The world is a stage for Chicago Children’s Choir as they bring the world musical and cultural treasure ‘Sita Ram’ back to life in Chicago and beyond.
Chicago – Chicago Children’s Choir is collaborating with Lookingglass Theater Director David Kersnar and the critically-acclaimed Natya Dance Theatre to re-launch the world musical “Sita Ram” on stage at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance on December 14 and 15.
A youthful melting pot of a musical based on an ancient Hindu epic and performed with an operatic intensity, “Sita Ram” uses nearly every musical genre, from classical to hip-hop to South African, to reflect the multiculturalism of the city and the world.
After the show wraps up at the Harris Theater, Chicago Children’s Choir will take it to India to tour the cities of Jaipur, Delhi, Bangalore, Agra, and Chennai.
“The performance is an uplifting way to reflect the rich diversity of the globe and foster peace through cultural understanding,” said Chicago Children’s Choir Director Josephine Lee, who commissioned Kersnar and Grammy-nominated world music composer Jai Uttal to co-create the production in 2002. “It reflects my passion for the Choir and its mission.”
Directed by Kersnar, “Sita Ram” will feature nearly 200 performers, including 110 singers, 32 dancers from the Natya Dance Company, twelve principle actors and actresses, and 23 acrobats from the Inappropriate Theater Company. Azeeza Khan, creative director of Chicago-based Atelier AZZA and “TimeOut Magazine’s” 2012 Breakout Emerging Designer is creating the costumes.
Azeeza Khan, creative director of Chicago-based Atelier AZZA and “TimeOut Magazine’s” 2012 Breakout Emerging Designer is creating the costumes.
“It’s going to be a party on stage,” Lee said, referring to the bombastic opening scene the show has in store this December. “We see this show as something that could become the next ‘Lion King.’ The collaboration brings so much life to the stage, and it exposes the children to a culture they would not have exposure to otherwise.”
Premiered at Lookingglass in 2006, “Sita Ram” is a modern interpretation of the Hindu epic, “Ramayana” (Rama’s Journey), a sacred 20,000 verse religious poem that teaches morality and ideal behavior through allegories.
“The young prince and princess find each other on earth again to bring the world righteousness, awareness, and love between all beings,” said Natya Dance Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director and Principal Dancer Krithika Rajagopalan.
The tale is just as critical to East Asian culture today as it was in 300 BCE. Children grow up hearing the tale that explores human values and demonstrates how powerful love is created when the two elements (protagonists Sita and Rama) come together to bring the world peace and harmony that is made possible only through love.
Harris Theater for Music and Dance
200 East Randolph Street, Chicago, IL
-FRI 12.14.12 / 7:30PM
-SAT 12.15.12 / 2:00PM
-SAT 12.15.12 / 7:30PM
ABOUT CHICAGO CHILDREN’S CHOIR
Founded in 1956, Chicago Children’s Choir is a multiracial, multicultural choral music education organization, shaping the future by making a difference in the lives of children and youth through musical excellence. The Choir currently serves nearly 3,200 children, ages 8-18 through choirs in 60 schools, after-school programs in eight Chicago neighborhoods and the internationally acclaimed Concert Choir. Under President and Artistic Director Josephine Lee, the Choir has undertaken many highly successful national and international tours, received a Chicago/Midwest Emmy Award for the 2008 documentary Songs on the Road to Freedom, and has been featured in nationally broadcast television and radio performances, most recently on The Oprah Show, NBC’s Today and the PBS series From the Top: Live from Carnegie Hall.
ABOUT NATYA DANCE THEATRE
The Natya Dance Theatre (NDT) is amongst the most critically acclaimed and culturally treasured Indian dance companies in the United States. The professional dance company was founded in 1994 and is based in Chicago. The highly innovative work of NDT offers profound and subtle expressions of humanity’s deepest questions and values in the context of our present day lives. Rooted in Bharata Natyam, one of the great classical dance forms of India, NDT preserves and perpetuates Bharata Natyam in its entire classical rigor, and moves the art form in innovative directions n to foster cultural exchange through dance.
ABOUT DAVID KERSNAR
David Kersnar is a founding ensemble member of Lookingglass Theater Company. Kersnar founded and currently instructs with the Lookingglass Education and Community Program and served as its director from 1992-1997. David recently directed and co-wrote The Last Act of Lilka Kadison for Lookingglass and Charles Mee’s Iphigenia 2.0 for the Next Theater Company. Kernsar is also writing and co-directing sequences for Don Pasquale at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. David holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Northwestern University.
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For more information about Sita Ram, please contact Misho Ceko at firstname.lastname@example.org.