Lakshmi Basile: Flamenco Dancer

The Center for World Music is delighted to welcome Lakshmi Basile to our family of outstanding teaching artists in residence, joining our World Music in the Schools program.

Lakshmi Basile, nicknamed “La Chimi” by her peers, is a flamenco dancer and performer of the highest level. To watch her in motion is an enchanting experience as she enters an almost trance-like state, becoming one with the music. It’s clear the dance is coming from somewhere deep inside of her, connecting to ancestral spirits and roots that are impossible to describe with words. They have a word for this in Flamenco: duende. Those who have been in the audience or have clapped palmas around the fire while Lakshmi dances know what a magical experience it can be.

Offstage, Lakshmi is down-to-earth and laughs easily. It’s inspiring to see how she takes a dance that can be intimidating for many and breaks it down in a fun and engaging way for her students. Her passion and expertise gently guide her lessons in a way that’s accessible for all, no matter the age or experience.

But who is this ethereal artist, and where did she come from?

Photo: Paco Sanchez

Lakshmi Basile began performing at the age of six with her parents’ band The Electrocarpathians. She grew up in a bohemian household filled with music and dance with her father, a prominent San Diego musician, and her mother, an artist from Argentina. She studied dance at the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, the University of California Santa Barbara, and within the flamenco community of San Diego, finally traveling to Spain at the age of 20 to complete her flamenco studies. She was quickly embraced by artists and teachers, and found work in tablaos and at private flamenco events alongside well-known artists.

“La Chimi” became one of the first and only foreign artists in Spain to win a coveted national prize, the Concurso de las Minas de La Unión, and she was also awarded the Concurso Nacional de Arte Flamenco de Córdoba. There she surprised flamenco critics, and received high praise from Alberto García Reyes, ABC, who described her performance as “un desgarrador homenaje a los románticos de lo jondo” (a heart-wrenching homage to the romantics of pure flamenco).

Before returning to San Diego, Lakshmi worked for over fifteen years in Seville, the cradle of flamenco, where she performed daily as a soloist at the tablao El Palacio Andaluz. She has worked alongside significant artists in private events and festivals internationally, including Great Britain, Denmark and Uruguay, and produced her own show in Spain called “Zarabanda, Lo Que Duerme en el Cuerpo de los Gitanos” (Zarabanda, What Sleeps in the Body of the Gypsies).

She is sought after as a teacher by flamenco students in Spain and the United States, and we are very fortunate to have her teach and perform in San Diego. Lakshmi Basile has found her purpose and career as a flamenco dancer because that is what she is in her soul and heart.

Photo: Sari Makki-Phillips

“Su baile es de una alegría conquistada” (Her dance is one of conquered joy). — Félix Grande, poet and flamencologist

“La única cosa americana que tiene es su pasaporte”  (The only American thing she has is her passport). — Ángel Ojeda, former Minister of Culture of the Junta de Andalucía

Welcome, Lakshmi, to our Center for World Music family! We are so delighted and honored to have you join us.

See a preview video of Lakshmi’s Living Room Learning dance lesson

Visit Lakshmi’s flamenco dance website

Shibani Patnaik: Odissi is My Life, My Love

Shibani Patnaik is one of the leading United States-born Odissi classical dancers of her generation. She has taught Odissi, an Indian classical dance form, through the Center for World Music’s Odissi Dance School in California since 2003. As the daughter of Dr. Purna and Mrs. Gopa Patnaik, Shibani embarked on her dance journey at an early age. Her parents have been committed to the preservation and promotion of Indian classical arts for the past thirty years through the Center for World Music, providing many opportunities for their three daughters to immerse themselves in classical dance and music. Because of the support of her parents and the encouragement and rigorous training by her mentors, Shibani is flourishing as one of the leading dancers of her generation. She is an energetic artist with a strong technical background who strikes the perfect combination of power and grace.

Odissi requires perseverance, precision and performance; it is not merely a form of entertainment, but also a method through which the artist strives to forge a deep spiritual connection with the audience. Shibani believes art and music bring people of diverse cultures together by providing cultural understanding in a harmonious environment. Through dance, Shibani strives to express deep feelings and emotions, universal to humanity. Shibani is dedicated to the diffusion of the message of peace and compassion through her artistic expression.

Shibani has made frequent visits to India to study under internationally acclaimed Gurus Padmashree Gangadhar Pradhan, Aruna Mohanty, Manoranjan Pradhan and Yudhistir Nayak from the Orissa Dance Academy. Her gurus have also lived with the Patnaik family in San Diego for extended periods of time, helping Shibani master the techniques of Odissi. Shibani frequently tours with the Orissa Dance Academy. She completed a solo North America multi-city tour in 2012, presenting her own work Samsara: The Cycle Of Life.

