Mystic India at NJPAC – March 8th

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My peoples!

So continues the never ending saga of “Becoming Bollywood.”  This of course refers to the simple fact that I can’t seem to escape the Indian American side of me (note not American Indian – aka dot not the feather) — a fate I have happily accepted.  If you don’t know already, I have been in a fantastic Bollywood show called Mystic India since last February.  We are finally bringing our reality TV worthy cast to a theater near you – New Jersey Performing Arts Center- March 8th – be there.

This may be the only chance to see us in the tri-state area before we are shipped off seas on a world tour again.  To refresh your memories, last year we traveled to China, Bahrain, South Africa, Canada, and most of the Southern and Western states in the US – what an adventure. I urge you to attend see this show.  It is a glittery, fast-paced, swirl of artistic expression like never seen before.  Not to mention, myself and most of our closest friends are in the show!

Here are the simple details:
Mystic India the World Tour
New Jersey Performing Arts Center (just by the Newark Path train for all you New Yorkers)
7:00PM March 8th, 2014
Buy Tickets here
Sponsorship Packages – Get your face in the program!


Here’s to finding sequins in places I’ve ever seen, girl you know what I mean.  (bad Usher reference – sorry).

Love and Light,
Anj

Come See Us Perform this Weekend – 2/6, 2/7 & 2/8 for Nachmo!

My peoples!

Once again the winter crappery of February has slushed it’s way into the Big Apple making the daily trek to our jobs (whatever those are) quite a chore. But… that won’t stop us crazy dancers from tirelessly rehearsing and enduring the annoying rounds through midtown rehearsal studios to hone our craft. It’s all in the name of art, and making art to share with you!!!

Without further ado, I invite you all to come see us perform for the Nachmo (National Choreography Month) Grand Finale performances this weekend. You will see choreography from myself, and all the besties – Andrea Palesh, Bridget Bose, Devon Lubar, and Jeremy Davidson. I will be performing in all of these pieces (yea, I’m tired – that’s a lot of rehearsals).

This weekend’s line-up is as follows:

Thursday, February 6th 7pm at Gibney Dance Center “Dancing With Ghosts” Choreography by Bridget Bose – $5 at the door
Friday, February 7th 7pm at Gibney Dance Center “Becoming Ratchet” Choreography by Jeremy Davidson and Devon Lubar – $5 at the door
Saturday, February 8th at The Actor’s Fund Art Center “Crowded” Choreography by Anjuli Bhattacharyya (me duh) and “Urbethnikka” Choreography by Devon Lubar – $12 in advance, $15 at the door

For my project, “Crowded,” you’ll hear the sounds of the Mumbai streets remixed by the one and only lil PANDA. It’s a big production featuring Andrea Palesh, Bridget Bose, Kat Lott, Zimone Mincey, Sam Stage, Andrew Broaddus, Devon Lubar, Anne Dragich, Marie Smith, Micheline Heal, and myself. I won’t give away anymore. Keep in mind that most Nachmo pieces are a work in progress.

As always I will be shamelessly Instagramming my life’s adventures, so follow me to get a daily dose of #beingbhattacharyya. Thank you for being the amazing, wonderful, and inspiring people that you are. It’s because of you that I can happily welcome change and fearlessly pursue my passions.

Here’s to working tirelessly for the things you want and for the people you love.

Love and Light,
Anj
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Rooftop Access- Improv Challenge #2

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Nothing says summer like an August rooftop sunset with the NYC skyline as your backdrop. So as always, I had to take advantage of my lovely city view and hook myself with an improv. I don’t have any themes yet this time around, but I do know that I wanted rock the tennis skirt I snagged in an east village vintage store. Inspiration comes in many forms.

My music cut out 3/4 of the way through the song, so that’s why it ends so abruptly. Sometimes technical difficulties get the best of us. Still a learning and preparation process. Ain’t no thang.

Here’s to polka dots, a pink empire state building, and Summertime jams.

Xx
-Anj

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Take Dos – Improv Challenge – #1

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It’s August again. My how the time flies. This year has been a whirlwind of new experiences, world travel, and a lot of mo f’in dancing. With my husband gone on tour, and me a traveling dancer, there’s a lot of free time to waste in between gigs and rehearsals. That being said, I’ve found myself rather uninspired to create, whether candy crush is to blame or not is the real question, but nonetheless, I thought it time to bring back a lil improv into my life. Let’s get re-inspired with a little self introspection and extemporaneous dancing. This time I’m not gonna go crazy with 30 improvs in 30 days, I’m just shooting for 10 before I leave for China on at the beginning of September. Totally feasible, but still prompts me to get off my candy crushing, television season gobble upping behind and create some art in between rehearsals! Motivation bitches.

