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Traditional Indian dance and the history of women’s fashion featured in upcoming Syracuse Symposium events
Traditional Indian dance and the history of women’s fashion featured in upcoming Syracuse Symposium eventsApril 08, 2002Judy Holmesjlholmes@syr.edu
The 2002 Syracuse Symposium, “Exploring Beauty,” continues April 16, 17 and 22 at Syracuse University with presentations of classical Indian dance and music, and a keynote address by renowned fashion historian Valerie Steele, chief curator of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. All of the events are free and open to the public.
Upcoming events are:
? “The Corset: A Cultural History” slide lecture at 7:30 p.m. April 16 in the Watson Auditorium in Watson Hall, presented by keynote speaker Valerie Steele, who the Washington Post has called one of “fashion’s brainiest women”;
? “Adi Shakti: Dawn of the First Goddess,” Indian classical dance presented by renowned artist Roxanne Kamayani Gupta at 7:30 p.m. April 17 in The Underground, located in the Schine Student Center; and
? “Indian Classical Music and Classical Dance: Sarod and Kathak Dance” presented by George Ruckert of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Gretchen Hayden of the Dance Complex of Cambridge, 7:30 p.m. April 22 in the College of Law’s Grant Auditorium.
Valerie Steele holds a Ph.D. in cultural history from Yale University and is the author of many books, including “Fetish: Fashion, Sex and Power (Oxford University Press), “Men and Women: Dressing the Part” (Smithsonian Institution Press) and “China Chic: East Meets West” (Yale University Press). She has appeared on Oprah, The Today Show and the PBS special “The Way We Wear,” and was featured in the BBC’s “Undressed: The Story of Fashion.”
The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology is the repository for one of the world’s most important collections of costume and textiles, with particular strength in 20th-century fashion. As chief curator, Steele has organized many major exhibitions at the museum, including “London Fashion,” “Yeohlee: Supermodern Style” and “The Corset: Fashioning the Body.”
Roxanne Kamayani Gupta Ph.D ’93, assistant professor of religious studies at Albright College, has been dancing between the East and the West for more than 25 years. Studying with renowned masters of the Indian classical dance tradition in South India since the age of 19, she has shared her dance with a broad spectrum of audiences in America, India and Europe.
As a scholar of Indian culture and comparative religion, a teacher of hatha and kriya yoga and an initiate of Sri Vidya tantric tradition of goddess worship, Gupta is in a unique position to illuminate the spiritual dimensions of Indian dance through her writings and performances. She earned a Ph.D. in the anthropology of religion from SU and is the author of “Yoga of Indian Classical Dance: The Yogini’s Mirror” (Inner Traditions, 2000).
George Ruckert, senior lecturer in music at MIT, is a performer, composer, author and teacher with an extensive background in Western and Indian classical music. In addition to teaching, he performs on the sarod, a northern Indian lute. He earned a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology at the University of California, Berkeley, and studied under the renowned Indian sarodist Ali Akbar Khan. Ruckert has performed and taught this music in the United States, Canada, India and Europe; has composed for orchestra, film and dance productions; and published four books on classical music of North India.
Gretchen Hayden is a senior disciple of the renowned and innovative Kathak dance master Chitresh Das, with whom she began her Kathak training in 1972. As a performer, she has been the principal soloist with the Chitresh Das Dance Company since its inception in 1980 and has appeared with the dance company and in solo recitals in the United States, Europe and India. Hayden assisted Das at the Chhandam School in California throughout the late 1970s and 80s. While in Calcutta for an extended stay 1987, she gave a series of classes at the Nritya-Bharati Institute and was presented with a Senior Degree in Kathak Dance from this dance academy.
Hayden moved to the Boston area in 1992 (with her husband, George Ruckert), where she established a Boston branch of the Chhandam School with classes in various locations. She holds classes for children and young adults. She is also a part-time lecturer in the drama and dance departments of Tufts University and Wellesley College.
The Syracuse Symposium is an annual University-wide intellectual and creative festival hosted by Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences in collaboration with schools and colleges from across the University. The opportunities provided by the symposium are supportive of initiatives in the University’s Academic Plan directed at expanding opportunities for multidisciplinary intellectual discourse for students.