From India to America: EKATVA Features 16 Indian Children Sharing Music, Dance, and Message of “Oneness”

16 children from India will premiere the EKATVA show from May 6–June 16 in 8 major US cities. EKATVA carries a message of ’oneness’ and love through 90 minutes of music, dance and drama. Most shows are free.


WEBWIRE – Friday, April 20, 2012

8400 children auditioned, 16 selected to represent India in inspiring tour

(Ahmedabad INDIA and UNITED STATES) April 20, 2012 – About one of every six human beings on this planet lives in poverty, according to the United Nations. And yet, hope and love can be nurtured in even the harshest of circumstances. This is the story of the EKATVA performance, which features the joy and talent of sixteen children from one of the poorest areas of the world: the slums of India.
 
After a successful tour throughout India, the EKATVA show will tour the United States from May 6 – June 16 in these cities: Chicago, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Austin, Atlanta and Montclair, New Jersey. The performance will consist of 90 minutes of dance and drama, and carry a message of love, inspiration, and a call to action: to push the world closer to oneness and peace.
 
Hindi for “oneness”, EKATVA embodies the teachings of great peacemakers like
Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
EKATVA was inspired by a similar project called EKTA, which was created in 2000 by Manav Sadhna, a nonprofit based at the Mahatma Gandhi Ashram, and teachers from the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts. EKTA was so successful that half of the children involved in it now work at Manav Sadhna.
 
EKAVTA began as a two and a half hour dance/drama show called “Prem No Parvivar” (A Family of Love) in 2010. The show featured over 250 children from the slums of India; 2600 people attended the two shows in India.
 
After a nine-month long audition process, 16 out of 8400 Manav Sadhana chidren were selected for the EKAVTA tour; these children come from some of the largest slums of India, in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. A year of preparation then ensued – not only music, dance, and acting preparation, but also mental, spiritual, and physical preparation. 
 
It was also made clear to the selected children and their families that they were to serve as “global ambassadors of love, service, and unity”. In keeping with the mission of Manav Sadhna, the children will not only perform in each city in the U.S., but also work with other nonprofits, serve the underprivileged in the area, help clean parts of the city,  work to connect different religions, and uplift the spirit of humanity.
 
“It sounds like a large task for small people – but I have learned every day in working with these children, that they are not ‘small’ in any way – they are capable of so much,” says EKATVA director Nimesh Patel. “The concept of the EKATVA tour is to share with the world the power and potential that exists in our underprivileged communities. The EKATVA children and show are examples of what happens when we provide love and opportunity to the young people in our world.”
 
The EKATVA tour features the talents of: Krishna Parmar, Payal Parmar, Asha Parmar, Priyanka Parmar, Dipmala Bhoi, Bharti Parmar, Nikita Bhilocha, Chandani Rathod, Nitesh Gautam, Dharmaji Vanjara, Bhavnik Solanki, Devram Parmar, Sanjay Parmar, Vicky Parmar, and Gaurang Vaghela. All children are from 10-14 years of age.
 
The performance is directed and choreographed by Mallika Sarabhai and the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts.

 A wide range of international organizations including Project Ahimsa have contributed to supporting the EKATVA tour and performance.

“EKATVA represents the power of art and music to transform the lives of children everywhere. For each of the children involved with EKATVA, art and music have provided a means and a path to build self-confidence, self-reliance, and compassion - all central to the spirit and message of Mahatma Gandhi,” says Robin Sukhadia, Project Ahimsa International Grants Program Director.
 
Nonprofit organizations may attend any performance free of charge. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds.
 
EKATVA tour details:
 
May 6, 2012 Sunday 7PM - Chicago | The Athenaeum Theater
VIP Tickets $55, Premium $35, Discount $25 plus $2 Athenaeum Restoration Fee
 
May 12, 2012 Saturday 7PM - Chicago | Glenbard East High School
FREE and open to the public. Donations accepted. Doors open at 5pm, with a special exhibition taking place until 6:30pm.
 
May 16, 2012 Wednesday Time TBA - Washington, DC | Preston Auditorium
            FREE and open to the public. Donations accepted.
 
May 17, 2012 Thursday 7:30PM – Washington, DC | American University
FREE and open to the public. Donations accepted.
 
May 20, 2012 Sunday - New Jersey | Montclair State University
FREE and open to the public. Donations accepted.
 
May 25, 2012 Friday 6:30PM | Stanford University
FREE and open to the public. Donations accepted.
 
May 27, 2012 Sunday 6PM - Berkeley, CA | Zellerbach Hall
FREE and open to the public. Donations accepted.
 
June 2, 2012 Saturday 5PM - Los Angeles | John Muir Middle School
Suggested ticket price: $10. 
 
June 3, 2012 Sunday 4PM – Orange County | Fullerton College
            Suggested ticket price: $10. 
 
June 8, 2012 Friday - Houston | Stafford Center
            FREE and open to the public. Donations accepted.
 
June 10, 2012 Sunday – Austin | Long Center
FREE and open to the public. Donations accepted.
 
June 16, 2012 Saturday – Atlanta | venue TBA
FREE and open to the public. Donations accepted.
 
For more information and tickets, visit http://ekatva.org/tour/
 
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About Manav Sadhna (www.manavsadhna.org)
 
Founded in 1990 at the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad, India, Manav Sadhna today serves more than 8,400 children and women daily through over 38 projects. Manav Sadhna’s philosophy is “love all, serve all”. In executing this mission, Manav Sadhna is guided by Mahatma Gandhi’s unshakable beliefs in peace, truth, non-violence and compassion. Manav Sadhna is a 501c3 non-profit organization registered in Chicago, Illinois.
 
About Project Ahimsa (www.projectahimsa.org)

A registered 501c3 non-profit organization based in San Francisco, California, Project Ahimsa is a global effort to empower youth through music. Since its inception in 2001,the organization has reached nearly 10,000 children around the globe through music education grants and musical instrument donations.



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Rachael Himsel Nunez
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VSCpr for EKATVA
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