India - Odissi Dance Video LinkShibani was awarded the 2006 Devadasi award in Orissa. Shibani and her sisters Shalini and Laboni, “The Patnaik Sisters,” have been honored with the Kalashree Award by the Orissa Society of Americas for their contribution to the arts. The California Arts Council has awarded a Next Generation Artists grant to Shibani for new choreographies. She has performed in prestigious venues throughout India, including the 2007 Konark Dance Festival and at the Ravi Shankar Institute in New Delhi. In 2008, she performed at the International Stirring Odissi Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Shibani and her sisters contributed their Odissi-style choreography to productions by pop stars Madonna (1998 MTV Video Music Awards) and Ricky Martin (2007), performances seen by millions around the world. Stanford University presented Shibani with the 2001 Asian-American Performing Arts Award and the Chapell-Lougee Scholarship to conduct research in Orissa. Under her leadership, the Stanford University Dance department began offering Indian classical dance courses in 2002, where she taught the first course on Odissi.

Shibani has been featured in numerous US and Indian publications, such as Dance Magazine of New York, Yoga Journal, Hinduism Today, India Today, InStyle, and Bazaar. She is an active member of the Board of Directors of the Center for World Music.

See a video of Shibani’s performance in the virtual Udayraga Festival of Dance in August, 2020, presented by the Indo American Association, Houston in collaboration with Orissa Dance Academy.

To learn more, please visit Shibani’s website.

Sufi Raina

Sufi Raina, Teacher of Kathak Dance

The Center for World Music is pleased to welcome Sufi Raina to our roster of distinguished teaching artists, a team of professional musicians and dancers who bring the worlds’ performing arts into San Diego classrooms through World Music in the Schools.

Sufi Raina Headshot

Sufi Raina is a silver medalist in Kathak, one of the preeminent classical dance traditions of North India. She holds a master’s degree in Kathak from Apeejay College of Fine Arts, Jalandar, Punjab, where her mentor was the esteemed Dr. Santosh Vyas. She also holds a master’s in psychology from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.

Trained in the Jaipur Gharana (tradition), Sufi was a lecturer in Kathak at KMV College Jalandhar for three years. During this time she taught dance as a major to undergraduate students. She also choreographed performances for the college as well as for national youth festivals. She was invited to England by the North Somerset Music Service, as a part of a cultural exchange program, to perform and teach Kathak in schools, introducing students to Indian classical dance.

Sufi Raina Dancing

Sufi has choreographed many dance performances for the stage and national television in India. She was an assistant choreographer for the Punjabi film Heer Ranjha. An innovative choreographer, Sufi is also trained in folk dance forms of India. Her love for Kathak, combined with countless dedicated hours of riyaaz (intense practice), have brought her to many stages across the world, enthralling an international audience with the nuances of this classical Indian dance form.

Sufi moved to Southern California in 2011. Since then, she has been actively performing in the region. A lifelong learner and a teacher by choice, she is the founder and artistic director of Tej Dance Studio in San Diego.

Sufi has recently taught for the Center for World Music as an artist in residence at Innovations Academy and at the San Diego French American School, as well as presenting assembly performances at Hawking STEAM Charter School and at SDFAS.

Want to see more? Visit these links:

Promotional Video for Tej Dance Studio
Kathak Performance Celebration World Dance Day in Punjab, India

Sri Rudraprasad Swain

Best Wishes to Sri Rudraprasad Swain

This month we say farewell to Sri Rudraprasad Swain, our resident teacher for the past six months from the Orissa Dance Academy in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. His presence in the Center for World Music’s Odissi Dance School will be deeply missed.

Sri Rudraprasad Swain began study of Odissi dance at a tender age of five. At age fifteen he joined the Orissa Dance Academy and trained under legendary Guru Gangadhar Pradhan. He was further refined into a versatile and dynamic dancer under Guru Smt. Aruna Mohanty. He has participated in prestigious programs around the world—in Thailand, Germany, Europe, and United States—his most memorable performance being at the International Odissi Festival.

During his second residency with the Center for World Music Sri Rudraprasad Swain directed performances and workshops across San Diego County. He taught over forty students ages 5-50.  He produced fourteen performances and two workshops, spreading his passion for Odissi through the classroom and on the stage.  He challenged his students and gave them the confidence to learn Odissi and perform on stage both in solo and group programs.

On behalf of the Odissi Dance School, we wish Sri Rudraprasad Swain farewell and a special thank you for his dedication and commitment, for sharing his passion for Odissi with his students, and for giving us the opportunity to learn a beautiful dance form. We hope that, as he continues his journey in dance as a teacher and performer, his dreams come true. We look forward to his return for another residency.

