Deeksha-Film, Dance and Conversation about Coming of Age in India

Thursday, December 12, 7:00pm | Film

Join us for a night of dance and film about a ceremony that marks the entrance into adulthood from adolescence.  Local filmmaker, Alissa Nicole Creamer, will screen selections of her in-progress film Dance India (working title). The feature length documentary follows teenage sisters Meena and Nandi as they prepare for one of the most important event of their lives, their Arangetram.  This event is the culimination of years of studying Bharatanatyam, a classical Indian dance form, and a rite of passage for the young women who practice it.

The clips/selections will be followed by a short live performance by dancers in the Museum’s auditorium.  Shivy Vanka, Meena and Nandi’s mother (also their dance teacher!), will be available afterwards for a Q & A session along with Eddy Shuldman, a tutor for bar/bat mitzvah students in the Portland area. Photo below courtesy of the Kalabharathi School of Dance.

About the Director:
Alissa Nicole Creamer has been dancing since age four and has been recording images with a camera since age five. Alissa received her BA in World Arts and Cultures, graduating as valedictorian from UCLA School of Arts and Architecture in 2003. She completed her MA in Theory and Practice of Documentary Film in Barcelona, Spain, fully funded by a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship. Alissa has received funding to shoot international still photography and short-format documentary projects for NGOs in the U.S., Africa, Europe, and South America. In Portland, OR, and Los Angeles, CA, her work has been featured in museum exhibition (Oregon Jewish Museum, 2012; CAFAM, 2004) as well as publication (Harcourt Brace, 2006). Never to Cry, co-produced by TV3-Catalunya, marks her debut as a documentary feature film director. Dance India, with support from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, is her second feature in production. Alissa taught documentary filmmaking at St. Mary's Academy, and is currently developing a documentary curriculum for teenage girls in collaboration with POWFest and Portland Community Media. In 1994, Alissa began the practice and performance of Bharatanatyam, as a student of Shivy Vanka.

About Shivy Vanka:
Shivagami Vanka is the founder and director of the Kalabharathi School of Dance in Portland. The school was started in 1983 in Cleveland, Ohio and then moved to Portland in 1987.  She has been teaching children and adults for about 18 years, both in Portland and in other parts of the United States. Her students have performed at leading events in the Portland-Vancouver area such as the India Festival at the Pioneer Square, Rose Festival, A Taste of Beaverton, Good in the Hood – includes NAP artistes, the Caribbean Festival at PSU, A Multi-cultural evening at the Holt center, Eugene, Gujarati Samaj, GPTM, and several other local cultural events.

About Eddy Shuldman:
Eddy Shuldman has been training Portland area students for their Bar/Bat Mitzvahs since she was 15.  She specializes in working with students with special needs and offers creative pathways for all her students who are on the Jewish coming of age journey.