Aakriti to Perform Songs and Dances From the Film Bajirao Mastani and TV Show Bandish Bandits at NECA Awards Gala

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    BOSTON–Aakriti, a vibrant team of dancers with rigorous training in Indian classical dance disciplines, will perform songs and dances from the film Bajirao Mastani and TV show Bandish Bandits at New England Choice Awards on Nov. 19, 2022 at Hilton Woburn Hotel in Woburn, MA.

    Urmi Samadar

    “This triad highlights delicate emotions and characterization that Kathak’s storytelling format is famous for, while elegantly presenting technical proficiency,” said Urmi Samadar, an award-winning Kathak dancer, who leads her professional ensemble, Aakriti.

    Concurrent with her dance career, Samadar, a Wharton MBA, is the Assistant Dean of the Master of Finance program at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

    Samadar received training in Kathak from Guru Sumitra Mitra Mukherjee of Jaipur Gharana fame. Debuted at nine, she received early recognition as a child artist; performing on Indian national television, becoming a National Talent Scholar in Kathak and graduating as Sangeet Prabhakar in Kathak issued by Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad.

    Through her teaching, Samadar aims to spark interest in her students about India’s heritage, enrich their development through movement and expression, prompt camaraderie across diverse groups through their common pursuit, and advance students to become accomplished dancers, among other purposes.

    In recent times, Samadar received the prestigious Traditional Arts Apprenticeship both in 2018 and 2022. Awarded by Mass Cultural Council, this award recognizes a master artist and their apprentice, who rigorously commit to the pursuit of their art. This year, Urmi receives the award with her student Nandini Lal, who will also perform at New England Choice Awards.

    Lal is a senior at Boston University Academy. She has trained in Kathak for over nine years, while also pursuing other dance forms such as modern, jazz, and contemporary. She has performed with Samadar’s troupe, BUA’s ensembles, and in community festivals. She is the recipient of the prestigious 2022 MCC award; she will be immersing herself in a two-year intensive training as an advanced soloist to explore the rigor and richness of Kathak. To Lal, dance is a creative and physical escape from all else.

    Varada Krishnadas, a graduate from Rochester Institute of Technology, will also perform at the show along with Samadar and Lal. She currently works as a Bioinformatics associate at Boston Children’s Hospital. Krishnadas passionately pursues Kathak, both as an advanced student and as an instructor. Inspired by the performances of legends like Pandit Birju Maharaj, Krishnadas sees Kathak as a medium to depict many stories and emotions. She hopes to continue her dance journey to bring more stories to the stage for her audiences.

    Dr. Manju Sheth

    “The elegant performances by superb artists are in tune with the theme of NECA Awards with the focus on excellence and creativity,” said said Dr. Manju Sheth, MD, creator of NECA Awards and CEO of INE MultiMedia, a Waltham, MA-based (501c-3) non-profit organization devoted to promoting and supporting charitable organizations, art, culture, education and empowerment. “It is truly an honor for us to showcase the supremely talented Urmi Samaddar and her team of dancers.”

    To buy a ticket for the gala, please click here.


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