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Press Releases > PANDIT CHITRESH DAS AND JASON SAMUELS SMITH WIN ISADORA DUNCAN DANCE AWARD FOR BEST ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR FOR INDIA JAZZ SUITES
PANDIT CHITRESH DAS AND JASON SAMUELS SMITH WIN ISADORA DUNCAN DANCE AWARD FOR BEST ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR FOR INDIA JAZZ SUITES
California -- Apr 24, 2007 --

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  CONTACT: DARLENE DHILLON, 415-333-9000

April 24, 2007                                      darlene@kathak.org



PANDIT CHITRESH DAS AND JASON SAMUELS SMITH

WIN ISADORA DUNCAN DANCE AWARD FOR

BEST ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR FOR INDIA JAZZ SUITES



Pandit Chitresh Das and Jason Samuels Smith received the prestigious Isadora Duncan Dance Award for best ensemble performance of the year for their groundbreaking collaboration India Jazz Suites.  India Jazz Suites was also selected as the top dance production of the year in 2005 by the San Francisco Chronicle.



When India Jazz Suites toured India in January 2007, the Hindustan Times wrote that “…the audience rose to their feet en masse and clapped until their hands were sore.”



The Herald Sun wrote of their performance at the American Dance Festival in June 2006: “Pandit Chitresh Das, 61, and Jason Samuels Smith, 25, not only have rhythm; they are rhythm. They live and breathe rhythm.  They got on top, beneath, around and even inside the rhythm and took the audience along in an amazing performance that had the Page Auditorium audience on its feet…[they] jammed together in an intricacy of beats that has to be heard to be believed.  Sometimes, they moved so fast that their feet blurred like speeding racecars.”



Also nominated in this category were dancers from the San Francisco Ballet and contemporary dancers.  Pandit Chitresh Das, performing Indian classical kathak and Smith, performing Tap winning this award demonstrates how Pandit Das and Mr. Smith are bringing kathak and tap to new heights and new audiences.  India Jazz Suites will continue to tour throughout the United States, India and Europe over the next two years.



About India Jazz Suites:   Celebrated kathak master, Pandit Chitresh Das, 62 and Emmy Award winning tap star, Jason Samuels Smith, 26, collaborated to create India Jazz Suites.  Pandit Das and Mr. Smith utilize the similarities as well as the differences of kathak and tap, and their corresponding musical traditions, to explore new ways of presenting the two forms.  India Jazz Suites is not a fusion, but rather each artist, as masters of their own forms, use the common ground of footwork, rhythm, improvisation, and movement to explore and shed new light on the kathak and tap traditions and their individual interpretations.  Pandit Das also performs his innovation Kathak Yoga, in which he simultaneously sings, plays tabla and performs complex footwork at incredible speeds.  India Jazz Suites features top caliber Indian classical and Jazz musicians: Abhijit Banerjee (tabla), Swapnamoy Banerjee (sarod), Pandit Ramesh Mishra (sarangi) and the Marcus Shelby Jazz Trio.



About the Isadora Duncan Dance Awards (The Izzies):   The Izzies celebrate the unique richness, diversity, and excellence of Bay Area dance.  The Isadora Duncan Dance Awards Committee seeks to honor local dance artists and promote their visibility, primarily by acknowledging outstanding achievement on an annual basis.  Created in 1984 as part of Dance Bay Area, the awards were first bestowed in 1985; 2007 marks the Izzies’ 21st year.  More information about the Izzie awards can be found at www.izzies-sf.org.



Pandit Chitresh Das and Jason Samuels Smith will take their collaboration to the next level in September 2007 in San Francisco when they premiere their new collaboration India Jazz Progressions.  India Jazz Progressions will bring in the companies of both Pandit Das and Mr. Smith to create a whole new level of thrilling expression of rhythm, movement and music.  More information can be found at www.kathak.org.



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