See Sri Rudraprasad Swain perform on YouTube.

– Reni Biswas, Program Coordinator of the CWM Odissi Dance School

Shalini Patnaik

Shalini Patnaik, Ambassador of Odissi Dance

Center for World Music teaching artist Shalini Patnaik enjoys sharing her ancient art form with the San Diego community. She is one of the leading exponents in her generation of Odissi, the classical dance of northeastern India, and has a passion for teaching and sharing Indian culture through the language of dance. Born and raised in San Diego, California, she traveled repeatedly to India from a young age to learn the art form directly from dance masters in Orissa. Even today, she visits frequently for further training and performances.

Her teachers include the late Guru Gangadhar Pradhan and Gurus Aruna Mohanty, Manoranjan Pradhan, and Yudhistir Nayak.

Shalini and her sisters, together known as the “Patnaik Sisters,” were selected by pop superstar Madonna to choreograph and perform for a televised performance at the 1998 MTV Music Awards. She also choreographed for singer Ricky Martin’s 2006 tour. Shalini performed for Pandit Ravi Shankar’s 90th birthday celebration and for other superstars like George Harrison and Sting. Recently, Shalini was invited by Anoushka Shankar to perform as part of her “Traveler” tour.

While Shalini has enthralled audiences across the globe, she truly enjoys sharing her art form with fellow San Diegans, and especially with students.

Shalini and her sisters, Laboni and Shibani, have been instrumental in propagating Odissi throughout North America through performances, lecture demonstrations at universities, schools, and libraries, and teaching in the Center for World Music’s Odissi School. To share their passion for dance with others brings them immense joy; in doing so, they help preserve and propagate this rich, two-thousand-year-old cultural tradition outside of India.


Want to learn more?

Traditional dance helps keep sisters in touch with culture, The Coast News (2012)
She matches steps in India and beyond, The Telegraph (2012)

Shibani Patnaik is a distinguished Odissi dancer, member of the Patnaik Sisters, and Board Member for the Center for World Music.

Máirtín de Cógáin

Máirtín de Cógáin, 21st Century Irish Storyteller

We warmly welcome Máirtín de Cógáin, who joins World Music in the Schools as a teaching artist in residence.

Máirtín de Cógáin-drumming-2Center for World Music artist in residence Máirtín de Cógáin is a singing, dancing, story-telling bodhrán (Irish frame drum) player, who also is a noted playwright and actor. He performs all over the United States, as well as in his native Ireland. An infectious personality, Máirtín pleasantly commands the attention of all audiences, from concert halls to intimate porches.

Descended from a long line of storytellers, Máirtín is the winner of two All-Ireland awards from Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. He often tours with The Máirtín de Cógáin Project, The Fuchsia Band, or Gailfean. A true promoter of “the Ballad,” he searches for those forgotten songs of old and breathes new life into them, as well as writing some new songs of his own. Máirtín learned from many famous Irish singers such as Danni Maichi Ua Súilleabháin, Séamus Mac Mathúna, and Ciarán Dwyer. He is a fluent speaker of Irish (Gaelic) who was brought up in a bilingual home, and attended primary and secondary schools taught in Irish. Máirtín holds a degree in the Irish language from University College Cork.

Máirtín de Cógáin-drummingIf not on stage singing, storytelling, dancing, or playing the bodhrán, Máirtín is treading the boards as an actor, notably in the film The Wind that Shakes the Barley. He has co-written many productions with the Be Your Own Banana Theatre Company, recently playing De Bogman off-Broadway in New York.

Máirtín has been playing the bodhrán for many years, learning first from Eric Cunningham (The New De Danann) and later from Colm Murphy (The Old De Danann). Máirtín has taught bodhrán technique at the Catskills Irish Arts Week, Augusta Irish Week, as well as giving workshops at major U.S. festivals including the Kansas City Irish Fest, CelticFest Mississippi, Minnesota Irish Fair, and La Crosse IrishFest. He also gives private lessons in the San Diego area and along the road while touring.

Máirtín de Cógáin-dancing

A traditional brush dance with his father Barry Cogan

Growing up in a house full of dancing, Máirtín helped teach the steps at the family-run céilís (social gatherings) from an early age, and now teaches the folk dances of Cork to dancers everywhere.

Máirtín makes friends wherever he goes. In a very short time, de Cógáin has become a regular performer at some of the most prestigious Irish festivals in the U.S. Although he can often be found leading a tour group in Ireland, or entertaining guests on a traditional Irish music-themed cruise ship, he now spends most of his time in California, where he lives with his wife Mitra and their young son, who shows great promise as a dancer and bodhrán player himself.

