India Jazz Suites set to take Hancher stage

BY JUSTUS FLAIR | MARCH 07, 2013 5:00 AM

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“The fastest feet in rhythm,” the ads say.

That’s a pretty high expectation to live up to, but tap-dancer Jason Samuels Smith has been doing just that for several years.

Smith, along with India’s Kathak master Pandit Chitresh Das, will perform in a Hancher concert at the Englert Theater, 221 E. Washington St., at 7:30 p.m. today. Admission ranges from $10 to $35.

The show combines tap dance with traditional Kathak in addition to two live bands to create a unique experience for the audience. Since its première in 2005, the two made quite a name for themselves, and the Hancher folks eagerly anticipate the event.

“We take great care to program artists who have exceptional craft and technique while also offering inspiration, joy, and/or insight into the human condition,” said Hancher Programming Director Jacob Yarrow. “The dancers in the show are legendary. Pandit Chitresh Das is a master at the Indian form of Kathak dance, and Jason Samuels Smith is one of the world’s most breathtaking tap dancers.

The show combines Indian and American art forms, including two live bands, in a thoughtful manner that shows how they fit together — all while being true to tradition. I also like the intergenerational aspect of the show.”

Not only is the show intergenerational, but it also appeals to a wide variety of cultures, backgrounds, and origins.

“The evening offers experience with different cultures and art forms that are less familiar to some of us,” said Yarrow. “And it is also entertaining and full of fun and amazing feats of skill.”

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