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Shana Simmons & Naina Roy Kathak Present IN/BETWEEN Dance Performance

In-person live dance performance: Blending the histories and styles of modern and Kathak dance, audiences experience a new journey. 

Shana Simmons & Naina Roy Kathak Present IN/BETWEEN Dance Performance

IN/BEtween is a first-time collaboration between Shana Simmons and Naina Roy manifesting in a 1 hour long show. The two dance artists will be exploring and comparing each other's art forms through research, discussion, and studio time together, highlighting similarities and differences between the styles, histories, and methods of teaching.

The production will feature both collaborators as well as Shana Simmons Dance company collaborators and Naina Roy Kathak company dancers in a non-stop journey. Their creative vision will take the audience through an experiential night of rhythm, story, live music, and dance. Focusing on the negative spaces and microbeats in Kathak's traditional rhythmic patterns, the duo will expand this focus making connections to how dance is getting passed down generationally and how this might be changing into the future. What does it feel like to sit in the in-between space of forms, personal growth, and moments in time?

The duo first met at the NACHMO presentation in Pittsburgh in 2019 where Simmons was a panelist and Roy was a presenter. Simmons was immediately impressed with Roy's professionalism, mastery of the art of Kathak, and beauty of performance. Roy was injured at the time and had decided at the last minute to improvise in a lecture demonstration format, also speaking to the strong knowledge of Kathak and improvisational performance ability Roy possesses. When Simmons approached Roy to collaborate on multiple fronts, Roy jumped at the opportunity to work with Simmons. Roy admires Simmons' artistry and her innovative leadership style. Roy was attracted to her innate purpose to promote dance forms from around the globe and to create new languages. The collaboration began this past summer when the duo presented works both separate and together on a variety of platforms: the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's Open Air Series and the Point Park Playhouse's Inside/Out Series. In both wide proscenium and intimate café style performances, Simmons and Roy worked together improvisationally to educate audiences about the forms of movement.

It is the duo's goal to both entertain and educate audiences about the art forms while potentially creating something entirely new. Audiences can expect to see driving live music, both traditional modern and Kathak dance works as well as a fusion of styles. IN/BEtween hopes to tap into the emotion of where we are in the dance timeline, hovering between the old traditions which are being lost to technology and the new generations of dancers' creative ideas. This hour-long journey is sure to be an ebb and flow of emotion, passion, technique, and artistry.

This production is supported by the Heinz Small Arts Initiative.


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