Members of University of Maryland’s (UMD) Indian Classical Dance Team, Moksha, recently premiered “Adharma: Stop the Silence“, their latest artistic creation on stopping violence against women. Moksha strives to raise awareness of an important social justice issue using dance as a creative medium to reveal deep-rooted social and cultural problems that need to be resolved. Below is a video of Moksha’s award-winning performance of “Adharma: Stop the Silence” at Laasya hosted in Seattle in March 2015.
The girls on this team used Indian Classical Dance styles (Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi) to depict the following narrative:
After hours of play, a young girl finds herself walking home alone when she is approached by a gang of men. Though she tries to defend herself, their strength overpowers her and she’s left violated. Upon entering her village, she discovers that news of her attack has already reached members of the community. Shamed for what happened to her, the village ostracizes her and refuses to speak up against her perpetrators. Left in a state of shock, the girl commits an unspeakable act which spurns outrage and a desire to stop the silence.
Formed in 2007, Moksha is the University of Maryland’s premiere Indian Classical Dance Team. As a group of talented and dedicated dancers, Moksha brings together various forms of Indian Classical Dance and applies traditional steps to contemporary music to create unique works of performing art. This approach allows the dancers to be innovative in crafting the theme and presentation of each piece. Preserving the integrity of classical dance is crucial to the team, and the dancers work tirelessly to remain true to tradition. Their goal is to raise awareness of the art form in multicultural communities. Over the years, Moksha has consistently placed at the intercollegiate Indian classical dance competitions, Dhirana and Laasya, most recently winning 2nd place at Dhirana 2015 and 1st place at Laasya 2015 in Seattle for “Adharma: Stop the Silence.“