Acclaimed South Indian dancer to lecture, perform and offer free master class

Acclaimed South Indian dancer to lecture, perform and offer free master class

Image: Kay Poursine Kay Poursine, a master at the graceful South Indian dance form of Bharata Natyam, will lecture on, teach and perform her craft at three free events in October at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. The two-day residency will be funded by the Humanities Institute, Asian Studies, Religious Studies and the Visual and Performing Arts Department, all part of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Centuries old, Bharata Natyam is one of the eight classical dance styles of India and is usually associated with the Tanjore Court. Once performed in the temples, it combines intricate rhythms with balance, physical endurance and, above all, beautiful postures that take years to perfect.

Poursine trained in dance and music in the United States and India from 1972 to 1983, often under the watchful eye of the late T. Balasaraswati, considered by many the greatest exponent of classical dance from South India. She was a visiting artist at Wesleyan University, where she completed her master's degree. She has completed residencies across the United States and received three Smithsonian Institution senior fellowships for performances and private study in India.

"Kay Poursine's performance…was a reminder that in art, talent can leap over national boundaries," wrote Jack Anderson in a New York Times review. "She at all times upheld the dignity of a great art."

On Tuesday, Oct. 11, Poursine will offer a 5 p.m. lecture and demonstration of Bharata Natyam. The following day she'll offer a free master class at 10 a.m. and a concert performance at 7 p.m. All three events will take place in the Quick Center’s Wien Experimental Theatre.

Poursine's residency at Fairfield coincides with an exhibit of contemporary Indian art running through Sunday, Dec. 4 at the University's Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery.  It also augments several courses being taught on campus, including "Art of India, China and Japan," "Introduction to Asian Theatre," and "Hinduism." This will be Poursine's fourth visit to campus, said Katherine Schwab, Ph.D., associate professor of Visual and Performing Arts, who secured the grant for her 2005 residency.

"In each case the students thoroughly enjoyed the experience and felt they learned a tremendous amount about the beautiful tradition of this particular dance form," Schwab said. "With several overlapping courses and an art exhibition, we thought that it was timely to bring Kay back to Fairfield."

Master class participants must register in advance and University students will be given priority for the limited spaces. The public is welcome to watch the class. For more information on the residency or to register for the class, call (203) 254-4000, ext. 2459.

Posted On: 09-30-2005 10:09 AM

Volume: 38 Number: 50