Chitram – A Portrait of India to be Presented by EYS


HOUSTON: ‘Chitram – A Portrait of India’ – a grand multimedia musical theater production will be performed at the Cullen Performance Hall, The University of Houston on Saturday, April 26, at 6:30PM.
Chitram promises to be a spectacular performance. The Indian American community of Greater Houston is engaged in bringing this production to life under the leadership of the award-winning visionary composer and artistic director Kanniks Kannikeswaran of Cincinnati, Ohio. Chitram premiered in 2005. This will be the 10th performance of Chitram in the United States.
What is Chitram? “It is an eighty-minute theater production that tells the story of India’s cultural history using choral music, dances and powerful visuals”, says the composer Kanniks Kannikeswaran who has several other such productions and recordings to his credit. Chitram will be performed by a cast of over 90 singers and dancers all from the Greater Houston area. Chitram has touched and moved large audiences in various venues in Ohio, Michigan and Florida, Toronto and Minnesota and has been hailed as a ‘must see’ for those who want to learn more about India.
A thirty-member Indian community choir is at the core of this production. They will be performing an original music score that cuts across cultural traditions. The entire music is choreographed to multimedia and multi-genre dances from various parts of India. This choir is accompanied by an ensemble of Indian and Western instruments.
Dance forms and choreographers will include Bharatnatyam (Dr. Ratna Kumar, Padmini Chari), Odissi (Supradipta Datta), Kathak (Uma Nagarseth), Folk (Pallabita Bhuyan) and Yoga (Dr. Shiram Sarvottam).
Kanniks Kannikeswaran ( is a rare visionary composer who has successfully built bridges across diverse cultures through his path-breaking creations. Producing a performance on this scale from a distance, is nothing new to Kanniks, who had his magnum opus ‘Shanti – A Journey of Peace’ performed by the Lehigh Valley community first in 2006 and 2008 and then by the Houston community in 2010. Kanniks has also worked thrice with the National University of Singapore in remotely producing such major creations. His new work ‘Sharad’ was performed at The Hague in 2013. Kanniks is hailed as a pioneer of the Indian American choral movement; he has founded many Indian diaspora community choirs throughout the United States. His choir won two silver medals in the just concluded World Choir Games – the Olymics of Choir Music. Kanniks also teaches Indian Music Theory and History at the University of Cincinnati as an Adjunct Faculty Member. He is the recipient of several awards such as the Ohio Heritage Fellowship and the McKnight Fellowship. 2014 marks the 20th year since his first choral production and the 10th year since the premiere of his magnum opus ‘Shanti – A Journey of Peace’.
Proceeds from Chitram will benefit EYS (Education, Youth, Service), an initiative of the Hindu Temple of The Woodlands. EYS’s mission is to educate children in Indian teachings; instill Indian culture, heritage and values in youth; and provide service to the community including senior care.
For further information and tickets contact Prabhakar Centala at 281-450-9227 or Kiran Emmi at 281-844-3420.