For the 3rd edition of their annual dance festival “Gait to the Spirit” 2012, Mandala Arts and Culture present three styles of Indian Classical dance; odissi, kathak and bharata natyam, featuring artists; Shalini Patnaik (USA), Aakash Odedra (UK), Savitha Sastry (USA / INDIA), and Malavika Santhosh (Canada). The opening night performance will be a double bill not to be missed with two brilliant odissi and kathak dancers.

Although still very young, SHALINI PATNAIK has already been performing ODISSI in America, U.K. and India. She was selected by pop superstar “Madonna” to choreograph and perform for a televised performance at the 1998 MTV Music Awards, and she also was the choreographer for singer Ricky Martin’s 2006 tour. She has performed for Pandit Ravi Shankar’s 90th anniversary as well as for George Harrison. Shalini brings forth the finesse, agility and sensuality off this curvaceous dance style.

AAKASH ODEDRA is a rising star of South Asian dance in the UK. Widely known as an accomplished kathak dancer, Aakash has also trained in bharata natyam, indo jazz and contemporary dance forms. Most recently, he presented a solo evening of contemporary choreography by Akram Khan, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Russel Maliphant called “Rising” at the Saddler’s Wells Theatre.

Our headlining featured artist for the 2012 festival is Bharata Natyam dancer SAVITHA SASTRY. Savitha has performed in Australia, India, Europe, the Middle East, South East Asia and USA. We are pleased to present her for her first performance in Canada She has received rapturous accolades from both critics and audiences alike. Her dance is marked by the purity of her geometric lines, and long reaches.

“… flowing elegance, breathtaking! She moves like a temple sculpture come to life” -San Francisco Voice.

Savitha’s dance has been featured in the 2011 BBC documentary “Sex, death and the gods”, a film about the history of dancers in South India.

As part of the festival, Mandala also likes to integrate some of the new upcoming generation of Indian classical dancers. This year they will present young Bharata Natyam dancer MALAVIKA SANTHOSH, a graduate of the Jai Govinda Dance Academy. She will present a new dance repertoire choreographed by Jai Govinda and created for the 2012 festival.