Want to learn more about Máirtín and his career? Visit You can also catch him on YouTube telling a story or singing with friends.


Nomsa Burkhardt, Teaching the Traditional Music of the Zulu and Xhosa Peoples of South Africa

The Center for World Music would like to welcome back Nomsa Burkhardt to our family of outstanding teaching artists in residence, rejoining our World Music in the Schools program.

Update: Congratulations to Nomsa Burkhardt, Teaching Artist for the World Music in the Schools program, for winning a grant from Rising Arts Leaders San Diego to attend the Teaching Artist Institute.

Born in Soweto, Center for World Music distinguished teaching artist Nomsa Burkhardt is an extraordinary South African musician and dancer. She spent her formative years in KwaZulu, Natal, a region famous for its rich Zulu heritage and culture. There, she studied various traditional dance styles with master dancers, such as Indlamu, ukuQhobosha, and ukuSina. After immigrating to Philadelphia, she co-founded the African dance troupe HIMOSHA. Her artistic skills and passion for dance quickly propelled her into serving as both the director and lead choreographer for the troupe for seven years. She collaborated with well-known Philadelphia-based South African multi-instrumentalist and artist Mogauwane Mahloele at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Walt Whitman Cultural Arts Center, and at many universities and schools. She also performed and conducted workshops annually at the Philly Dance Africa Project. In 2000 she returned to South Africa to study with the accomplished ethnomusicologist Prof. Meki Nzewi at the University of Pretoria. Upon her return to the USA in 2004, she joined the Grammy-nominated South African band Sharon Katz & The Peace Train. As part of the Peace Train Project at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, Nomsa was instrumental in developing a teacher-training program that focused on South African history and conducted a series of educational performances. Nomsa has toured throughout the USA, South Africa, Israel, Italy, and Germany. She is the co-founder of IZINDE, an Afro-fusion band composed of performing artists from around the world.

RALSD LogoUnder the sponsorship of the Center for World Music, Nomsa was selected in September 2017 to participate in the Teaching Artist Institute, a professional development program offered by Arts for Learning San Diego, an affiliate of Young Audiences/Arts for Learning. For a working musician who collaborates with schools as a teaching artist, this program is of tremendous value. Nomsa was awarded a Virgil Yalong matching grant from Rising Arts Leaders San Diego to support her participation in the Teaching Artist Institute.


Nomsa Burkhardt at Garfield Elementary

Nomsa Burkhardt at Garfield Elementary

Nomsa is a distinguished teaching artist for Center for World Music’s NEA-funded hands-on schools program. Her student-centered curriculum exceeds California arts standards by bringing joy and heartfelt fun into San Diego classrooms, while addressing core learning outcomes. Through the study of the traditional music and dance of South Africa, Nomsa’s classes focus on the importance of history and culture in the creation of music, the use of musical instruments, and the expression of community unity and collaboration through the performing arts. Students learn the geographical origins of musical instruments, increasing their global awareness and providing them with a global context to the music and dance of Zulu and Xhosa cultures. Nomsa integrates the science of making musical instruments in her program, and her students enjoy a diversity of music-making through singing and games that involve stories and simple songs, enhancing the connections to other disciplines such as literacy and math.

World Music in the Schools and the children of San Diego are fortunate to have Nomsa Burkhardt spreading joy and understanding through the traditional music and dance of South Africa.

Maluju – Stop Xenophobia By Nomsa

Video of Nomsa teaching South African Zulu Music and Dance

Ilana Queiroz – Brazilian Capoeira Dance and Music

We are happy to welcome Ilana Queiroz as a teaching artist in the Center’s World Music in the Schools program. Originally from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, Ilana is currently teaching capoeira—an art form that combines music, dance, and acrobatics—to second grade students at the San Diego French American School. Having taught since 2000 at more than a dozen schools in the San Diego area, Ilana brings a wealth of teaching experience to World Music in the Schools. Outside of California, Ilana taught Afro-Brazilian and Afro-Cuban rhythms in Andalucia, Spain, during the years 2004 and 2005. She participates in the Ginga Mundo Capoeira group, and plays percussion professionally with ensembles in many styles. Her most recent musical project is a duo called Bossa Lounge Project, a fusion of Bossa Nova and contemporary Brazilian music.

Ilana Queiroz 3A trained anthropologist, Ilana has a profound interest in culture. She began teaching capoeira because she noticed that this practice had begun to spread all over the world, but that, in the process, the focus on the history, lyrics, meaning, and purpose of the art form was being lost. Ilana loves to use music and dance as an approach to history, and as an anthropologist, she sees capoeira as an excellent vehicle for teaching inclusion and community involvement. As a mother, she ensures the lessons are accessible by children of all ages and learning styles.


