WSU Performing Arts

Humanitas ~ A Festival Celebrating World Arts

Roja Kannan

Search for the Blue Lotus

Classical Indian dance

Thursday, September 22, 2016
Reception: 6:30 p.m. @ CUB Gallery
Performance: 7:00 p.m. @ CUB Auditorium


Presented by SEB Arts

Dancing in a classical style from southern India called Bharatanatyam, Roja Kannan narrates the journey of a soul, personified by a young woman called Manonmani, in search of the Blue Lotus. The lotus has long been regarded as sacred by many of the world's religions, especially in India and Egypt.

Kannan is a Bharathanatyam artiste and a very senior disciple of the renowned Guru Padmashri Adyar K. Lakshman and Padmabhushan Kalanidhi Narayanan. Born in a family steeped in rich musical tradition, being the granddaughter of the renowned musician Palghat Rama Bhagavathar, she grew up in an atmosphere of music and dance and started dancing even before she started walking.

Kannan has over four decades of professional performing experience and hundreds of performances and lecture demonstrations to her credit, both in India and abroad. She has performed in all the major cultural festivals conducted by sabhas and cultural organizations all over the world.

She is also a trained Carnatic vocal musician and accompanies many leading dancers on the Nattuvangam (cymbals). She runs her own dance and music academy, Bharatha Natyalaya, at Chennai, India; is the academic-in-charge of the Kalpakkam Dance School; and is dance tutor at the Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School.

Artist website:

2016 Highlights

All Week

International Education Week

Tuesday, Sept. 20

Prima Trio
7:30 p.m. @ UI's Administration Auditorium

Wednesday, Sept. 21

Sketch Wednesday: Ildikó Kalapács
12:00 p.m. @ CUB Gallery

IEW Keynote Address: Ildikó Kalapács
5:00 p.m. @ CUB Auditorium

An Iliad
7:30 p.m. @ Wadleigh Theatre

Thursday, Sept. 22

Roja Kannan: Search for the Blue Lotus
7:00 p.m. @ CUB Auditorium

Nuthouse Improv Comedy
8:00 p.m. @ Wadleigh Theatre

Friday, Sept. 23

Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theater
7:30 p.m. @ Jones Theatre

Friday, Sept. 23 – Sunday, Sept. 25

Arts & Culture Film Festival
CUB Auditorium

Saturday, Sept. 24

Capoeira Dance Workshop 10:00 a.m. @ Smith Gym 115

Hip-Hop Dance Workshop 12:00 p.m. @ Smith Gym 115

Party & Art in the Park
12:00–6:00 p.m. @ Reaney Park

An Iliad
2:00 p.m. @ Wadleigh Theatre

Villalobos Brothers
7:30 p.m. @ Jones Theatre

View full festival schedule »
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