The Board and Patrons of Jiva Performing Arts invite you to our fourth annual gala!
Dance - Dinner - Music - Cocktails - Silent Auction
Jiva's fourth annual gala celebrates another year of excellence in Indian classical dance programming and pedagogy. Join us for exclusive performances, fine Indian cuisine, drinks, and dancing, as we share our plans for the exciting future of Indian classical arts in New York City.
Laveen Naidu, Keynote speaker, former Executive Director of Dance Theatre of Harlem
Sonali Mishra, distinguished Odissi dancer
Jiva Dance, our resident performing company
Bala Skandan, composer and leader of Akshara music ensemble
Hemant Mathur, Michelin-rated chef and restaurateur
MC Pervez and DJ Sunny, top South Asian event and wedding entertainers
6:00pm: Meet & Greet with Cocktails
7:30pm: Program Begins
- Special performance by Jiva's dance students
- Odissi-Bharatanatyam dance duet by Sonali Mishra and Sonali Skandan
- Keynote speech by Laveen Naidu
- Premiere of Jiva Dance's new short film
- Family-style dinner catered by Kurry Qulture
- Musical performance by Akshara
- Silent auction announcements & pledge drive
- Dessert & dancing with DJ Sunny & MC Pervez
Funds raised from this event benefit Jiva's ongoing efforts in dance education, financing new instructional videos, master classes, assistant teacher training and salary, a travel fund for intensive study in India, our beloved Vidyanjali student showcase, and much more!
Keynote speaker Laveen Naidu began studying ballet in his native Cape Town, South Africa, and went on to earn a scholarship from the Dance Theater of Harlem in 1992. After many years of international touring, he became the executive director of the Dance Theater of Harlem. Under Naidu's leadership, the company flourished and grew after a long hiatus and collaborated with national arts institutions like The Kennedy Center. He is currently Artistic Director of BalletNova in Falls Church, VA.
Sonali Mishra began her training in the Odissi dance tradition under Smt. Chitralekha, Smt. Ellora, and Sri Devraj Patnaik in Toronto. Since 1995, she has been travelling regularly to Orissa, India for further study and refinement. Sonali has performed as a soloist and has given masterclasses and lecture-demonstrations to dance students and lovers throughout the US, Canada, India, the UK, and Malaysia to widespread acclaim.
Jiva Dance is Jiva's resident performing company. Led by Jiva Artistic Director and choreographer Sonali Skandan, Jiva Dance performs original classical choreography in the Bharatanatyam style and has received widespread acclaim for their efforts in performance and education.
Akshara is a New York-based ensemble led by composer, mridangist, and educator Bala Skandan. Blending Carnatic, Hindustani, and World music traditions, Akshara collaborates extensively with Jiva Dance, and recently recorded their debut album. The ensemble also features MaxZT, Arun Ramamurthy, Jay Gandhi, and Kabilan Jeganathan.
Michelin Star chef Hemant Mathur is the prolific restaurateur behind many of New York City's biggest names in fine Indian cuisine like Tulsi, Devi, and Tamarind, as well as many up-and-coming eateries like Kurry Qulture in Astoria, Queens, focused on regional and seasonal Indian cuisines.
DJ Sunny and MC Pervez are sought-after local entertainers and facilitators for events in the South Asian communities of New York City and beyond. Their high energy, charisma, and extravagant light shows make them highly in demand for weddings, corporate events, and more.