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Fri, 07 Aug 2020 13:28:05 -0500
2017-04-27 Print

Nootana Celebrates 5th Anniversary with “Scheherazade” Showcase

Nootana celebrates its 5th anniversary showcase with “Scheherazade” – an original dance drama telling the story of women’s empowerment through four tales: “Pygmalion,” “The Necklace,” “Kannagi” and “Cinderella.”


Washington, D.C. – Nootana celebrates its 5th anniversary showcase with “Scheherazade” – an original dance drama telling the story of women’s empowerment through four tales: “Pygmalion,” “The Necklace,” “Kannagi” and “Cinderella.”

“We felt it was important to show our love and respect for women this year, while continuing to celebrate the diversity within Nootana and throughout our community,” said Rishi Das, founder and director of the ensemble.

“Now more than ever, we should celebrate our similarities, differences and unique perspectives through unconventional topics for Indian arts performances. Our goal is to use imaginative but relatable themes of reality and appearance, wealth and humility, and strength and weakness to tell stories we share in our everyday lives.”

“Scheherazade” is the story of a queen who used wit and skilled storytelling to save herself from the king, a man who executed each of his previous wives after one night of marriage. Scheherazade told a captivating tale each night, drawing the king into her story. He would spare her life the next day just to hear the ending of the tale from the night before. Scheherazade did this for 1,001 nights.

Queen Scheherazade will narrate short stories about women from Greek mythology, South Indian folklore, and from throughout Western literature during Nootana’s spring showcase. The performance will weave drama and humor to bring together traditional and contemporary genres to a modern audience.

Nootana is made up of dancers and musicians from throughout the District, who hail from all over the nation and carry with them roots in South Asia and beyond. The diversity of the group helps to foster innovation in a multidisciplinary environment.

“I experience the world through the lens of music and dance, and Nootana was the perfect home for me to continue to grow as an artist and individual after moving to D.C.,” said Vidya Ramachandran, a dancer and singer in Nootana, who is a career and lifestyle strategist.

“I started Nootana five years ago because there weren’t any groups in the D.C. area that performed Indian classical music and dance together live on stage at the same time,” said Das. “Now we have nearly 50 musicians, dancers and volunteers that are helping to build a cultural exchange between the growing South Asian American population in the District and other cultures.”

“We’re celebrating an art form that’s underrepresented in the District, and look forward to showcasing more of who we are and what we love to do” Das added.

Nootana’s must-see spring showcase, “Scheherazade,” is at 8 pm on Saturday, May 20 at the Undercroft Theater, 900 Massachusetts Avenue NW. Tickets are currently on sale for $20 at

About Nootana

Founded in 2013, Nootana is a 100-percent volunteer run performing arts ensemble committed to fostering innovation within the Indian classical arts. Nootana performs modern representations of Indian classical music and dance by integrating music, dance, stories and styles from around the world. Our mission is to build a cultural exchange in the D.C. metropolitan area through performance, education and outreach. For more information, visit us at

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