“I have always believed that Indian classical dance has the ability to free the past from its shackles, which would allow the ‘past’ to then transform into ‘myth’.” – Akram
Our first Classical Intensive was immensely fulfilling. We curated a bespoke 5-day programme with Akram and Mavin Khoo, inviting highly trained Indian classical dancers (Kathak and Bharatanatyam) who had a particular interest in developing classical choreography with a contemporary sensibility. We met such dedicated and inquisitive dancers/observers who we learnt a great deal from.
The participants had a unique opportunity to explore classical excerpts from Akram Khan Company repertoire. Akram himself led the Kathak repertory, whilst the Bharatanatyam rep was led by Mavin Khoo. Both workshops were accompanied by live musicians: Pirashanna Thevarajah, Chitra Poornima, BC Manjunath and Aditya Prakash.
At the end of each day, a Dialogue Session gathered both teams (Kathak & Bharatanatyam) together to discuss and expand on themes relating to contemporary approaches of tradition, classicism and myths as embodied tools to carry on heritage and legacy.
Rasika Kumar, a bharatanatyam dancer based in the San Francisco Bay Area has written a compelling reflection as an observer during our Classical Intensive. Read it on her blog, here.