The Center for the Arts at Monmouth University has announced that tickets are now on sale for a November 17, 2018 appearance by the dance troupe of AATMA Performing Arts, in a presentation of their acclaimed program Mystic India.
Scheduled for 8 p.m. inside the Pollak Theatre, the one-night engagement showcases the recently expanded capabilities of Monmouth’s flagship performance space, with an exclusive New Jersey tour stop of the spectacular show that tells the dynamic history of a nation and its people, through movement, music, and multi-media elements.
Conceived, designed and directed by Amit Shah, “Mystic India” traces the transition of ancient India into the increasingly modernized birthplace of the Bollywood film and entertainment industry, via the dance artistry of AATMA. Founded ten years ago by Shah — and with eight satellite dance schools in New York and New Jersey, including a Monmouth County location in Morganville — the company specializes in a training program that fuses traditional India folk styles with contemporary western forms, with results that have been hailed as “a kaleidoscope of color and beauty” and “visually grand” by The New York Times and other national media.
As the first U.S.-based Indian dance company of its kind, AATMA has dazzled audiences from coast to coast in North America (including some high-profile opening performances for country music star Carrie Underwood), as well as Europe, Africa, and Asia. No less a Bollywood legend than Farah Khan has praised the choreography of the young American troupe’s professional dancers, and the students of AATMA-affiliated dance schools have taken first place honors in several major international competitions.
The company’s core mission “to preserve Indian culture, fostering its expression in the context of American communities” inspired founder Shah to develop the ambitious “Mystic India” project in 2011. Conceived as “a thorough exploration of the evolution of Indian dance, from its rural roots to modern Bollywood cinema,” the show incorporates Shah’s own custom set and costume designs as a core component of the work, with the production employing the handcraft skills of more than 40 Bollywood artisans over the course of four years.
That level of artistry and attention to detail has paid dividends on the international stage, with the production selling out venues on four continents, and attracting audiences that have surpassed half a million in number. Veteran Bollywood performers have lent their imprimatur to the heartfelt travelogue that “fuses dance, theater and spectacular special effects” as it takes the viewer on a journey through such locales as Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Punjab, and Gujarat — a unique event that makes for a perfect fit with the Pollak Theatre and its mission to bring a wide world of sight, sound and stagecraft to the doorstep of the coastal New Jersey audience.
Tickets for the November 17 performance of “Mystic India” are priced at $39 and $49, with a Gold Circle seating option available for $60. Reservations can be made through the Monmouth University Performing Arts Box Office at 732-263-6889, or online at www.monmouth.edu/MCA, and tickets for other upcoming Center for the Arts events — including Dustin B. Goltz in a free presentation of “Fred Astaire’s Dancing Lesson” (March 27, 2019), and the Bridgman Packer Dance presentation of “Voyeur” (April 6, 2019) — are also available now. To schedule interviews, please contact Kelly Barratt at 732-263-5114.