Capoeira for me is a complete art. It teaches timing, spatial perception, eye contact, respect, community, and partnership. It teaches children to be courageous and to try new activities in different disciplines. Capoeira encourages movement which allows kids to literally see the world from another perspective—doing cart wheels, hand and head stands.


Ilana Queiroz 2

In her experience as a teacher, Ilana finds that capoeira encompasses so many aspects of learning that each child can find a favorite element in the art to focus on. Her capoeira class consists of stretches, warm up (often with games related to the history or movements learned), and technique (kicks, dodges, timing, and dance sequences). Musically, she teaches rhythm and various instruments through capoeira songs. Children learn how to play the agogô, pandeiro, atabaque (drum), reco-reco, caxixi and sometimes the berimbau. Every instrument has a different feel and technique, contributing to distinct musical patterns. The students develop the ability to work in harmony with each other and multitask through capoeira’s style of call-and-response. The lyrics are in Portuguese, so students have a chance to learn songs in a new language, bringing the students a new linguistic experience. Some lyrics are very old and simple, reflecting a certain time in the past, so Ilana uses this opportunity to tell the story about what life was like for these songwriters and dancers. In this way she is able to integrate language, geography, history, and movement into her lessons.

Ilana Queiroz 4Ilana’s teaching philosophy is to facilitate contact with the culture, develop a sense of community, and to encourage familiarity of the capoeira player with his or her own body. She also sees great value in exposure to rhythm, the native language, and different instruments. Most especially, she tries to teach her students that happiness is the fuel for a healthy life.


Thai Dancer at Erawan

Traditional Thai Dance Continues at Bangkok Shrine

The popular Erawan shrine in Bangkok was recently the target of a bomb attack, but the performance of classical dance continues. Here’s a thoughtful update on a “day in the life” of a Thai dancer . . .

The crew began their shift. There were four musicians — one on taphon (barrel drum), another on ching (cymbals) and the other two on ranad (Thai xylophone). The dancers also sang along to each song. Their words melted into the Thai orchestra, creating a chanting resonance and sacred ambience befitting the holy shrine

Read the full article, “Dancer in the Light,” in the Bangkok Post.

Bulgarian Dance

The Beauty of Bulgarian Folk Dances

An article in an online fashion journal from Bulgaria, with eleven nice videos of Bulgarian folk dance and—most interesting—captions indicating the complex rhythms of each dance.

Bulgarian folklore dances are unique with their asymmetrical meters, combining “quick” and “slow” beats. . . . These dance rhythms may not agree with the rhythms and meters performed by the musicians.

Read more and view the videos at  Can you count the beats?


SDSU Gamelan

Javanese Gamelan: Music and Dance of Java

The 2016 CWM World Music Series

Javanese Gamelan: Music and Dance of Java

Featuring the SDSU Javanese Gamelan, directed by Pak Djoko Walujo, with special guest dancer Bhagawan Ciptoning.

Djoko Walujo Wimboprasetyo, musical director of the SDSU Javanese Gamelan, is an esteemed artist and renowned instructor of Javanese gamelan. He studied music He studied gamelan music from an early age with many well-known teachers, and later at the Indonesian Arts Institute, Yogyakarta. He was music professor at the Indonesian Arts Institute from 1975 until coming to CalArts in 1992. He has performed widely and composed award-winning music for dance and drama.

Admission: $15 general/$12 students

Cosponsored by the SDSU School of Music and Dance and the Center for World Music.

Directions: SDSU Parking Map and Instructions.

Listen to the SDSU Javanese Gamelan on Soundcloud.

SD Commission for Arts and Culture

Dromia Encore at Athens Taverna with Live Greek Music

The Balkan folk music group Dromia will play again live at the Athens Market Taverna in downtown San Diego.  There’ll be traditional Greek dance tunes, as well as popular and table (listening) songs, with a small area set aside for dancing.  Going to be fun!

Reservations are highly recommended: (619) 234-1955. Last time, there was an overflow crowd; ask to sit in the room with the band.

Here’s a YouTube video of the group. Financial support provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

Download a flyer.

Patnaik Sisters Odissi Dance Slide

Exploring Indian Classical Dance

Odissi Lecture-Recital

Come and experience Odissi, one of the classical dances of India, through a lecture-recital presented by the Center for World Music’s Odissi school. The presentation will include a short talk on the history and meaning of this dance form. This will be followed by a performance by Rajesh Kumar Palai, master teacher visiting from Odisha, India. He will be joined by students from the Odissi school, vividly demonstrating the many facets of Odissi through a short recital.

Tickets and Reservations

Admission by donation. All donations will go to support music education programs through the Center for World Music and Villa Musica. You may donate by credit card when you register or make a donation by cash or check at the event. Your generosity is appreciated.

