, Salman Rushdie and Padma Lakshmi. Fusion cuisine dinner, live entertainment by Manu Narayan of ‘Bombay Dreams’ and Trumpet and Saxophone duet by Jonathan Finlayson featuring original compositions
Glow” ~ A multimedia, experimental dance theater performance
The Rubin Museum of Art ~ 150 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011
WHEN: March 17 & 18 at 7 pm ~ Tickets $25 (student & seniors $18, subject to availability)
March 19 at 3 pm ~ Tickets $25 (student & seniors $18, subject to availability)

Performances will kick off with a special Gala Premiere ~ March 15 at 7 pm ~

Tickets: $175 includes museum entrance, admission to same day performance, after-show dinner event with live entertainment & celebrity guests
$160 after-show dinner event only plus performance on any other day
$150 after-show dinner event only
HOW: For tickets, call 212-620-5000 ext 344 or purchase at Rubin Admissions Desk
or online at
Subway lines B, D, F, V, 1, 2, 3, 9, A, C, E or PATH to 14th St. (bet. 6th & 7th)
With winter in full force, what better way to warm those cold New York nights than by taking in a performance of what the Village Voice calls, “A glowing addition to the city’s mix… so sultry and lush is the dance, so intense the focus, so tropical the ambience.”

Nayikas Dance Theater Company’s sensual, hypnotic, compelling movements challenge the dancer and captivate audiences, demonstrating the power of Odissi, India’s oldest Classical dance form. Now in its third year, Nayikas is the first resident South Asian company of its kind in New York. Known for its startlingly modern theatrical dance pieces, the group’s latest offering, “Glow,” will be presented by the Rubin Museum of Art in association with the Indo-American Arts Council. Performances are on March 17 and 18 at 7 pm, and March 19 at 3 pm at the Rubin, New York’s newest museum. The performance series kicks off with a special Gala Premiere on March 15, featuring fusion cuisine dinner, live entertainment, and celebrity guests.

Glow” is Nayikas' new multimedia, experimental dance theater project. It uses dance as well as radiants of South Asian culture – cinema, comic book images and calendar art – to aid in visually mapping elements of popular consciousness to the abstractness of classical forms. It exposes ruptures in traditional understandings of text and philosophy while exploring spirituality and sensuality through the dancer’s body. The simple act of women adorning themselves "glows" with the pulse of the feminine divine, as does the graceful movement of hips swaying, of feet reverberating. A new sense of woman, of body, and of the spiritual is realized when Gods defy gendered classification, and the demonic divine coexists with the sensual feminine.

Nayikas means “heroines” in the Sanskrit language, and that’s just what this dance troupe is comprised of – heroic, groundbreaking dance artists. The ensemble’s blending of Classical and contemporary influences makes them distinct on the dance scene. Artistic Director & Choreographer Myna Mukherjee (profiled last season in The New York Times) gives the traditional movements a modern and urban flair. Nayikas tell stories that resurrect often neglected, alternate voices of women, drawing from feminist iconography present in the footnotes of Indian mythology, history, literature and Diaspora. This preserves the essential spiritual core of the dance form while envisioning gender equality, advocating women’s rights and promoting diversity of imagination in “Hindu” cultures beyond the often-patriarchal religiosity of these traditions. Company repertoire typically borrows narratives from the Tantric and Buddhist pantheon of a female-centered cosmos, while exploring themes of divinity, sexuality and humanity. It seeks new space within traditional boundaries: using the stage as partner and instrument to create symmetry within asymmetric spatial patterns; and infuses classical grammar with the compelling physicality of Yoga and Chauu Martial Art movements.

Principal dancer Sunanda Sammadar, along with ensemble dancers Aditi Dhruv, Punchali Khanna, Shrooti Singh, Kirti Srivastava, and Pavithra Vasudeven, are from incredibly diverse backgrounds, with extensive training in Indian classical dance – predominantly Odissi and Bharatnatyam, but also Yoga, Ballet, Modern, and Martial Arts. The style is a conflux of two seminal lineages, that of Guru Deba Prasad Das/Guru Durga Charan Ranbir (with tribal and yogic roots); and; that of Guru Maya Dhar Raut/Guru Dibankar Kuntia (renowned for evocative & languid syntax). Performance credits include amongst others The Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, Baruch Performing Arts Center, Brooklyn Museum of the Arts, Queens Museum, the MET in Soho, Chashama Theater, and Yale University.
*      *      *      *      *       *       *      *
Indo-American Arts Council

The Indo-American Arts Council is dedicated to promoting and building an awareness of all artistic disciplines in classical, fusion, folk and innovative forms influenced by the arts of India. We work cooperatively with colleagues both in the United States and in India, to showcase and facilitate the exhibition, performance and production of their work in the US, to broaden our collective audiences, and to create a network for shared information and resources.

The Rubin Museum of Art
The Rubin Museum of Art is New York's newest museum. Opened on October 2nd, 2004, it is the first museum in the Western World dedicated to the art of the Himalayas and surrounding regions. The museum's mission is to establish, present, preserve and document a permanent collection that reflects the vitality, complexity and historical significance of Himalayan art. The museum also seeks to create an environment in which a dynamic between the performing and the visual arts can bring about a dialogue that enriches both exhibition visitor and theater audience.

Recent Praise for Nayikas
“Visual triumph and creatively inspiring experience… fresh contemporary style... Nayikas mesmerizes.” Tasha Harris, Talent In Motion

“The dancers danced like water flowing over a rock while also being the rock… consistent high quality… excellent group… felt compelled to return.” Robert Abrams, ExploreDance

“Sheer joy of experience… breaking new ground.” Art Track Magazine

“Myna Mukherjee’s Nayikas… exhibited great choreographic flair.” Leela Venkataraman, The Hindu

“Extremely innovative and dynamic choreography…beautifully crafted… more dramative version of Odissi.” Rajika Puri, News India Times

--Chosen by Fox-TV’s “Good Day New York” as a Top Five Pick for NYC Events

--Interviewed on WB-11 Morning News program

For more information, please visit


Find out more            Press

Home    About Us
Art   Books   Dance   Fashion   Film   Music   Theatre