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Chitrahar Cultural Academy

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Indian Folk and Bollywood Dance

Mrs. Vichitra Nayyar, Founder
Mrs. Vichitra Nayyar, Founder

Chitrahar is a 501(c)(3) organization. Click on the Donate button to make a tax-deductible contribution.

The Chitrahar Cultural Academy is dedicated to promoting South Asian culture and awareness, and facilitating cross-cultural understanding to strengthen our communities through the performing arts.

While teaching lively dance classes -- rich with cultural heritage and information on South Asian languages, music and movement -- we help our young students to express themselves with confidence and respect, and encourage a multidisciplinary approach to dance.

Our personal experience as 1st generation children of immigrants also informs our approach, which helps many of our South Asian American children navigate their exploration of cultural identity in a safe, fun environment.
 
Bringing our own mix of stage, TV, radio, and public speaking experience to our dance sessions, we offer Indian Bollywood, Bhangra and other Folk dance classes at the Menomonee Club and the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. 
 
Click here to enroll in dance classes.
 
In years past, the Chitrahar has sponsored performing artists from the subcontinent – locally hosting the Midwest's first South Asian American TV show, and presenting musical, dance and theatrical programs with artists from Lata Mangeshkar and Manna Dey, to Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, to Jagjit Singh, Shabana Azmi and countless others. We covered local, national and international government officials (who often participated in Chitrahar's hosted discussions), including President Reagan, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Mayor Richard M. Daley, Governor Jim Edgar, Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, and local South Asian community leaders.
 
Corporate and non-profit leaders regularly attended our programs, where we honored outstanding members of the South Asian diaspora, including Kalpana Chawla, Sanjay Gupta, and Indra Nooyi, as well as local youth trendsetters and innovative business leaders from all communities.
 
From 1984 - 2006 we held the community's largest annual showcases of South Asian culture: the Chitrahar Night gala. This inclusive presentation of South Asian music, food, fashion, and dance brought together youth, performers, families, cultural organizations, community leaders, elected officials, honorees, activists and artists like no other event - to celebrate our collective accomplishments.

   

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Mrs. Nayyar with Kara Hook, receiving Changing Worlds' 2007 Immigrant Contributions Award

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Fashion Show at Chitrahar Night 2005

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Children's Dance at Chitrahar Night 2005

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Chitrahar Night 2001

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Fashion Show at Chitrahar Night 2005