Seating is limited. Reserve soon! Please enter your information online to add yourself to the guest list.

Reserve Your Tickets

NOTE: To make a donation online, add your tickets to your cart and then enter the amount in the “Add Donation” box before entering your credit card information.

How is this event possible?
This event is co-sponsored by Villa Musica, whose mission is to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to explore the joy and lifelong value of music through education, performance, and community engagement. Financial support is provided by The City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

How can I help support music and dance education?
If you or a friend would like to host an informal performance such as this to raise public support for world music and dance programs at schools in your community, please contact Dr. Lewis Peterman at or at (619) 440-7046.

Villa Musica

SD Commission for Arts and Culture

Karen Organization of San Diego

Passport to Worlds of Music: Burma

This will be the final program in the Passport to Worlds of Music 2017 series. This special music and dance concert will introduce you to the sounds, aesthetics, and cultural significance of Burma, also known as Myanmar.

Traditional Music and Dance by Karen Artist Refugees from Burma

On this very special evening, you will have a rare opportunity to enjoy traditional music and dance from Burma (Myanmar). The performing artists are all members of the refugee community in San Diego, most of whom are Karen.

The Karen (pronounced Kuh-ren) are an ethnic minority group in Burma who have sought to retain their traditional cultural heritage in spite of modernization and displacement. Their traditional arts have been passed down from elders to the younger generation in order to teach and preserve Karen culture.

The Karen believe that it is especially important to preserve their traditional cultural heritage, as many of them have been forced to flee Burma as refugees. Thus, they believe that it is critical for them to continue to maintain and celebrate their performing arts while living in diaspora.

This event is presented in collaboration with the Karen Organization of San Diego.

Purchase Tickets


This program will be an intimate demonstration and mini-concert, in which the audience will have an opportunity to interact with the artists.

5:30pm – Doors open.
6:00pm – Performance begins. Casual reception immediately following performance.

This is a casual event. Feel free to bring refreshments for yourself and your friends.

We highly recommend purchasing tickets in advance. Because of the intimate and informal nature of the space, seating is limited to 35 guests. A small number of tickets will be sold at the door.

Tickets $20
Online Processing Fee $2

$19 of each single ticket supports world music programs for school children across San Diego County.

   County of San Diego   SD Commission for Arts and Culture

SDSU Gamelan

Javanese Gamelan: Music and Dance of Java

The 2017 SDSU-CWM World Music Series

Javanese Gamelan: Music and Dance of Java

Featuring the SDSU Javanese Gamelan, directed by Pak Djoko Walujo, and classical Javanese dance.

Djoko Walujo Wimboprasetyo, musical director of the SDSU Javanese Gamelan, is an esteemed artist and renowned instructor of Javanese music. He studied gamelan from an early age with many well-known teachers, and later at the Indonesian Arts Institute, Yogyakarta. He was music professor at the Indonesian Arts Institute from 1975 until coming to CalArts in 1992. He has performed widely and composed award-winning music for dance and drama.

Admission: $10 college students • $15 seniors (62+), active military, SDSU affiliates • $20 general

Free Admission for elementary/middle school/high school students

Listen to the SDSU Javanese Gamelan on Soundcloud.

Cosponsored by the SDSU School of Music and Dance and the Center for World Music.

Directions: SDSU Parking Map and Instructions.

SD Commission for Arts and Culture

Odissi School Recital

Odissi Dance School Spring Recital

You are warmly invited to join the Center for World Music’s Odissi Dance School for its spring recital.

The program will be directed by Sri Rajesh Kumar Palai, visiting teacher from the Orissa Dance Academy, Bhubaneswar, India. Students will demonstrate their knowledge and skill through performance of various items.

This event is free and open to the public. It will provide an opportunity for anyone interested in learning about Indian classical dance to meet members of our school and learn about Odissi.

Change of Location



Please be aware that the venue has been changed to the Torrey Hills Elementary School.  See details and Google map link below.

Odissi School Performance

Odissi Dance School Fall Recital

You are warmly invited to join us for the Center for World Music Odissi Dance School’s Fall 2018 recital.

The program will be directed by Sri Rajesh Kumar Palai, visiting teacher from the Orissa Dance Academy, Bhubaneswar, India. Students will demonstrate their knowledge and skill through performance of various items.

This event is free and open to the public. It will provide an opportunity for anyone interested in learning about Indian classical dance to meet members of our school and learn about Odissi.

We look forward to seeing you!

Saptavarna: Seven Shades of Dance

An Indian Dance Spectacular

Saptavarna: Seven Shades of Dance will showcase on one stage seven major dance forms of India: Odissi, Bharatnatyam, Kuchupudi, Mohiniyattam, Kathak, Manipuri, and Contemporary.

