Leela Dance Collective
SPEAK Residency

Join us for activities with Leela Dance Collective March 23-28!

The Leela Dance Collective was founded in 2016 by Rina Mehta, Rachna Nivas and Seibi Lee, senior disciples of legendary kathak master Pandit Chitresh Das, along with leading kathak performers Sarah Morelli and Shefali Jain. It brings together leading kathak artists from around the world representing a multitude of voices to articulate a clairvoyant vision for kathak. Leela’s dancers are joined by two of the country’s leading tap artists, Michelle Dorrance and Dormeshia in their project SPEAK, which will be performed at the Page Theatre on March 27. Click here for performance information and tickets.

Throughout the week, the artists will share about their art, their culture, and their experiences, with plenty of hands-on opportunities for all ages and abilities. All activities are offered free of charge unless otherwise noted.

 

Monday, March 23

Introduction to Kathak Dance

Experience and participate in the centuries old Indian dance form of kathak with the internationally known dancers of Leela Dance Collective. Learn how rhythm, storytelling, music, and movement come together in this percussive dance tradition that has been passed down over generations from master to student. All ability levels are welcome.

When:
Monday, March 23 • 7:30 – 9 pm

Where:
Valéncia Arts Center
1164 W. Howard Street (enter on Vila Street)
Winona, MN 55987

Hosted by the Winona International Dancers

Tuesday, March 24

Introduction to Kathak Dance

Experience and participate in the centuries old Indian dance form of kathak with the internationally known dancers of Leela Dance Collective. Learn how rhythm, storytelling, music, and movement come together in this percussive dance tradition that has been passed down over generations from master to student. All ability levels are welcome. Modified movement, including participation from a chair, will be offered. This workshop is free but advance registration is required.

To register, call 507-454-5212.

When:
Tuesday, March 24 • 10:45-11:45 am

Where:
Winona Friendship Center
251 Main Street
Winona, MN 55987

A Page in History: Kathak and Tap Unite

While developed centuries and miles apart from each other, American tap and Indian kathak dance have more in common than one might think. At this talk with Leela Dance Collective and Dormeshia, you’ll learn about how these art forms converge through themes of multiculturalism, and how the artists are unpacking patriarchy in their art forms through collective creativity in SPEAK.

When:
Tuesday, March 24 • 12:05-1:05 pm

Where:
Winona County History Center
160 Johnson Street, Winona

Kathak and Tap Master Class

Explore the similarities and differences of the two percussive dance forms featured in SPEAK – tap and kathak – in this class for intermediate and advanced percussive dancers. Dancers should bring their tap shoes and be prepared to dance barefoot. Registration required.

Click here to register.

When:
Tuesday, March 24 • 4-5:30 pm

Where:
Valéncia Arts Center
1164 W. Howard Street (enter on Vila Street)
Winona, MN 55987

Wednesday, March 25

Artist Talk: The Guru-Shishya Parampara

Indian classical arts – both dance and music – have traditionally been passed down orally from teacher (guru) to student (shishya) over the centuries. A learning modality that demands discipline and sacrifices on the part of the student that has yielded masters of the highest caliber. Dancers and musicians alike learn thousands of compositions by memory in a form of training that is unique to each student, ultimately embodying the art and becoming the teachers who pass it down to the next generation.

The guru-shishya parampara has many similarities to learning modalities found in the West including the master-apprentice relationship and is, in fact, practiced in the West as well. Join us for a lecture-demonstration with Indian classical artist Rachna Nivas about the guru-shishya parampara, “alternative” methods of teaching, and how she became a musician without even learning to read music.

When:
Wednesday, March 25 • Noon to 1 pm

Where:
Figliulo Recital Hall
Saint Mary’s Performance Center
700 Terrace Heights
Winona, MN 55987

Artist Reception and Tap Jam

Bring the entire family for a fun-filled evening of conversation, drinks, and dancing as we welcome the artists of SPEAK to Winona. Tap dancers of all ages are invited to come jam with Dormeshia and musicians from SPEAK. BYOT – bring your own tap shoes!

When:
Wednesday, March 25 • 5-6:30 pm

Where:
Island City Brewing Company
65 E Front Street
Winona, MN 55987

Thursday, March 26

The Music of SPEAK

Jazz and Hindustani music are the musical backbones of tap dance and kathak. Join the musicians of SPEAK for a lecture demonstration about these two musical traditions, how they converge in the space of improvisation and collective creativity despite being created centuries and miles apart from each other, and how they use the language of rhythm and melody to cross borders and cultural differences in the dynamic musical score for SPEAK.