For my first improv, I joined some of my besties and Mystic India cast mates for a lil session at Ripley Grier to rehearse for a one off show next weekend. I convinced them to join in on some improv at the end of rehearsal.

Choreography for the piece we’re rehearsing is by the talented Andrea Palesh– Showcase will be at Ripley Grier Studios next Saturday, August 24th at 8pm. Its for charity, come be a good Samaritan and watch some dancing!

Now I challenge you to get off your rears and do something you’ve been meaning to do, or create something completely new. And while you’re at it send me a free life.

Here’s to summer, dance, and Divine! intervention.
xx
Anj

Nobody’s Everybody’s Nothing

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All thanks to genius, Chance the Rapper, for the last few days Twitter and Facebook have been lit up with “Everybody’s Somebody’s Everything,” status updates. What a genuine and important thing to remember in this game that we call life. No matter how low, or how hard, or how confusing, or how amazing things are we should never take that for granted. No matter what you think, there is always someone who is thinking of you at one point in your day who: understands you, is inspired by you, is jealous of you, or maybe just genuinely loves you. Remember that. Even if it’s for a fleeting second in the day, the occurrence is there. That minute occurrence is world altering. I think most of us humans really just want to leave change behind us, not things, or shiny objects (although shiny objects are nice). Remember that every day you live, you are leaving change, and you are impacting someone. Whether it’s good or bad, doesn’t alter the fact that the impact is happening. Hopefully it is a good impact you are impressioning in your wake.

Here’s to being Somebody’s Something and Nobody’s Nothing. Share the love.

xx
Anj

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Aerial Reel

This spring has been chock full of glitter, sequins, bum knees, janky feet and dancing– obviously. It’s been such a blessing to do what I love to do every day of the week.

For the past 4 months I have been on tour with an Indian dance show, and while it has been amazing, I miss the risky circus life! I miss the rope burns, bulky biceps, and I miss the people; Crazies, each and every one of them. So for a Lil nostalgia, I sloppily pasted together a little reel from the last circus show I performed in, aka “Genesis.”

I hope to have more reels coming your way soon, but for now I’ill be in 12 hour rehearsal days with Mystic India until our (sold out 😉) shows next week in Niagara Falls.

Don’t forget to dip your toes in the ocean this summer!
Xx
-Anj

Bubble Bursting

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Life on the road is hard. But it easy. And then it’s hard again. It’s easy to lose sight of what is really important to your life when you are trapped in a bubble. While the earth is round, our lives are much more complicated than a bubble. Think about the properties of a bubble. Its thin translucent walls shine and wipe your cares away until it bursts into small bits of matter never to be seen again. We can’t live our lives in little bubbles or all we have are tiny shiny bits of matter.

I have been on tour for the past 2 months, dancing, doing what I love, and somehow I have found myself relatively unhappy the majority of the time. How can this be? It’s because I’ve been so caught up in all the little bubble moments of meandering cliques, talent battles, he said she saids, and self doubt that I’ve lost sight of the bigger picture. I came on this tour to better myself as a dancer, to embrace the Indian side if my heritage, and to give myself, Miss director lady, a break. The latter being the hardest bubble to let go of.

I’m used to being in charge, in dance, at work, at party planning, at basically everything I do, which I guess makes me a leader, but it’s also exhausting. I was excited to finally just be a dancer and help someone else’s vision shine through. But that’s the problem, someone else’s vision is not my vision. It’s hard to let go and not be able to give input. Let’s pop the miss director lady bubble for just a second and take a chill pill. Let me wade my feet in the pool and take a spot in the back row and just coast for a second. Life doesn’t always have to be so hard even though it usually is. Burst that.

All the other iridescent spheres of fleeting nonsense should be burst on first contact. Who cares if people don’t like me every minute of everyday? Who cares if I messed up that one time for a half a count? Who cares if I’m not the best? Who cares if that person didn’t have lunch with me today? Etc. Well, I care, but I’m trying not to. Because in the long run those little things don’t matter. What matters are the big things that make you who you are, that make you happy for eternity.

I care about my art, I care about my family, I care about being optimistic, I care about my friends, I care about love, I care about friendliness, I care about inspiration, I care about health, I care about fitness, I care about longevity, and I care about the world. Those are not bubbles. Those are solid objects, strong sturdy, and there for me when I’m ready to burst.

Its important to embrace the bubble moments because they can be joyous but they are temporary. Stay strong to what you know you have, the dreams you want to pursue and the amazing future that lies ahead of you. Because you are more beautiful, more solid, and more important than a floating ball of sparkly air.

Xx
Anj

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Becoming Bollywood

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This month I have been dipping my gnarly little toes into so many projects I can’t see straight. Most of said projects have posed me feigning as an Indian dancer. I mean, I am– half anyway. I love when the opportunity arises to share in my culture and learn about my heritage since I never experienced it much as a child.

