Kalapriya's mission is to support, celebrate and present to a wide range of audiences the dance and music of India through performances, workshops, educational outreach programs, and formal dance instruction. Since Indian artistic practices are constantly evolving as they are influenced by exposure to cross-cultural exchanges, Kalapriya programs retain the unique Indian essence that defines the Indian Diaspora. Kalapriya programs are influenced by contemporary cultures of India. The organization seeks diversity in its audience as well as among the artists with whom it works.
Kalapriya Center for Indian Performing Arts was founded in Chicago in 1994 by critically acclaimed dancer and teacher Pranita Jain. Kalapriya’s programming supports India’s performing arts traditions through its dance troupe and dance classes, and through the presentation of Indian artists to American audiences, and educational outreach in various community settings.
Kalapriya Dance is a professional performance group that presents various styles of Indian dance that include, classical, folk and contemporary. Public performances are presented locally, nationally and internationally, including performances at such venues as the Smithsonian Institute, in Washington DC, the Art Institute of Chicago, Symphony Space in New York City and Darpana Academy, Ahemdabad, India.
Kalapriya presents professional level instruction of Bharata Natyam with classes in two Chicago metropolitan area locations.
As a presenter of Indian performing arts, Kalapriya showcases the work of Indian artists of the highest caliber. Musicians, dancers and choreographers working in a variety of disciplines and from different regions of India are presented. Kalapriya has also facilitated cultural artistic exchanges. Kalapriya also works with local and national organizations to present artists to broader audiences.
Kalapriya has a working relationship with the Indian Council on Cultural Relations (ICCR), which fosters mutual understanding between India and other countries and cultural exchanges. Through ICCR Kalapriya sponsors performing artists as they tour the United States.
Kalapriya promotes Indian culture through educational programs in the public schools and through free performances and lecture demonstrations throughout the metro area at schools, community centers, libraries, festivals and museums. Regular events on the Center’s calendar include Kalapriya performances for the Indian community in events that mark Indian festivals and celebrations such as the Hindu New Year. “Satyagraha, Steps of Peace through Power of Dance” is an in-school residency program that explores the civil rights movement of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela through dance and music learning experiences. This extremely successful program has been presented in numerous Chicago Public Schools.
Your support for Kalapriya helps us to reach out to such children and adults and give them the wonder and joy of art.
What the critics are saying about Kalapriya:
“Tri Dhara” - Intelligently structured by Kalapriya artistic director
Prantia Jain … a final trio brings the three streams together, briefly
separates them again and ultimately dissolves all distinctions.
Chicago Reader, “Critic’s Choice” Laura Molzahn
“Chakras…Mantra,Tantra,Yantra” – the lovely dancers of Kalapriya dazzle
with enchanting beauty…If you get a chance to see one of their performances,
you won’t be disappointed.
Pop star Shakira used an Indian flavour (having been trained by Kalapriya
Artistic Director Pranita Jain and featuring Kalapriya Dancers) to enthrall
the audience at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards in New York.
Times International, New Delhi, India
"21AD Asia” the tranquil marriage of a Navajo poem to Indian Dance,
with the artists metaphorically drawing the elements of air and fire into
her own being to express oneness with the universe... poetry narration
seemed to pour forth from intensely outlined eyes."
"Fight From The Inside" - suggested that anyone wishing to overthrow tradition must, like a martial artist, exploit her opponents strength. It also suggested, tantalizingly, that those most devoted to showing the way into an art form are best equipped to identify pathways out of it.