Past Seasons

2006-2007 Season

The First National South Asian American Theater Conference

Chicago, Illinois
July 19 – 22, 2007

Convened and Hosted by:


eyeBLINK was a proud participant in DESI DRAMA: The First National South Asian American Theatre Conference, convened and hosted by Silk Road Theatre Project from July 19 – 22, 2007. The conference was held at Silk Road Theatre Project’s home in Pierce Hall at The Historic Chicago Temple Building (77 W. Washington St., Chicago) and at the Chicago City Centre Hotel (33 E. Ohio St., Chicago). This historic conference marked the first-ever organized gathering of South Asian American theatre artists and professionals from across the U.S. The term “South Asian American” refers to people with citizenship or residency in the United States whose heritage hails from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal, or Sri Lanka. The U.N. also includes Afghanistan, Bhutan and Maldives. The conference was designed to facilitate in-depth conversations around the unique challenges associated with being a South Asian American working in the theatre arts, and to map strategies for building a national South Asian American theatre movement.

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eyeBLINK Dance and Lend-A-Hand India
Happy Hour with Salsa Lessons and Dancing
July 20, 2007
White Rabbit Bar
145 E. Houston St.

Julio Robledo and Carolina Puerto - Salsa instructors

eyeBLINK and Lend-A-Hand India collaborated to raise funds for the education of children in India. eyeBLINK provided a salsa dancer/instructor, Julio Robledo, who taught the attendees how to dance salsa. There were appetizers, music and a live auction at this event. eyeBLINK was proud to work on a charitable project.

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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Reception
Hosted by The Mayor of the City of New York
Michael R. Bloomberg
Monday, May 21, 2007
Gracie Mansion
East End Avenue at 88th Street

eyeBLINK was proud to be invited to a reception hosted by Mayor Bloomberg in recognition of Asians and Pacific Islanders living in the U.S. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the first Asian Pacific American Heritagr Week which has now expanded to a month long celebration of the achievements of this diverse group of ethnicities. This year’s theme is “Pursuing Excellence Through Leadership, Diversity and Unity.”

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Tomorrow's Gold! New Work Series:

Softly Sara Falls
By Jay D. Hanagan
Directed by Qurrat Ann Kadwani
Project Manager: Nate Weinstein

May 21, 2007
48th Street Studios
358 West 48th St.

Charles Everett, Annie Pesch, Stephen Tickner, Hezekiah Toft, Medina Senghore, Natasha Missick, Aref Syed

Softly Sara Falls was selected out of a national search for the third reading of Tomorrow’s Gold! It examines the life of Sara who was in a relationship with a man who was against domestic violence at first, but then through pressures in his own life, took his anger out on her. She leaves him and relocates but he finds her and the result is tragic. The message, however, is uplifting: we must continue to work against domestic violence and educate the masses, both men and women so that everyone feels safe, especially in their own homes.

A Q&A with the audience followed.

Tomorrow's Gold! New Work Series:

Happy Endings
by Judith Donner Hancock
Directed by Qurrat Ann Kadwani
Project Manager: Nate Weinstein

March 5, 2007
48th Street Studios
358 West 48th St.

Beth Allard, D.K. Bowser, Josh Edelmann, Beth E. Smith, James Edward Shippy, Charles Heermann

Happy Endings was selected out of many original plays that were submitted for the second reading of Tomorrow’s Gold! Set in a bookstore on West 103rd St on New Years Eve, this play is an examiniation of how the pressures in life can dictate what decisions we make and whether redemption can be possible. Marcella owns a bookstore and when the bi-racial son she gave up suddenly appears, she must deal with her past and open the lines of communication with her her ex-lo

A Q&A with the audience followed.

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A Collaborative Movement Project
eyeBLINK Dance and Dina Denis Dance
Choreographed by Ishrat Rakhi Hoque and Dina Denis
Costume Design: Emma Hoette and Paige Constanble
Live Drums: Ken White

June 1-2, 2007
Lotus Dance & Dance
109 West 27th Street, 8th Floor

Ishrat Rakhi Hoque, Dina Denis, Bidisha Dasgupta, Andrea Eisenstein-Winard, Ken White, Paul Monaghan, Anisha Muni, Nicole Selafani, Ashley Van Egeren

Dina Denis and Rakhi share a vision for connecting cultures through creation and performance of Contemporary Modern Dance and Classical Indian Dance. Their 2-year collaboration brings you stories of human connectivity that exists despite diversity of our lives. The combination of kathak and modern dance fused together created a very innovative performance that confirmed eyeBLINK’s mission of multiculturalism in the arts as a way to promote diversity!