Throughout the summer, I will be embarking on a new journey of #becomingbollywood while traveling with AATMA Performing Art’s Mystic India tour. It is such a blessing and an honour to be working with the two amazing and talented directors of the company, Amit Shah and Kruti Shah (not releated…), after having worked with them on the Just Dane Live Shows. This show might possibly be one of the most challenging things I have ever done in my life, and I’m a circus freak! It is fast paced, incredibly dynamic, and beyond colourful. We start out this amazing journey with a month long residency at Dollywood, then move on to other exotic locations like South Africa, Canada (OK not so exotic), Miami, Cali, and maybe, just maybe, to the other one-billion-people-populated country in Asia. I’m not saying anything cuz I don’t want to jinx the opportunity.

So in the meantime Check out this video I did last week, once again pretending to be Indian.

Here’s to learning about who you are, where you came from, and lots of shiny things.

XX

-Anj

Here are some images from @AndreaPalesh‘s Piece – “Baggage… Literally.” at the NYC10 Dance Initiative

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Bal HEC 2013 Trailer from Comité HEC Lausanne on Vimeo.

Beautiful Things – A True Story

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A strange man sat across from me, balancing his coffee and fresh baked bread that perched on his rickety four leg table. I sat engrossed in feelings of low self worth, doubt, and nearly suicidal thoughts. At 17, those thoughts are more rampant than in most sane adult’s brains, so it was something of a daily norm for me. Knowing and accepting the stance of teenage melodrama, I still felt like shit — like no one in the world could understand what I was going through, and that surely no one ever could.

On what should have been a school day, taking notes in physics, rather than the kinetics of my heart, I sat there, stirring cup after cup of hot tea with a little red straw and nibbling on free samples of fresh baked bread, wishing for a way out. Occasionally as tears rolled out, and more napkins were needed, I would notice the man. He was looking through a picture album. every so often he would bring the album up to the counter and show to the kid working there photos of worth. The kid seemed to know him and nod in admired approval, or maybe the kid was just really nice, I am from the south afterall. For hours (or maybe only half hours, again everything feels much more dramatic when you’re a teenager) he sat there, looking at pictures, looking up every so often to smile at me.

Finally after stifling my last cry, the man walked over to me. He said “Can I show you something?” I obliged, thinking at this point just about anything could make me feel better than the void I was feeling right then. In hindsight, a smart adult would probably have suggested that I kindly tell him to fuck off. So I followed him out to his car, seemed safe enough since it was parked directly in front of the cafe.

The car was jam packed with framed artwork, knick knacks, and shiny things hanging from the rear view mirror. It was as if someone shoved a small university gallery into a 1989 Nissan Sentra (I’m just guessing the car, my memory isn’t that good).

The man said, “look at all these beautiful things. You are much too beautiful to cry as you do. I want to give you something beautiful like you.” He rummaged through a satchel of shiny objects, and pulled out a cubic zirconia pendant that sparkled in the late morning sun. It was ghetto, but it was also beautiful. To this day, it might be one of the nicest things a complete stranger has done for me. It not only improved my mood, but improved my overall impression of humanity.

Today I found that pendant while sifting through my jewelry box. It reminded me that even when you think the world is dark and gray, there will always be someone who sees the beauty inside you. No matter how hard life can be, remember that you and your life are beautiful like a diamonds in the sky. Thank you Rihanna.

Wear that pendant with confidence and humility, you never know when you might need to pass it along. Shine bright today beautiful people.

Xx
-Anj

Improv Jam! Benefiting Nachmo — January 25th, 7-10pm —

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We’re having an improv Jam to help support National Choreography Month! Everyone is invited to this fun filled event on Friday, January 25th 7-10 pm. There is no entry fee, just give a few dollar bills for the cause. Bring your dancer, musician, and art loving friends along with you. This is your time to get out the frustrations of a regimented life, and free flow those bodies into a swirling mass of weight sharing wonderment. You know you love it.

fe5e4fb6011c11e2afe522000a1c8934_7National Choreography Month, aka Nachmo, is a communal effort among artists around the country to use the month of January to create a new work of art. For this one month each year, we put aside our excuses, our hesitations, and perhaps our day jobs to work intensely on making dance. Through the Nachmo blog, social media, and live events throughout January, Nachmo provides opportunities for individual artists to network and collaborate.

Sign up for Nachmo at Nachmo.org, and use Cre808 Studios as your space to create!

Also Don’t miss the Nachmo Gala Show at Triskelion Arts in Williamsburg on February 8th and 9th

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Cre808 Studios

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cre808studios@gmail.com
+1 347.460.4808