Monday, December 14, 2015

Jan. 8th Human Trafficking Event: Dance Performance

Thank you to everyone who has been supporting our upcoming January 8th event here in Schenectady. The Facebook "shares" are really appreciated. 

I'd like begin to introduce some of the people who will be performing and speaking at the event. These people live and breathe creatively and use their gifts to generate change. This mindset is at the heart of Art Changes Everything.

Today, I will introduce Shilpa Darivemula and Rohini Rau-Murthy. They will perform the dance "Mardhini: Healing From Within". The performance will be accompanied by Jordan Taylor Hill.

About the Dance

Dance is a healing vehicle for women to enhance mental health, to discover damaged parts of self and to restore harmony. Damage comes to women in many forms - hate crimes, human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual harassment, and many others - which manifests in physical and psychological wounds. This dance, in an interpretive mixture of Classical Indian Bharata Natyam and Kuchipudi styles, demonstrates the internal struggle that a women goes through in order to heal from such damage. Two dancers enact two parts of a woman's being presented as separate parts (a mistreated self and a central self) that finally join together as she overcomes the trauma and heals into a whole, capable of self-respect and expecting respect from others. The title Mardhini means warrior and is an homage to the strength of many survivors still healing and moving forward.

About the Performers

Shilpa Darivemula 
Shilpa is a ​second year medical student at Albany Medical College. She trained for 16 years in Kuchipudi under ​Ms. ​Sasikala Penumarthi​, Mr. Kishore Mosilikanti,​ and Ms. ​Anuradha Nehru, performing her debut dance with Ms. Nehru’s Kalanidhi School of Dance in Maryland.  A graduate of the accelerated Leadership in Medicine Program at Union College, Shilpa has been infused with a hearty liberal arts background that has her constantly seeing the arts in medicine. She has interned in Dance Movement Therapy, studied traditional Chilean medicine on an independent research project, and spent the last year as a Thomas Watson Fellow, studying the connection between traditional dances and medicine as holistic and intact forms of healing for women in Peru, Morocco, Uganda, Cambodia, and Laos. She currently leads an Arts in Medicine program at Albany Medical College and also runs a traditional dance women’s empowerment group for Refugees in the Capital Area.

Rohini Rau-Murthy 
Rohini is a second year medical student at Albany Medical College with a strong interest in community health and integrative medicine. An assistant teacher at the Natya Anubhava Academy of Dance in Westchester, NY., she is a Bharatha Natyam dancer, teacher and choreographer who has given critically-acclaimed full length performances at the Chennai Winter Festival, the Nayana Auditorium in Bangalore, the Tarrytown Music Hall, and ArtsWestchester.  While an undergraduate at Harvard, Rohini conceived and choreographed three dance dramas, including Naari, a celebration of women in Indian mythology and history. After college, Rohini was a performing troupe member of Navatman Dance in New York City.

Jordan Taylor Hill
From Long Island, New York, Jordan's passion as an artist has been a driver in providing social equality and education. Entering his third year as an Albany Barn Artist-in-Residency, his focus on Djembe as well as being a storyteller/poet has been included in experimental-production projects and hosting Revolution Radio on WCDB FM Albany. Since returning from his GoFundMe led campaign, "The Niombato Library Project" in Senegal, West Africa in the spring of 2015 his passion for music and culture has been used as a vehicle working for the people and education. Currently Jordan is working on establishing a Not-For-Profit status for the Taylor Hill Foundation to continue his developmental work in Africa and the Diaspora.  Find out more about Jordan and listen to a sample of his world and Afro-beat music at and 

Next up: Patricia Carley, Poet and Vice President of Eyes Wide Open

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