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Natural Awakenings New York City

United Palace Debuts Monthly Kirtan

Jan 06, 2019 11:05AM

The United Palace of Spiritual Arts (UPSA) will debut Chant UP with Gaura Vani, a monthly world music experience of kirtan, at 3 p.m. on February 17. Kirtan is a musical form of storytelling, shared recitation and call-and-response that pairs mantra and music and creates a soulful experience for the audience, according to UPSA Program Director Arda Itez. “Chant UP with Gaura Vani is true spiritual artistry. It’s about connecting to the sacred—whatever that means for each of us— through participatory performance art and the ancient practice of communal singing,” Itez says. “It opens the heart and allows a glimpse of the beauty that lies in our human and spiritual connections. Hindu philosopher Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura wrote, ‘The Church of Kirtan invites all classes of people, without distinction to engage in the highest cultivation of the spirit. This church, it appears, will extend all over the world, and take the place of all sectarian institutions which exclude “outsiders” from the precincts of the mosque, church or temple.’ We joyfully extend that invitation to anyone who would like to join us.” This celebration of music, spirit and community will be led by Gaura Vani, a multi-disciplinary artist (fluent in music, film and visual arts) best known for his mantra music performances, which combine participatory rhythm and song, story and dance. He has performed in Africa, the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Location: 4140 Broadway, one block from the A-train at 175th Street. For information and tickets, visit