september 9 2017



Choreograher’s note:

      Jwala explores an image that is central to all cultures, both in daily life and in philosophy: The Flame. To me, the Flame is fascinating – strong, yet vulnerable. And it is this enigmatic quality that has given rise to this work. The same flame that burns is that which illuminates. It’s about saying good-bye and looking ahead, about release and hope, about shedding and seeking. The flame is a symbol that connects all the worlds, the cosmic, the temporal, the mythical, and the spiritual. As a dancer and a human being, negotiating the connection between these worlds intrigues me!

         Jwala tries to envision “Flame” through the language of Bharata Natyam, a form which is incredibly codified in its gestural language and structure, but has tremendous scope for interpretation and creative liberty. This work is classical, yet experimental. The challenge has been in finding the technique to embody the various qualities of flame – from the aggressive and destructive fire, to the radiant and illuminating candle, from the blazing Sun that lights our Universe, to the inner flame that yearns for Liberation. This production is both incredibly personal and universal, and I look forward to sharing it with you all this evening.


Surya (the Sun)

Verses of Vedic hymn are interspersed with rhythmic passages in “Surya” which extols the powerful and dynamic qualities of the Cosmic Flame that illuminates the physical universe. Radiant is He, who drives across the sky in his seven-horse chariot, dispelling darkness. In His warmth, nature blooms and oceans are replenished. He is the eye of the Universe, enabling the cycles of creation, preservation, and destruction.

In the transfixing solo “Jwala: Rising Flame,” Ms. Prakash invokes the image of fire and its behavior: how it moves, what it means, what it gives and takes from us. Her warmth and brightness as a performer suit the theme; those qualities surfaced as soon as the light came up on her slowly turning figure. Five musicians, including her brother, the vocalist Aditya Prakash, joined her onstage, and from the first moment, music and dance worked together in trance-inducing harmony.
— The New York Times, April 2016

Music Composition: Debur Srivathsa

Dance Choreography: Mythili Prakash

Jwala (Rising Flame)

"Jwala" tells a story of life and death through the silent witness, the Flame.

"I am the flickering flame. As the raging fire, I burn. As the radiant lamp, I illuminate. I am both the funeral pyre and the lamp of auspiciousness. I witness death, loss, release. I witness birth, hope, new beginnings. And yet, I remain the ever-burning flame." 

Lyrics: Subramanya Bharathi, Mahesh Swamy

Music Composition: Aditya Prakash

Shakti (Energy)

The dynamic, creative energy of the Universe is visualized as the Dancing Goddess, Shakti. When the heaviness of the worlds weighs upon us, she is the rising light of the spirit that lifts us. Like mother nurtures child, she ignites the tiny spark within each being, kindling the transformation toward illumination.

Lyrics: Subramanya Bharathi

Music Composition: Lalitha Sivakumar

Shraddha (Faith)

Throughout the ages, mankind has experienced violence, oppression, and cruelty. Where is the hope in these times of darkness? Where is the light? Only in faith, says Poet Meera bai. Krishna, you are my beacon of light. Draupadi humiliated in the court of the Kauravas, Prahlada tormented by his father, Gajendera persescuted by the crocodile, where did they find strength? Only in surrender at your lotus feet.

Lyrics: Meera Bai


Through movement and abstraction, this piece embodies the burning yearning of the seeker. Piercing through veils, scaling new heights, peeling away temporal layers in the journey toward liberation, the seeker becomes the sought.

Lyrics: Hazrat Zaheen Taji

Music Composition: Muzafar Ali, Aditya Prakash


Concept and choreography: Mythili Prakash

Vocal and Music Composition: Aditya Prakash

Nattuvangam and Vocal: Ramya Sundaresan Kapadia

Mridangam: Rajna Swaminathan

Violin: Shiva Ramamurthi

Lighting Design: Eileen Cooley

OCTOBER 7 2017


Garba on the Green

Dance the Indian way!

Flashes of vivid colors, sounds of wooden sticks hitting each other rhythmically, laughter, dancers whirling around keeping pace with the energetic music, more laughter……this is what you will experience at Guthrie Green this Saturday, September 20, starting at 7 pm.