Each of the seven dance forms will be presented by eminent exponents of that form, comprising a total of twenty accomplished dancers from India. The program will feature an item entitled “The Bhagavad Gita: The Journey of Life,” which will explore—in dance and music—the spirituality and timeless lessons of that sacred text.

This extraordinary production was conceptualized by Director Aruna Mohanty, who is also responsible for overall choreography. One of India’s leading dancers and choreographers, Mohanty has received a number of awards for her work, including the Sangeeta Natak Akademi Award and the Padma Shree Award from the Government of India.

A production of this scale necessarily has a pan-Indian, multicultural, multilingual approach. It promises further a delightful amalgam of different genres of music, a variety of colorful costumes, and captivating lighting and set design.

Director: Padma Shree Anruna Mohanty (Bhubaneshwar), Odissi

Co-choreographers: Anitha Guha (Chennai), Bharatanatyam | Janardhan Raj Urs (Bengaluru), Contemporary | Monisha Nayak (New Delhi), Kathak | Pallavi Krishnan (Kerala), Mohiniyattam | Avijit Das (Bengaluru), Kuchupudi | Priti Patel (Kolkata), Manipuri

Purchase Tickets

Admission: $40 (VIP seating, first 5 rows) or $30 (General Admission). Free for 2019 subscription patrons of the Indian Fine Arts Academy of San Diego.

Saptavarna: Seven Shades of Dance is a co-presentation of the CWM’s Odissi Dance School and the Indian Fine Arts Academy of San Diego.

Virtual Encounters: The Traditional Music & Dance of Mindanao, Philippines

The Traditional Music & Dance of Mindanao, Philippines featuring Samahan is the last of six programs in the Center for World Music’s Spring 2021 Virtual Encounters with World Music and Dance series. This presentation of music and dance celebrates Philippine Independence Day 2021. 

The Traditional Music & Dance of the Maguindanao People of Mindanao, Philippines

Featuring Samahan with Ethnomusicologist Bernard Ellorin
Special Guest Appearance by Maguindanao Master Artist Faisal Monal from Cotabato City, Philippines
June 6, 2:00 PM PDT
Free Live Stream– View the Recorded Stream

This music and dance presentation, hosted live, will feature musicians and dancers from the Samahan Filipino American Performing Arts & Education Center and ethnomusicologist Dr. Bernard Ellorin. The program will explore the rich cultural context of the performing arts of the Maguindanao people of Mindanao, Philippines through live discussion and recorded footage of performances. Kulintang musician Kim Kalanduyan-Villanueva, and folk dancer and researcher Nicholas Delmundo-Benton will explore the significance, purpose, and intention of select music and dance pieces. They will also address how the continuation of these art forms in the United States plays an important role in the preservation of the traditional performing arts in the Philippines and for the Filipino diaspora. Dr. Ellorin will provide additional commentary.

These experts will address questions from the audience throughout the program. 

Registration is free. A link to the live stream will be provided in your confirmation email. If you’d like to support the artists and the program, donations will be welcomed.

Download the program notes, here.

About the Presenters

Kim Kalanduyan-Villanueva – kulintang musiciain

Kim Kalanduyan-Villanueva, who identifies as ethnically Maguindanaon, is part of the artistic lineage of kulintang musicians. Kulintang is an ancient instrumental music played on a row of small, horizontally laid gongs that function melodically, accompanied by larger, suspended gongs and drums. Kim’s grandfather, Danongan “Danny” Kalanduyan, was a kulintang master and NEA National Heritage Fellow. He had settled in the San Francisco Bay Area and was critical to the proliferation of the musical form in the United States in the 1970s.

Under a 2019 Alliance for California Traditional Arts apprenticeship program, Kim engaged in an intense study of traditional Maguindanao kulintang music from her grandfather’s village under the mentorship of Bernard Ellorin. As a result of this apprenticeship, she found herself reconnecting with her musical roots and musical family. This led to her passion for sharing her musical heritage with the Filipino American community. Today, Kim is the principal kulintang musician for Samahan’s Pakaraguian Kulintang Ensemble. She is also one of the few direct descendants continuing the Kalanduyan legacy in the diaspora. 

Nicholas Delmundo-Benton – folk dancer

Nicholas Delmundo-Benton is the principal dance instructor with Samahan. As an experienced Philippine folk dancer, Delmundo-Benton has studied regional dance genres as a senior company dancer with Malaya Filipino American Dance Arts, PASACAT, and Samahan. From 2018-2019, under the sponsorship of the Lolita Dinoso Carter Endowment fund, he conducted field research on cultural dances from the Muslim societies of the Southern Philippines and Eastern Sabah, Malaysia. Delmundo-Benton’s work presents his research with artistry, integrity, and respect for the native master artists. Through performances, Delmundo-Benton seeks to educate and entertain audiences unfamiliar with marginalized traditions indigenous to the Philippines.