When:
Thursday, March 26 • 4-5 pm

Where:
Page Theatre
Saint Mary’s Performance Center
700 Terrace Heights
Winona, MN 55987

Documentary Screening: Upaj: Improvise

Upaj:Improvise takes us behind the scenes to watch the birth and journey of India Jazz Suites, a phenomenal East-meets-West collaboration featuring Indian kathak master and guru Pandit Chitresh Das and American tap star Jason Samuels Smith. The film introduces kathak and tap dance through some of its most recognized practitioners in the US. Bridging generational and cultural differences, see how Pandit Chitresh Das and Jason Samuels Smith came to a space of collective creativity that has now been taken forward by Leela Dance Collective and the artists of SPEAK. Join us for this screening, then experience the next chapter of this kathak-tap exploration with SPEAK on Friday, March 27 at the Page Theatre.

When:
Thursday, March 26 • 7 pm

Where:
Winona State University
Science and Laboratory Center, room 120
Winona, MN 55987

Hosted by Winona State University Film Studies

Saturday, March 28 – Driftless Dance Festival Activities

Rhythm and Movement Workshop for Families

Join us for an introduction to the Indian dance form kathak for young families. Math and rhythm go hand in hand in kathak. Counting and playing with numbers through footwork and clapping are core to the dance form. Learn to count, clap, and stomp your feet like a kathak dancer. This workshop is geared toward children ages 3+ and their parent/guardian. Advance registration strongly encouraged. On-site registration available as space allows.

Click here to register.

When:
Saturday, March 28 • 10:15-11:15 am

Where:
Winona Family YMCA
207 Winona Street
Winona, MN 55987

Artist Panel and Luncheon

Grab some lunch and join the artists of SPEAK for a discussion on the roles of women in dance and music and how that came together in the creation of SPEAK. This panel will be moderated by Ananya Dance Theatre’s Renee Copeland. RSVP is not required, but is strongly recommended. 

When:
Saturday, March 28 • 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

Where:
Acoustic Café
77 Lafayette Street
Winona, MN 55987

Introduction to Kathak Dance

Experience and participate in the centuries old Indian dance form of kathak with the internationally known dancers of Leela Dance Collective. Learn how rhythm, storytelling, music, and movement come together in this percussive dance tradition that has been passed down over generations from master to student. All ability levels are welcome. Advance registration strongly encouraged. On-site registration will be available as space allows.

Click here to register.

When:
Saturday, March 28 • 2-3 pm

Where:
Valéncia Arts Center
1164 W. Howard Street (enter on Vila Street)
Winona, MN 55987

Tap Master Class with Michelle Dorrance (Fast beginner/Intermediate)

A rhythm tap master class for fast beginning and intermediate tap dancers ages 10 and up with Michelle Dorrance. Registration required.

Click here to register.

Cost: $35
Included with Driftless Dance Festival CLASS and PLUS Passes. Learn more »

When:
Saturday, March 28 • 10:10 – 11:10 am

Where:
Valéncia Arts Center
1164 W. Howard Street (enter on Vila Street)
Winona, MN 55987

Tap Master Class with Michelle Dorrance (Intermediate/Advanced)

A rhythm tap master class for intermediate and advanced dancers with Michelle Dorrance. Registration required.

Click here to register.

Cost: $35
Included with Driftless Dance Festival CLASS and PLUS Passes. Learn more »

When:
Saturday, March 28 • 1:15 pm – 2:45 pm

Where:
Valéncia Arts Center
1164 W. Howard Street (enter on Vila Street)
Winona, MN 55987

Tap Master Class with Dormeshia (Intermediate/Advanced)

A rhythm tap master class for intermediate and advanced dancers with Dormeshia. Registration required.

Click here to register.

Cost: $35
Included with Driftless Dance Festival CLASS and PLUS Passes. Learn more »

When:
Saturday, March 28 • 3-4:30 pm

Where:
Valéncia Arts Center
1164 W. Howard Street (enter on Vila Street)
Winona, MN 55987

In addition, Leela Dance Collective will conduct workshops with Home and Community Options and Riverway Learning Community during their time in Winona.

Support these and all of our free community programs with an easy, online donation. Every dollar helps make it possible to bring accessible arts experiences to the Winona community!

Performance Information

SPEAK

Friday, March 27 • 7:30 pm
Page Theatre

Watch

Clean Water Land and Legacy Minnesota State Arts BoardThis activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

 

NEA logoThis project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

 

PERFORMANCE CENTER

700 Terrace Heights
Winona, MN 55987

BOX OFFICE
507-457-1715
Noon - 6 pm, weekdays
Directions

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This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.


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