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The 28th Annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Festival
May 6, 2007
Union Square North

Emcee: Obaid Kadwani

Ishrat Rakhi Hoque and Dina Denis, L&L Dance, and Skate

eyeBLINK was a proud participant at The 28th Annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Festival hosted by the Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans. Union Square Park North, the home of the Asian Pacific American Heritage Festival was packed with more than 10,000 people all afternoon as performances from both traditional and contemporary groups received much praise from festival attendees. More than 100 organizations from different Asian Pacific American groups sold Asian delicacies, distributed literature and enjoyed the camaraderie of this one day to celebrate our rich cultural heritage. 3 dance groups from eyeBLINK Dance’s project Rhythms performed at the festival. This festival was a celebration of the Asian culture and eyeBLINK’s attendance as a multicultural organization was much appreciated.

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April 28, 2007
Roy Arias Studios, The Rock Theatre
300 West 43rd Street

Choreographers & Collaborators:
Ljuba Castot - DefiANCE | Carlos Miller | Carolina Marquez, Elena Eiras, Laura
Beneitez | Elyse Cote - CONNetic Dance | Yesid Lopez & Karina Lesko - L&L Dance | Gino Spencer - SKATE | Ruee Gawarikar | Rakhi - eyeBLINK Dance

Alyssa Briteramos, Salma Allam, Ljuba Castot, Ashley Murphy, Carlos Miller, Carolina Marquez, Elena Eiras, Laura Beneitez, Bianca Stauffer, Karina Lesko, Mina Lawton, Saki Masuda, Yesid Lopez, Ruee Gawarikar, Gino Spencer, Rakhi

Rhythms in April brought an ongoing showcase of dynamic choreographers of NYC. RHYTHMS nurtures dancers with diverse ethnic and multicultural backgrounds collaborating and creating thought provoking pieces. The show included Ballet, Hip Hop, Modern, Indian classical and the creative fusion of traditional and folk dance forms. Q & A with Choreographers followed the performance.

December 9, 2006
Roy Arias Studios, the Rock Theatre
300 West 43rd Street

Jill & Amy Schulster, Ruee Gawariker, Deenie Hartzog, Ashley Van Egeren, Tara Carney, Beth Portnoy, Kid Lucky & ensemble, Dina Denis, Ishrat Rakhi Hoque

The debut showcase of eyeBLINK Dance, RHYTHMS, was an amazing success. RHYTHMS presented choreographers that have pushed their creative boundaries creating challenging works. The evening opened with Jill & Amy Schulster presenting Sit Back. A beautiful duet that had the audience sitting back transfixed at the fluid movements. The ballet was followed by Kathak and contemporary dancer Ruee Gawariker who captivated with the story of The Tree and its desire to explore the world but cannot because of its unmovable roots. Deenie Hartzog, Ashley Van Egeren, Tara Carney Shaked, Rattled and Rolled to their piece titled Unlock This Door. Deenie and Ashley used a collage of styles and collaborated to create a daring dance that treated the audience to a haunting experience. One of the highlights of the showcase was a truly collaborative piece Elemental by the fearless choreographer Beth Portnoy. She created a dance with live Beatboxers Kid Lucky and ensemble. It was a fusion of luscious and athletic choreography: a mathematical outline creating textured and detailed movement sequences combining equations, forms, and rhythms to generate a dynamic physical and musical symphony. Dina Denis presented a humorous and highly energetic piece titled “Please Stand Clear of the Closing Doors”: a collage of dance styles to display the frustrations of the everyday hustle and bustle commute on the New York subway trains. Ruee Gawariker graced the stage once more to display her Kathak talents and danced a rhythmic Tarana choreographed by the very esteemed Pandit Birju Maharaji. She brought in a new dynamic with the 16 bit cycle feet work and spins that Kathak is so well known by. The Tarana was followed by a very graceful young choreographer Arielle Rosales who spun and stomped in a powerful Flamenco dance. The evening was concluded by Stitch, a collaborative dance choreographed by dancers Dina Denis and eyeBLINK Dance Director, Ishrat Hoque (Rakhi). It fused the talents of Dina Denis’ expressive contemporary movements with the abhinaya and grace of Indian classical form Kathak.

The evening concluded with a Q & A session where the audience learned about the creative processes of the dancers and the methods of collaborations.