Bernard Ellorin – interviewer and artistic director

Bernard Ellorin, Ph.D. is the leading expert on maritime Southeast Asian gong-chime music in Southern California. He is also a master of the Filipino banduria (a version of the Spanish bandurria, a plucked string instrument similar to the mandolin) and the associated rondalla music. He is versed in the percussion music of the Cordillera Mountains of Northern Luzon, as well as being one of the few Philippine kulintang instructors in the United States. Dr. Ellorin has served the San Diego and Los Angeles communities as a performing artist and educator since 1992. He is the musical director of the Samahan Filipino-American Performing Arts and Education Center.

Dr. Ellorin began his studies in the music of the Philippines at the age of ten as a young banduria musician with Samahan Performing Arts. At age twelve he commenced kulintang studies with Danongan Kalanduyan. More recently he has studied under a number of other native master artists from the Philippines, with whom he maintains ongoing professional relationships, thereby keeping up-to-date in contemporary cultural developments.

Ellorin holds a Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii, Manoa. He founded and now directs the Pakaraguian Kulintang Ensemble (PKE) through which he presents educational workshops for K-12 students. He serves as a valued resource for many university Filipino cultural organizations and is a lecturer and faculty member at Miramar and MiraCosta Colleges.

In 2012, Ellorin was awarded a fellowship under the Fulbright Research and Study Abroad Program. This fellowship enabled him to conduct a comparative study of the musical culture of the Sama-Bajau in Semporna District in the Malaysian state of Sabah and in Batangas City, Philippines. He has subsequently written several scholarly papers on Sama-Bajau performing arts. Filipino-American diaspora performing arts groups throughout the US have welcomed him as a consultant. Over his career, he has received three grants from the Alliance for California Traditional Arts through their Apprenticeship and Living Cultures program.



Grant Support

From Sculpture To Movement at Mingei International Museum

The Center for World Music is delighted to be part of the inauguration of the new Mingei International Museum. We celebrate this important moment with an Odissi dance presentation, From Sculpture To Movement. Dancers from the Center for World Music’s Odissi Dance school will perform two beautiful pieces bringing ancient Indian sculptures to life.  The event will be on Saturday, September 4, with two showings inaugurating the museum’s superb new Theater. Admission is free, but those wishing to attend are required to RSVP using the links below.

11:00 AM Showing – SOLD OUT

2:00 PM Showing – RSVP now

From Sculpture To Movement

Odissi, a form of Indian classical dance from the eastern state of Odisha in India, dates back to the 2nd century BC. Once nearly extinct, its revival in the 1950s can be credited to evidence from paintings and sculptures from ancient temples, palm leaf manuscripts, and ancient texts, as well as the memories of traditional temple dancers. Odissi has become well known for its lyrical nature, fluid movements, and unique body positions. 

Pallavi: Elaboration
Dancers from the Center for World Music Odissi School will present a pallavi. Meaning “elaboration,” the pallavi is a pure dance form in the sense that it does not tell a story but is valued for the intrinsic beauty of the dance itself. The piece starts with slow, lyrical movements and then evolves into fast-paced footwork and complex body movements. This dynamic dance will be performed by Arundhati Chakraborty, Bhakti Tantod, Namrata Bhargava, and Shweta Shetty.

Saṃsāra: Cycle of Life
Leading US-born Odissi dancer Shibani Patnaik will perform Saṃsāra: Cycle of Life. A contemporary composition, the piece depicts the soul’s journey through the process of birth, death, and reincarnation. Shibani explores the concept of saṃsāra and themes related to the flow of life through excerpts from the Bhagavad Gita, a much-loved Hindu scripture, and the Bhaja Govindam, a hymn by the 8th-century theologian Shankara. As opposed to the pure dance of the previous piece, this item is an example of abhinaya or expression-based dance, in which Shibani expresses emotions and concepts through hand gestures and facial expressions, enacting the narrative of the accompanying lyrics.

Mingei International Museum Re-Opening

Entry into the Museum over Labor Day weekend, from Friday, September 3 through Monday, September 6, will be free as a gift to San Diego. The Museum will be open 10:00 AM-5:00 PM, seven days a week, with expanded evening hours until 8:00 PM on Thursdays and Fridays. Visit Mingei International Museum website for details and a full list of special events.

City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture

Financial support is provided by the City of San Diego, Commission for Arts and Culture.