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By Ranjana Warier, Rhythms School of Dance

Nearly everyone knows the story behind the famed children’s fairy tale “Sleeping Beauty,” but an energetic new adaption of the classic story could help promote a new level of cultural understanding. Thanks to a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. the Rhythms School of Dance will present two performances August 31st and September 1st that will use the beloved story to help showcase the beauty of traditional Indian Classical dance.

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The shows will be held at the Rose and Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center, located at 3100 Ray Ferrero Jr. Blvd.  Artistic Director Ranjana Warier says using a familiar story like a fairy tale provides a creative way to connect Indian traditions with other cultures. “The problem with traditional Indian dance is that it is abstract and obscure. There are symbolisms and complex codes and if you are not familiar with all these details, it’s hard to stay engaged.. This dance drama puts customs into a story that people already know very well. Instead of highlighting the differences, the performance will show our similarities,” said Warier.

“Few things like the arts can bring people together, providing the kinds of collective experiences that build great communities,” said Dennis Scholl, VP/arts at Knight Foundation. “By providing a hybrid performance, the Rhythms School of Dance will provide a way for our diverse community to connect and celebrate all that our various cultures have to offer.”

As a 2012 Knight Arts Challenge Miami winner, Warier has brought together a team of professional Indian classical dancers and advanced students for the production, which will include English narration to help make the ancient Indian art form understandable. The colorful and high energy show is ideal for all ages and will also include a surprise twist at the end. There will also be a lecture series surrounding the performances to demystify the complexity of traditional Indian storylines.

Ranjana Warier was introduced to Indian classical dance at the age of six and thrives on preserving and promoting India’s artistic traditions. She has performed at events worldwide and says dance is a wonderful way to breakdown cultural barriers. “South Florida, like India, is a melting pot of cultures coming together. People are recognizing a lot of things they haven’t been open to before because of the beautiful diverse opportunity here,” Warier said.

The performances will be held August 31 and September 1 at the Rose and Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center, located at 3100 Ray Ferrero Jr. Blvd. on the campus of Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale.  The show will begin at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20, $30 and $40 and can be purchased by calling 954-462-0222 or at www.miniacipac.com. For more information, contact Ranjana Warier at 954-472 6004 or by email at info@erhythms.net

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About Rhythms School of Dance
Rhythms School of Dance is a training center for Indian Performing Arts. It is situated in Fort Lauderdale, South Florida. We thrive on promoting priceless artistic traditions of India through professional training and student performances.

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