Expedition to India presented by Pro-Art and Lonesome Pine Regional Library

July 05, 2021

Wise, VA – Children and adults alike are invited on an “Expedition to India” with Surteg Sandhu in conjunction with the Pro-Art Association’s Picnic with the Arts Summer Series and Lonesome Pine Regional Library.

Participants will engage with East Indian culture through hands-on workshops in Rangoli Sand Art, Bhangra Dance, and a Cultural Showcase featuring demonstrations of traditional dress and greetings. This free event will take place on Monday, July 12 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Gilliam Center for the Arts Courtyard on the UVA Wise Campus. The workshops are most appropriate for children and adults between 7 and 99 years old. A parent or guardian must accompany all children in attendance. Pro-Art will provide samples of Indian food during the lunch break between workshops to encourage participants to taste cuisine from the culture. Samples include vegetable samosas, chicken pakora, and naan. Less adventurous palates are encouraged to bring their own lunch!

Bhangra is a type of Indian folk dance traditionally associated with the spring harvest festival Baisakhi. In a typical performance, several dancers execute vigorous kicks, leaps, and bends of the body to the accompaniment of short folk songs called boliyan, which are small couplets written in the Punjabi language. The beat of the dhol (double-headed drum) and leaping bodies soon make pulses race, until onlookers too jump into the ring of dancers and join them. Workshop participants will learn to move with passion and relaxed muscles, and use lots of energy!

Rangoli is an art form from India in which patterns are created on the floor in living rooms or courtyards using materials such as colored rice, dry flower, colored sand, or flower petals. The Rangoli represents the happiness, positivity, and liveliness of a household. Workshop participants will color their play sand with food colors and learn the use of hand, cone, and strainer to pour the materials into the art form. Students are encouraged to start with their own favorite drawing—for example a human face, an animal, a house, or landscape—and learn to produce it through the Rangoli concept. In the Indian community, this practice is showcased during occasions such as festivals, auspicious observances, marriage celebrations, and other similar milestones and gatherings. Rangoli designs can be simple geometric shapes, deity impressions, flower and petal shapes, or elaborate designs crafted by numerous people.

Surteg Sandhu has presented over 700 programs in 100+ venues over the last 17 years. The programs cater to grades K-12 in Dance, Visual Arts and Social Studies. All workshops are hands-on, participatory and informational.

Pro-Art’s mission is to promote the arts and expand accessibility to cultural experiences for residents and students in Wise, Lee, and Dickenson Counties and the City of Norton. For more information about our planned performances, please visit proartva.org. You can find the Pro-Art Association on social media @ProArtVA.

“Start Here—Go Anywhere!” with the Lonesome Pine Regional Library! The library’s mission is to be the cornerstone of the region where children and adults can experience personal enrichment and connect with one another as they promote the love of reading, excel at providing resources to customers of all ages, and create welcoming spaces for our community. For more information, please visit lprlibrary.org.

The Pro-Art Association is offering these performances, and all events of their 2020-2021 season, at no cost to its community. This performance is supported in part by a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. If you have any questions, please visit proartva.org, call the office at 276/376-4520, or send an email to pro-art@uvawise.edu.