Now entering its final week, Shared History presents Sriyah – excerpts from a decade of dance making at Dance Factory, September 18 and 19 at 7.30pm.
Sriyah, performed by the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble, one of the ten foremost dance companies of the world, comprises the Artistic Director/Choreographer and dancer Surupa Sen, with dancers Pavithra Reddy and Bijayini Satpathy and four musicians: Sanjib Kunda on Violin, Parshuram Das on Flute, Sibasankar Satapathy – Mardala (percussion) and singer Jateen Sahu.
The Nrityagram Dance Ensemble is regarded as one of the foremost dance companies of India and has performed all over India, North America, Europe, the Middle-East and the Far-East. Although steeped in and dedicated to ancient practice, Nrityagram’s dancers are also involved in carrying Indian dance into the twenty-first century.
Their first full-length production Sri – In Search of the Goddess, was made possible by the Doris Duke Fund for Dance of the National Dance Project, as was Sacred Space. Pratima: Reflection has been commissioned by the Joyce Theater’s Stephen and Cathy Weinroth Fund for New Work. Vibhakta from Pratima: Reflection, was listed in “The 10 best dance performances of 2008” – Joan Acocella, The New Yorker (09 Dec, 2008).
Excerpts from a decade of dance-making:
Úrî in Search of the Goddess (2000) – an exploration of female energy within the framework of Odissi…a search for the
Ansh (2004) – viewers are transported to enchanted worlds of magic and spirituality with the sensuous flow of Odissi, the oldest of India’s classical dance forms. Originally a sacred ritual, Odissi is marked by lyricism and curved bodylines that bring alive the temple sculptures of India. Ancient wisdom and divine transfiguration are unveiled and interpreted in electrifying dance.
Sacred Space (2006) – In Indian thought, a network of power lines traverses and divide cosmic space, charging the universe with the energy of the Godhead. Temples were built and rituals devised, to capture and reflect this energy, generating power-fields within. If an energy grid can be created in temples, can Odissi dance – originally a temple ritual – be based on the same principles? Is it possible that the dance can be constructed to reflect and create energy in much the same way as other temple rituals? Can Odissi become a journey to a higher source?
Pratima: Reflection (2008) – images of the dance and the dancer – never separate, one enhancing the other. The reflections unite, multiply, gently embellish themselves, and grow languidly in the sensuous realms of Odissi.
Sriyah will be performed at The Playhouse, Durban on 21 and 22 September at 8pm.