South Asian Performing Arts Foundation brings you “Garba on the Green”, an interactive, participatory Indian folk dance festival.

What is Garba? Garba or Dandiya Raas (with sticks), is a fun, high-energy folk dance for both men and women that originated in the state of Gujarat, India. This event will have a DJ playing traditional music with a Bollywood (modern) twist – strong, rhythmic beats gradually increasing in pace and intensity, challenging us to dance faster and faster. 

Axay Parekh, one of the organizers of Garba on the Green, says, “My late father and his friends started the Garba celebration for the Indian community in Tulsa in the late 80’s and we are so happy to bring it to all Tulsans as a way of showing how proud we are of Tulsa and the melting pot it is becoming. We want people to participate and learn the traditional folk dance that brings Indian communities together around the world.”

NOVEMBER 17 2017

Gaata Rahe Mera Dil: Tribute to Music Composer S D Burman

After the remarkable success of our Tribute series with Betaab Dil    ..the legend of Madan Mohan in 2015 and Zindagi ek Safar  ...the essence of Shanker Jaikishan in 2016, Dhrishti Foundation and Niche Entertainment bring to you the biggest Tribute concert, Gaata Rahe Mera Dil  ... the iconic melody of Sachin Dev Burman.

This audio visual and live tribute to the legendary Sachin Dev Burman, one of India's most versatile composers and an architect of the Golden era of Indian Film music will feature a narrator, multiple singers and one of the most accomplished live orchestras from India.

S D Burman was a true son of a soil.  His songs are very melodious and easy to hum and remember. He used a lot of folk music, not just from the North or Bengal, but from the all parts of India. Since folk music is easily acceptable, it made him a musician easy to appreciate.
He paid close attention to the scene, the heroine, the hero, what they were doing, why they were doing what they were doing and why they were singing at that moment. He was also careful about understanding the lyrics.

The show will be narrated by one of India's finest and sought after theater and film director Salim Arif ( Humsafar, Mirza Ghalib etc). The singers include Lata Mangeshkar's preferred protege the award winning Vibhavari Joshi, celebrated and awarded young singer Hrishikesh Ranade, who is also the male lead of Shreya Ghoshal's concerts worldwide, versatile and popular male lead Jitendra Abhyankar, a Kishore Kumar protege and the melodious Saregama finalist Swarada Godbole. The accomplished orchestra will be led by noted arranger and keyboard wizard Kedar Paranjape, talented synth exponent Darshana Jog, sitar virtuoso Prasad Gondkar, master rhythmist Ajay Atre, tabla and percussion master Vikram Bhat , flute exponent Nilesh Kulkarni and accomplished guitarist Vishal Thelkar. The show is directed by Milind Oak of Niche Entertainment, who has in the past given us some remarkable and popular musicals like Black and White, 100 Years of Bollywood, Yahoo, Bhairav se Bhairavi, Trendsetters,Gulzar ... Baat Pashmine Ki and many more.

The concert featured iconic melodies from movies including:  Baazi, Devdas, Bandini, Sujata, Nau do Gyarah, Pyaasa, Kaagaz ke Phool, Kala Paani, CID, ,TaxiDriver, Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, Bombai Ka Babu, Meri Surat Teri Ankhen ,Tere Ghar Ke Samne , Teen Devian ,Guide ,Jewel hief ,Talash ,Aradhana ,Prem Pujari ,Gambler ,Naya Zamana ,Sharmilee ,Tere Mere Sapne ,Abhimaan ,Chhupa Rustam ,Prem Nagar, Chupke Chupke and Mili.

About Milind Oak

Milind Oak has revolutionized the idea of entertainment by combining it with education on the theme. Hence all his presentations over the years have been not only entertaining, but have left the audiences educated about what they are watching on stage. Be it musicals like Black and White, a commentary on the society and its relationship with Indian films and music or poetry based events like Baat Pashmine Ki... an exposition on the works of poet Gulzar, Milind's presentations have been marked by research and a signature style of story-telling backed by young and upcoming talent in music and dance.