Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sutra Dance Theater, Downtown Dance Festival, Dance New Amsterdam, NYC

It was a real treat to watch Sutra Dance Theater, a Malaysian contemporary dance troupe led by Guru Ramli Ibrahim, perform at the Downtown Dance Festival Finale. The group is renowned for its spellbinding choreography, and draws inspiration from Odissi. Rathimalar Govindarajoo, the lead dancer, was impressive, and received a glorious review by Alastair Macaulay in the New York Times. Click to read the article!

I observed some of the ideas (such as eroticism) being incorporated in the choreographies, which Guru Ramli Ibrahim had also explored with the participants at his three-day workshop in NYC last week organized by the Battery Dance Company. I was lucky to have been a part of this productive and inspirational workshop, and the opportunity to study under a great artiste such as Guru Ramli Ji.   

Friday, August 19, 2011

Workshop with Guru Ramli Ibrahim

I recently attended a three day workshop with the award winning dancer-choreographer - Guru Ramli Brahim - who made Odissi popular in Malaysia. What a treat to be able to learn from such a celebrated artist while he was on tour in the US. Thanks to IAAC for organizing this on such short notice. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Swarupa: Infinite Form

Part of the Fringe NYC Festival this year, Swarupa: Infinite Form by Sonali Skandan and Jiva Dance was an absolute delight. The program took the audience on a journey in search of Shiva - the cosmic dancer. Through the poetic movement and storytelling of the Indian Classical Dance form of Bharatanatyam, we encountered the dynamic forms of Shiva - from his dance of bliss to his dance of anger and destruction - to the love, longing, desire, and devotion felt by all those who seek him.

Sonali Skandan and Jiva Dance presented a suite of solos, duets and dynamic group pieces that spoke of the all-mighty dance of Shiva and the fear, joy and love that he manifests through his dance. Original and classical items choreographed and restaged by Sonali Skandan were presented highlighting the salient features of Bharatanatyam - geometric formations, rhythmic variations and dramatic interactions. The result is a richly evocative and soulful experience of classical music and dance.