From Rajasthan, India, Queen Harish will be in San Diego giving a performance and workshop May 1 - 2, 2009
Be thrilled by a whirlwind of colors emphasized by the warmest winks.
Experience the richest and most communicative living folk dance tradition of India.
Be entertained and taught by a unique and wonderful first class artist, Queen Harish.
Friday May 1 with Danyavaad and The Shimmy Sisters
Time: Two Shows: 8pm and 10 pm
Location: Portugalia Restaurant and Pub, 4839 Newport Avenue, Ocean Beach 92107
Make dinner show reservations: 619-222-7678
Saturday May 2
12:Noon - 1:00pm Bellywood ( mixture of Bollywood and Bellydance)
1:15pm - 2:15pm Gypsy dances from Rajasthan with a focus on face expression and stage dramatics
Price: $25 each in advance, $30 each at door
Location: Bamboo Yoga Studio , 1127 Loma Ave., Coronado, CA
For more info call Gabriel @ 619-347-9021 or Leilainia @ 619-884-7707
or email us at : email@example.com
Photos of the 2008 Show by Amir July 11 Queen Harish with the Shimmy Sisters, Danyavaad!
Fun Photos from Queen Harish's Visit to San Diego July 9- 11, 2008
"Queen Harish dances from the Palace of Rajasthan"
Rajasthani Indian Dancer Queen Harish Talks About Touring, Performing, Transformation and the San Diego Debut.
By Leilainia Penix
“On an early morning before a full moon night, I bathed in the holy lake of Pushkar, a temple village in Rajasthan,” Queen Harish explains in an Indian accent, “and made the wish to go on tour outside of India, a few weeks later I got a call from a Gujarati family resident in New Jersey, who invite me to dance at their daughter’s wedding. From there I re-opened my contact book and started the booking work.”
Fifteen years ago, 29-year-old Harish Kumar’s mother and father died, so he took up dancing to take care of the rest of his family in Jaisalmer, in the desert of Rajasthan, India. Now he has performed more than a thousand shows on all continents alongside the Rajasthani Sufi Gypsy group Maharaja and has appeared on cinema screens across the country in the documentary “Gypsy Caravan”. He has also shared and performed with Tamalyn Dalal, Kaeshi Bellyqueen, Natacha Atlas, and Maharaja Flamenca.
Queen Harish is an alter ego Harish created in order to allow his greatest passions, flirtations and wild behaviors to manifest on stage.
The biggest misconception about Queen Harish is his sexuality. “ I am not a eunuch.” (A eunuch usually refers to those castrated in order to perform a specific social function). “My transformation is a comedy for the purpose of the performance.” His theatrical transformation allows him to connect with the audience in a real level. “As a man performing the Indian woman, I am allowed to do everything an Indian woman can not do in her dance, such as looking the public directly in the eye and developing a communication with them.”
Harish became a dancer purely instinctively. At twelve-years-old he made his first major public performance in his schools annual function in front of an audience of thousands as Lord Krishna. In order not to publicly humiliate his family, his teacher completely transformed him, covering him from head to toe in blue paint and layering him in jewelry, so that no one would recognize him.
“During the show, I believe some kind of power got into me and Lord Krishna danced through my body. It was really a great show and somehow this was the introduction of Queen Harish. Still not a lot of people can recognize me from my stage costume to my normal clothes.”
Since birth Harish has had a calling to dance. “Dance is in my heart. Dance is totally my best friend, it is actually a gift of God and it saved my family! After my parents died, I had to support my family. Dance was just waiting for me.”
Harish explained that India is the Godmother of traditions and all the ancient forms of art, music and dance remain untouched. Rajasthani folk dance is the most colorful, richest and most communicative living folk dance tradition of India, it portrays numerous styles and deeply rooted traditions. However, the traditions have been folklorized as a cheap tourist entertainment rendered by Gypsies and village peoples who are not educated in western standards and have no idea how to enhance the art to a higher refinement. Due to the level of their caste, dance is simply a job to Rajasthani girls. “Even if they were dancing better they wouldn't earn more, therefore why bother.”
“Myself, I decided to be a solo dancer,“ Harish said. Through this he has had the chance to “travel the world, be coached, discover and learn from major exponents of world and contemporary cultures.” He has been exposed to a worldwide sense of aesthetics and now renders all these influences through traditional dances. “This is why local Rajasthani dancers see me as a Master.” Classical dancers love Harish’s “freedom and spontaneity which is something not allowed into the Classical Indian dance.”
When Queen Harish performs he creates a whirling stir of emotion and audience participation. “It is a progression of moments where I gradually lock the public into my mood. These moments create magic and a soul develops through the dance.” This leaves the public longing for more. “If you can turn someone from sadness to joy with your art, you became a healer, so a real artist!”
When he teaches he engulfs Indian culture developing the students sensibility to reach a life philosophy through the feeling of a physical language.
It has been six years since his tour in the United States. “It is exciting to come back solo and collaborate with a lot of different musicians and other dancers.”
Who is Queen Harsih ? Read Queen Harish's Blog.
Queen Harish's MySpace