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Regional Previews Announced Before London Premiére For New Pagrav Dance Show

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Regional audiences get first chance to see Pagrav Dance Company's new work Kattam Katti, before London premiere.

Regional Previews Announced Before London Premiére For New Pagrav Dance Show

The acclaimed company Pagrav Dance are to perform previews of their major new dance/theatre show at Milton Keynes' MK Gallery on 7 October, Bedford University Theatre on 20 October 2021 and Watford Palace Theatre on 12 November.

Kattam Katti is created by Urja Desai Thakore (recently a BBC Young Dancer choreographer) it transports its audience to Uttarayan, the world-famous kite festival that takes place in Gujarat, North India. The show vividly brings to life tales of competition, danger, excitement and unity wonderfully evoking both the solemnity and delight of this hugely important celebration.

On 18 and 19 November Kattam Katti has its world premiére performances in London with two nights at the prestigious Sadler's Wells' theatre. It will also undertake further British dates in 2022.

Every January millions of people from different cities, religions and social classes come together to fly kites in a unique event marking the transition from winter into spring. Whilst it is a joyous event, Uttarayan is also ruthlessly competitive. The aim is to fly your kite higher than anybody else's. Competitors coat their kite strings with glass pigment that while beautiful on the surface will also cut the strings of other kites. Wounds to participants are not unknown and penthouse-owning rich people make full use their advantages by launching their kites from high rooftops. Kattam Katti draws parallels with society's inequalities in India, the UK and around the world.

Kattam Katti (Cutting Through) is a neo classical work with a contemporary feel and strong roots in the South Asian dance tradition. It features original music, performed live, by four musicians who interact with and move around the four dancers. See a very short trailer at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vhzr7AzLpdE&ab_channel=UrjaThakore

Founded in 2005 by acclaimed dancer, choreographer and teacher Urja Desai Thakore, Pagrav Dance Company creates work rooted in classical Indian Kathak styles, fused with contemporary storytelling and design. The company is also highly committed to nurturing the next generation by providing a supportive platform for emerging dancers.

'Today's there are many deeply divided societies around the world,' said Urja 'I used kite flying and the festival as a metaphor for the inequalities of privilege I see in those societies and in the corporate world. It is also based on my personal observations of the festival and Gujarati heritage in general. I hope that by addressing such universal themes in this way we can introduce Asian dance to new audiences from diverse cultures'.

Tapping into the chaos, creativity and colour of the kite festival, the company brings to life the excitement of Uttarayan with lyricism, drama and exquisite technique. The work is created and performed by a new generation of British dancers of Indian heritage, accompanied by live musicians who collectively illustrate the highs, lows, loves and losses of lives that are lived out among the festivities. Kattam Katti is suitable for all ages and backgrounds.

At an early sharing dance critic Maya Pinder said 'This is'a striking and exquisite work, Kattam Katti is the antidote we all need in the current climate'

Kattam Katti features dramaturgy by Lou Cope, set design by Simon Daw and lighting by Hector Murray.

Co-commissioned by Sadler's Wells it is funded by Arts Council England and Milton Keynes Council with partners Cambridge Junction, Bedford University, Akademi, SED, Gem Arts, Bedfordshire Dance and Bedford Creative Arts.

Pagrav are also hosting kite-making workshops at each venue that Kattam Katti visits alongside dance workshops in local schools.


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