America for Assam: dancers donating art to raise fund

“Dance for a Cause” , an initiative by Philadelphia-based Sattriya Dance Company, will be held on Saturday, November 22, at 6:00 pm, at the Meeting House Theater at the Community Education Center, Philadelphia, PA. All proceeds are being directly donated to non profit Assam Foundation of North America, which is partnering with Purbanchal Social Circle, an NGO that operates in Agia.


Artists from New York, New Jersey , Washington D.C. and Philadelphia are converging on the City of Brotherly Love to send some love and healing to Assam.


“My family home in Gauhati got flooded and my parents were stranded for three days, but they have the means to build their lives back, and many don’t,” said Madhusmita Bora, co-director of Sattriya Dance Company.  “As I followed the news about the floods,  I came across this incredibly gut-wrenching photo of a mother and child clinging to each other in their watery grave. That is what made me literally jump out of the couch and get into action. I put out a call on Facebook and lo and behold, many of my friends from the dance community responded.”


Prerona Bhuyan, Bora’s dance partner and co-director of the company, said the event resonates Sattriya Dance Company’s mission to promote awareness about Assam.


“Year after year, floods in Assam have devastated lives of millions. This initiative is a humble effort to raise some funds, the proceeds of which will go towards reconstructing lives of these flood victims,”  Bhuyan, who’s based in Gauhati, said.


Performers include:

  • Kuchipudi: Dr. Yamini Saripalli (Washington D.C.)
  • Bharatnatyam: Madhvi Venkatesh (Washington D.C.)
  • Kathak: Dien Magno (New York)
  • Sattriya: Madhusmita Bora (Philadelphia)
  • Odissi: Donia Salem, Nandini Sikand(New Jersey)
  • Tap: Reggie Myers (New York)
  • Contemporary Belly Dance: Oreet Jehassi Schwartz (Philadelphia)
  • Contemporary: Evalina Carbonell, Lauren Sion, Meredith Stapleton (Philadelphia)

Eminent artist Lauren Jenkins is donating her expertise in light and sound arrangement for the evening.

Ever since she reached out on social media, Madhusmita’s initiative has seen much support and encouragement. “It’s been an overwhelming experience. The outpouring of love and kindness”, she says. “Friends from Midwest are buying tickets and donating to less privileged students in the Philadelphia area. I have a friend who is donating food for the performers. AFNA members are promoting it on social media and elsewhere. It’s just been so wonderful and heart warming.”


Radhika Baruah, a former Assistant Professor of English, will be the host for the evening.


About Sattriya Dance Company:

Sattriya Dance Company was launched in 2009 with a mission to tell the story of Sattriya and raise awareness about Majuli and the sattras (monasteries) through performances, lecture demonstrations and classes. The company’s artistic directors are Madhusmita Bora and Prerona Bhuyan.