SSMF 2022: “Pause”

Keynote Events

Opening Performance:
Stabdha: Interlude

Madhusmita Bora
donia salem harhoor

Weaving song, movement, and poetry together, Stabdha:interlude, considers the blessings and sorrows that come with pausing. The work draws from the wealth of 500 year old musical and dance traditions of Borgeet and Sattriya to contemplate on the themes of connections and distance.

donia salem harhoor (they/she) is an egyptian-american bibliophile. Executive Director of The Outlet Dance Project, founder of the Duniya Collective, they are an alum of Community of Writers, Open Mouth Poetry Retreat, and Urban Bush Women’s Summer Leadership Institute. In 2019 they were Grounds For Sculpture’s inaugural Performing Artist in Residence. donia is a principal dancer and choreographer with Sakshi Productions and has been a student of acclaimed Odissi Guru, Durga Charan Ranbir, for the past 20 years. She works closely with the virtuosic Rahul Acharya. Performances include The Sheen Center, Princeton University, The Painted Bride, the 14th Street Y, and Alvin Ailey. A 2021 runner-up for Spoon River Poetry Review Editor’s Prize and a 2021 finalist for Palette Poetry’s Sappho Prize, their poetry has appeared in Mizna/AAWW’s I WANT SKY, Swim Pony’s TrailOff project, Anomaly, and Sukoon magazine. An herbalism apprentice of Karen Rose of Sacred Vibes Apothecary, their MFA in Interdisciplinary Art is from Goddard College. For more on donia, visit
Madhusmita Bora (she/her) is an Assamese American dancer, immigrant, teacher and freelance writer. She is the co-founder and co-director of Sattriya Dance Company. Madhu grew up to the rhythms of Sattriya, practiced routinely in her village prayer hall in Assam, and made her performance debut when she was four. She has made it her life’s mission to preserve, document, and promote Sattriya. She curated and produced the first U.S. tour of The Dancing Monks of Assam. She is the director and producer of Dancing the Divine, a documentary on Sattriya. Madhusmita has trained under Adhyapak Gobinda Kalita, Padmashree Jatin Goswami , Guru Ramkrishna Talukdar , Guru Naren Barua , Anita Sharma, and Dr. Bhabananda Barbayan. Her work has been documented at The Library of Congress. Performances include Symphony Space, Library of Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, 14th Street Y, New York University in New York City; Nehru Centre, London; Gurudev Tagore Indian Cultural Centre, Mexico City; India Habitat Centre New Delhi, Kalaghoda Festival, Mumbai. Madhu is a recipient of Leeway Foundation’s Transformation Award (2020) and Art & Change Grant (2009, 2010 and 2011). Her work has also been supported by the Bartol Foundation (2020), Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (2013, 2016), and The Pew Center for the Arts and Heritage (2016). She is a recipient of the Nritya Saradi Award, 2014 and IIDF Award, 2016. For more on Madhusmita, visit

Friday, March 25, 2022
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM Eastern

Closing Performance:
Against Time for Solo Piano

Ania Vu

Against Time for Solo Piano is a contemplation about my experience of feeling time suspension. This experience was prompted by a difficult time period of my life that highlighted my need for time to stop to be able to process, reflect, and meditate. The piece features a prominent note repetition that simultaneously symbolizes two paradoxical ideas of time: time suspension because repetition suggests permanence, but also its flow, because sound quickly evaporates overtime on a percussive instrument like the piano. Once in a while, sudden bell sounds emerge, reminding us about the existence of time. Throughout the very slow and quiet music, all the energy that went into stretching out time and keeping it from running, eventually shatters, begging the question of whether time can actually be paused. I will perform my composition and then discuss how it relates to the theme of pause.

Polish of Vietnamese descent composer and pianist, Ania Vu (née Vũ Đặng Minh Anh) writes music that explores the interplay between the sound properties and meanings of the words, musical energy related to form, and varied notions of time. Ania is currently a Ph.D. candidate in music composition at the University of Pennsylvania.

Saturday, March 26, 2022
6:15–6:45 PM Eastern