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From the Heart of a Tradition

Released March 19, 2008

Aniruddha Knight and Ensemble

Salem, Mass -- The Peabody Essex Museum presents Aniruddha Knight and Ensemble in a concert of Bharatanatyam, the South Indian music and dance form that has become one of India's best- known cultural exports. The group performs From the Heart of a Tradition at 4 pm on Saturday, April 5, 2008, in Morse Auditorium at the museum.

Knight and his ensemble perform the last remaining example of the traditional practice of Bharatanatyam. The musical style, which arose in the early 19th-century in South India, features singing and dancing in which every gesture is musical in both shape and meaning. Grandson of the world-famous performer T. Balasaraswati, Knight is the ninth generation of one of India's most honored families of professional musicians and dancers. His dance reveals the profound musical understanding, mastery of technique and improvisational skill that are the hallmarks of his family's style.

For decades, the musicians in Knight's ensemble have committed themselves to performing the Balasaraswati family style. Knight's aunt, Vegavahini Vijayaraghavan, is the ensemble's senior vocalist. Other members of the ensemble include Usha Shivakumar (vocal) and her sister, Vidya Sankaranarayanan (vocal and dance master); Aniruddha Knight's father, Douglas Knight (mridangam); and T.R. Moorthy (flute).

Knight and his ensemble were among 15 companies of contemporary artists awarded Production Grants from the National Dance Project (NDP) in 2007, and NDP touring support in 2008. Additional support for production and presentation of this tour was provided by the Asian Cultural Council, LEF Foundation and the Samuel Scripps Foundation.

Funded in part by the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Additional funding provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation and JP Morgan Chase.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Aniruddha Knight and Ensemble | From the Heart of a Tradition
4 pm | Morse Auditorium
Reservations by April 3
Members of PEM and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Heritage of the Arts of South Asia (MITHAS) $20; nonmembers $25; Friends of Indian Dance $50
Presented in collaboration with MITHAS.

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PR Contacts:

April Swieconek  -  Director of Public Relations  -  978-745-9500 X3109  -  april@pem.org

Whitney Van Dyke  -  Public Relations Manager  -  978-745-9500 X3228  -  whitney_vandyke@pem.org

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