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Christel House concert celebrates India

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Indian culture is alive in Indy.  And everyone can experience it on Sept. 20! With music and dance, Christel House, Anita Lerche and Gregory Hancock will bring India’s vibrant culture to Indianapolis audiences. It all happens at “An Evening Celebrating Christel House India” at the Athenaeum on Sept. 20, 2014.

When:  Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, 6:30 p.m.

Where:  The Athenaeum, 407 East Michigan Street                

Why:   To celebrate—and benefit—Christel House India

There is no cost for the event, but seating must be reserved by Sept. 12. Register at

 During the evening’s performance, Lerche, a native of Denmark who recently relocated to Indianapolis, will perform the world premiere of her new Hindi song, “India.” The song will be part of her new Punjabi album, “Sadke Punjab Ton,” to be released in October.

 The concert is the first time Lerche will perform with the Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre, which specializes in cultural fusion and socially engaging performances. Lerche and Hancock share a passion for India.

 “We’ve both traveled extensively in India and experienced how the culture enriches our art,” Lerche said.

 One of Hancock’s pieces, “The Sari,” will combine an Indian theme and costuming with Western music.

 “The power of art is uniting all people through the international language of the arts,” Hancock said. “India has a rich heritage of art, and the many subcultures of India create endless possibilities.”

 During the show’s intermission, audience members will preview a new video featuring Archana, a student at Christel House India – Bangalore. Concertgoers can also take part in an auction of original artwork by Christel House students. All proceeds from the auction, as well as voluntary donations, will benefit Christel House India – Bangalore and its 900 students.



About Christel House India

Christel House India – Bangalore, and Christel House India – Lavasa, two of seven Christel House schools, serve more than 1,300 children, helping them overcome poverty to succeed in school, gain university admission and secure formal sector employment. In India, 85% of Christel House graduates pursue higher education. Nationwide, less than 10% of Indian students graduate from high school. (Click on “our schools” to see details on the two Indian schools.)

 “The obstacles facing Christel House students are daunting—daily exposure to gang warfare, drugs, alcoholism, hunger, abuse, negative role models, violence, suffering and discrimination—but every day our students come to school, learn and set their sights on a better tomorrow. They have dreams, and while at Christel House their aspiration is to make those dreams become reality. We celebrate their determination and courage. They are breaking through the barriers of poverty to build a new and better life for themselves and a future for their families. They are our heroes, and role models for others to follow.”—Christel DeHaan, Christel House Founder and CEO

 About Anita Lerche

Anita Lerche, a Danish-born singer-songwriter, composer and actress, is the first non-Asian woman from the West to sing and release a solo album in Punjabi. The voice of Barbie in Danish versions of “Toy Story” and Indian plane Ishani in “Planes,” Lerche has performed in 16 languages, although she’s most renowned for her award-winning work in Punjabi. Lerche first visited India in 2005 and considers Punjab her second home. Now a resident of Indianapolis, she travels the world performing and promoting Punjabi language, culture and music. Videos from her new Punjabi solo album, “Sadke Punjab Ton,” have already been viewed by more than 10 million music lovers on YouTube.

“My passion is to spread happiness, unite different cultures and bring the East and West together through my singing. At last year’s Christel House benefit concert, people from the Indian community jumped up and danced with me. They were full of energy and happiness. This year’s concert will be even bigger and better.”—Anita Lerche

 About Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre

Gregory Hancock is founder, artistic director and primary choreographer for Indianapolis-based Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre. He has worked extensively with music and themes of India and has created a unique fusion of Indian dance forms, classical ballet and modern dance. The company has performed at many Indian events and has been embraced by the Indian community for its fresh take on Indian music and dance, drawing crowds of up to 14,000. The company, which performs to classical Indian music as well as songs in Hindi, Telugu, Tamil and Punjabi—is planning its first concert tour of India.

“I’m honored to share our work to help raise funds for Christel House India. We are committed to youth and youth programming, and we hope our work inspires the audience to learn more about Indian culture, music and art. At Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre, we strive to present art—not just entertainment. Entertainers give audiences what they want, but artists give audiences what they did not know they wanted.”—Gregory Hancock

About Christel House International

Christel House solves the problem of poverty. It doesn’t just treat the symptoms. Once that cycle of poverty is broken, all future generations benefit.  Much more than a school, Christel House International was established in 1998 by its founder and CEO, Christel DeHaan, and currently provides more than 4,000 impoverished children around the world with high-quality education, nutritious meals, regular health care, character and life skills development, and career counseling. Students graduate to become productive citizens. They are confident, hardworking, responsible and ethical, with a passion for giving back to their communities and caring for their families. Christel House International operates seven learning centers, located in India, Mexico, South Africa and the U.S.A., as well as a career development program in Venezuela. For more information, please visit