Sampradaya Dance Creations Presents World Premiere of NIRANTARA - BEYOND SPACE AND TIME This Weekend
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Sampradaya Dance Creations proudly presents nirantara - beyond space and time, a compelling contemporary new work for six dancers and four musicians choreographed by legendary dance artist and Sampradaya Artistic Director, Lata Pada. This visually and aurally powerful bharatanatyam-based world premiere explores worlds known and unknown and runs this weekend, May 21-23 at Harbourfront Centre's Fleck Dance Theatre as part of NextSteps.
Ms Pada, a pioneer at the forefront of contemporary South-Asian dance in Canada, pushes boundaries in this cutting-edge piece that showcases three special guest dancers from India along with three stunning Toronto dancers.
The dancers perform to live music composed and performed by two of India's award-winning and transformative musicians: the duo of classical pianist/composer Anil Srinivasan and Carnatic vocalist Sikkil Gurucharan. The presence of live piano music in a bharatanatyam-based work is particularly innovative, and Srinivasan and Gurucharan have been making waves in India for their novel approach to musical forms for a new direction in global music. They will be joined by two Toronto musicians: acclaimed sarangi artist Aruna Narayan Kalle and talented percussionist S. Surenthar.
"Nirantara is a negotiation between worlds known and unknown. Nirantara seeks to find the essence that binds humanity together. As we traverse the world as global nomads, we seem to ask the same questions: who are we, what is our destiny, what is our relationship to the divine. Are we a part of the whole or is the whole in every part of us, and therefore the universe? As part of our 25th anniversary celebrations, I am especially honoured and excited to be able to bring Toronto audiences these incredible artists from India as well as showcase the wonderful talents of our own dancers and musicians."
Sikkil C. Gurucharan is a leading musician for Carnatic music in India. He collaborated on the critically acclaimed album "Miles from India," nominated for Best Contemporary Jazz Album at the 51st Grammy Awards. India Today featured him among 35 Game Changers under the age of 35 in India. Anil Srinivasan is an accomplished classical pianist who has composed extensively for dance and theatre. In 2010, he was awarded the coveted Sangeet Natak Akademi - India's national honour for musicians under 35.
Lata Pada notes: "When I first heard a concert by pianist Anil Srinivasan and Carnatic vocalist Sikkil Gurucharan in Chennai two years ago, my two worlds came together. Why did I feel I was home? East and West intertwined in this experience for me - the evocative swaras of Gurucharan's raga and the dulcet notes of Anil's piano playing teased each other. We met after the performance and the seeds of a collaboration were sown right there in the busy streets of Chennai.
The two have recorded numerous albums together and were featured performers for the first-ever TED conference held in India, in Mysore (2009). Using the classical piano as a frame around the free-flowing classical South Indian voice, the duo has created a significant following; and their work has traveled the world.For a quarter century, Lata Pada has steered professional dance company Sampradaya Dance Creations - alongside Sampradaya Dance Academy - to reimagine and nurture the rich tradition of bharatanatyam, a classical South Asian dance form. Sampradaya's creative works bridge the continuum of traditional and contemporary dance and reflect the diversity of a modern world. A sampling of critical response to Sampradaya Dance Creations' previous works:
Alchemy: "Rising - Nritta is a masterpiece of speed and virtuosity... sophisticated stuffŠ In Constellation, Odedra radiates mysterious beauty." - Paula Citron, The Globe and Mail
"Taj succeeds in being as luminous and poignant as the building that inspired it."- Deirdre Kelly, CriticsAtLarge.ca
Revealed by Fire - named one of the Top Ten dance shows of the decade: "making us see bodies and space anew and moving our souls and spiritŠa healing, cathartic work" - Glenn Sumi, NOW Magazine
Shunya in New York City's Erasing Borders festival: "loved Sampradaya Dance Creations... their integrity as an ensemble, their shared rhythmic acuity... Lata Pada understands how to give an overall rhythmic shapeŠ music and dance felt tightly married." - Alastair Macaulay, The New York Times
Photo Credit: Srivatsa Shandaliya