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South Asian Magazine 2005

South Asian Magazine

Local Dance Company Awarded NEA Grant
March 2005

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has awarded DC-based dance organizations, Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh & Company (Dakshina), a prestigious Challenge America Fast-Track Review Grant to create a festival of Indian dance this fall. These grants support projects that provide opportunities for people to experience and participate in a wide range of art forms and activities, enable arts organizations to expand and diversify their audiences, and emphasize the potential of the arts to help strengthen communities. Dakshina is one of 171 organizations to receive this highly sought national award.

Dakshina is a dance company that performs and presents multiple dance forms such as Bharata Natyam and modern dance, mirroring the multiple identities of second generation South Asians. The company combines the arts with social justice issues, both by incorporating the themes into their work and by creating partnerships with local community centers and schools.

The fall festival supported by this NEA grant will be collaboration of artists from the United States and India, including Dr. Mallika Sarabhai, renowned Bharata Natyam dancer, activist, and co-director of the Darpana Academy of Performing arts in Ahmedabad, India. New works of music and dance will be presented during the festival, which will also feature workshops, lectures and community events.

“We are very honored to receive this award and to have the opportunity to create a collaborative festival of Indian dance, “ said Daniel Phoenix Singh, artistic director of Dakshina. “The word Dakshina means both ‘offering’ and ‘from the South of India’. We expect this festival to be one of many offerings we share with the DC community as part of our mission to connect multiple dance forms. We want to demonstrate that dance is universally accessible, it is a system of communication that transcends boundaries, cultures, and time, and it can be used as a vehicle for social change and community development.”

Dakshina will be participating in several festivals and arts series this winter and spring as well, including: Dancing Across India and Bhangra Dance Party at National Geographic Live! On April 1: National Theater’s free performance series, Monday Night at the National, on Aprill 11: and the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage on June 8. For more information about these performances and Dakshina, please visit www.Dakshina.org.

Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh & Company is a young dance company that performs and presents Indian forms, such as Bharata Natyam, and Modern Dance, mirroring the multiple identities of second generation South Asians.

Daniel Phoenix Singh is the Artistic Director and President of Dakshina/ Daniel Phoenix Singh & Company. Singh continues his Bharata Natyam training with Guru Meena Telikicheria of Nriyanjali, MD with whom he has studied for several years.