View pics here
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Pizza for the Homeless
View Pizza for the Homeless 2007 pics
June 18-22, 2007
The Partnership for the Homeless/Peter’s Place, 123 W. 23rd street, NYC
Bowery Mission, 227 Bowery, NYC
Bread and Life, 75 Lewis Avenue, Brooklyn
Love Gospel Kitchen, 2323 Grand Concourse, Bronx
NY Rescue Mission, 90 Lafayette St., NYC

Grand Sponsor: Pizza Hut
Event Organizer: Obaid Kadwani
Musicians: Ray Gerber, Jeremy Styles
Photographers: Julie Starks, Swoan Parker, Jonathan Conklin

We at eyeBLINK thought, here's a great chance for everyone to celebrate the good in humanity, and to make a happy moment for those who don't have too many happy moments. We can make a difference, no matter how small. Even a dollar can help make America into a country where hunger is a just a memory, not a reality.

EyeBLINK partnered with Pizza Hut that provided one XL pizza free for each one bought. The result was 5 Days, 5 Shelters, 5,000 pizza slices feeding between 1,500-2000 people in NYC! Our friends and supporters of eyeBLINK donated money as well to create an environment that was full of happiness and joy! Volunteer musicians enhanced the ambience for the guests eating their pizza and volunteer photographers captured these moments forever.

Pizza Project Pillars (Donated/Raised at least $100)

Malkam de Sola of Malkam Productions
Rabia Khan of Zuni Fashion
Adnan Khwaja of AA Film Studios
Jyoti Singh and Sumeet Verma
The Benjamin Samuel Family
Sindy and Sharon Callay
Niru Patel and Shailesh Patel
Nikhil of Abhishek Decorators
Rupal Patel of Arya International
Lee Phillip
Connie of Natural Look Aveda in the Queens Center Mall
Jen Kramer
Nathaniel Merchant
Fareeda Kadwani
Camille Perniciaro
Nikhil Bhalja
One person wishes to be kept anonymous

Special Thanks
Carol Schneider of Foodbanknyc
"Chef" Keltus Campo of City Harvest
Stacy Landau of Bowery Mission
Julio Robledo
Sarah Hart Grigsby


Complete gallery of pictures June 18

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Sureeli Shaam
eyeBLINK Special Events and Indian Music MeetUp

June 16, 2007
Saint Illuminator's Church
221 East 27th Street

Emcee: Obaid Kadwani
Musical Director: Ashwini Naidu, Sanjay Gupta

The Singers: Akhtar Alladeen, Yatin Arora, Sanjay Gupta, Shweta Jain, Meghana Mudiyam, Jayashri Nagaraja, Shatun Patel, Hameer Ruparel

The Band: Sunder Venu Gabbita, Ashwini Naidu, Elana Sarraf, Kailash Singh, Dennis William

Sound Operator: Steve McMullen
Box Office: Leslie Grano de Oro, Cheza Hinds, Julio Robledo
Sureeli Shaam was an evening filled with Indian film songs from the past and present. Covered were songs from the legendary Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar and others, as well as contemporary hit singers such as Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan, Sunidhi Chauhan and many more. Hand-picked were the talented singers, accompanied by a LIVE BAND, who serenades the audience with Indian film songs favorites.

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Just Chill
A party fundraiser by eyeBLINK Dance
October 7, 2006
Time Lounge *VIP Room*
224 W 49th Street

Emcee: Obaid Kadwani

eyeBLINK Dance invited friends for an intimate evening to “Just Chill…” and be entertained. It was a successful evening of fundraising. In order to create original works, performers require funding for rental of space, set design and costumes. eyeBLINK Dance thanks you for your generous support to preserve and develop its creations.

The evening began with eyeBLINK dancers as they shook things up with foot tapping Bollywood numbers, including a sensual courtesan dance performed by Sawsan, Kris, Andrea, Angelica and Sonya. It was followed by, Elissaveta Iordanova who performed the traditional folk dances of Bulgaria. Soon after, the ever graceful Andrea Beeman, the Enchantress of Bioluminosity, enchanted the audience with a mesmerizing composition of Turkish Bellydance. The graceful bellydance was followed by “Dheem ta Tere” a contemporary Kathak (classical dance of north India) danced by eyeBLINK Dance director, Ishrat hoque (Rakhi) and the eyeBLINK dancers Sawsan, Andrea and Kris. Followed by a Bengali rock and folk fusion “Bondhu a” danced by Sawsan, Kris and Rakhi. The evening ended with the rhythmic and vibrating West African drum dance performed by energetic dancer Caren Plummer.

In between performances, guests “Just Chilled…”, had a drink, played board games with friends, watched Bollywood music videos and had the future told by the ever truthful and instinctual Mystic Dana!

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