Artists in Schools Directory

   

Sultana Nahar

Artist's Narrative

Sultana Nahar Sultana Nahar graduated in Bharata Natyam, one of the most elegant and complicated forms of classical Indian dance. She is a well-known performer in Bangladeshi and Indian communities in the Midwestern and Eastern United States. Her dance programs have been shown on national television in Bangladesh and local TV stations in Chicago. Sultana has performed in numerous local Asian Festivals and international programs (such as the U.N. Festival) in many states as well as Ohio.

Classical dance is difficult to teach in one or two sessions. Instead, what Sultana does is to pick stories from various sources and demonstrates or narrates them through what she calls mudra (hand and body gestures). It does two things: first, the audience not only listens to what she narrates, but they can also see the transformation of words into body language which is unique, fun, and interesting. Second, it encourages the audience to be more involved and curious about learning something new and exciting. Her sessions are mostly interactive, run roughly 50 to 60 minutes, and involve volunteers from the audience who at the end of the show are also able to describe the story with simple body movements. With colorful costumes, beautiful jewelry, and lilting music, Sultana presents the audience with an authentic flavor and charming experience of Southeast Asian cultural heritage.

Sultana runs a dance school and encourages children to learn dances -- any kind of dance -- because all types of dance help people to be disciplined, organized, and to maintain a good body and healthy mind.

Recent Feedback From Schools
"Sultana's energy and enthusiasm was clear. The kids loved the active element (participating in dancing) and loved to see one of their teachers get dressed up in traditional clothing. Sultana was a great addition to our multicultural day at our school."

Availability

Upon request.
This artist is based in Columbus. Travel charges may apply for schools outside of the area.

Programs Available

Stories from Indian Mythology (Grade levels K-12)
Stories that are mainly educational in nature are carefully chosen from myths, folklore, tribal history, royalty, fairy tales, and tales of ordinary people of Indo-Bangladesh and Southeast Asian countries. Presentations are designed around a particular audience. For example, depending on the audience, the presentation will not only include storytelling and demonstration through mudra (hand and body gestures), but it will also include a complete dance with playback music stages for better visual understanding. Each presentation is designed independently and is accompanied by handouts with particular choreography sketched in stick figures for the learners' convenience.

NOTE:
For grades K-5, stories are described in easy, lucid, and simple language. They are primarily based on fairy tales or children's bedtime stories, and are demonstrated by simple hand and body gestures. The mudra here is very basic, fun and easily adaptable. Costumes and jewelry are very colorful to compliment the correct atmosphere for younger students. For grades 6-12, the stories are more mature and usually carry some kind of inherent morals. In addition to the story, Sultana provides a brief touch of the source and background of the stories. She also gives out detailed practice choreography notes with exact stick figures. Often, if time permits, she ads in a short classical dance using the similar type of hand and body gestures that are used to relate the story

Activity Options:
Stories from Indian Mythology
  • Duration: 50-60 min.
  • Fees: $300
  • Requirements: Multi-purpose room with large floor area