Over the last three years, Akram and Mavin Khoo have co-curate a dance programme for Indian classical music festival, Darbar.
For this year’s curation, they both wanted to centre programming artists and events that would give audiences the opportunity to observe, learn and be inspired by great artists. They’ve decided in true festival spirit, to fill both Sadler’s Wells Theatre and Lilian Baylis with sound and movement.
To start the four days of festivities, Akram’s guru Padmashri Guru Pratap Pawar will join Mavin in the Rosebery Room at Sadler’s Wells to share his experience of training Akram as his young disciple and what it’s like continuing to dance a mature dance. In this free event, he will also demonstrate elements of kathak accompanied by musicians Pandit Vishwa Prakash and Pandit Sanju Sahai. Register your attendance for Genesis: an evening with Padmashri Guru Pratap Pawar, here.
Following the talk, we have Aditi Managaldas taking Abhinaya to the Lilian Baylis. She will be presenting three short works exploring language and poetry through Movement, Mudra and Abhinaya. She’s joined on stage by live musicians, you can grab the last few seats here.
Sunday 24 seees Nahid Siddiqui take centre in the Baylis to present Stories of Thumris. Nahid will be performing with live music to explore Thumri, a sensuous style from the north of India. The tickets are sold out for this one performance but you can check out Nahid in rehearsals below, for an insight of what she’s showcasing.
Following the weekend performances, we head into the main house at Sadler’s to exemplify the main theme for this years dance curation: Ensemble work. Mavin has collaborated with Malaysia’s Temple of Fine Arts to stage three scenes from the epic Ramayana. The evening opens with a music concert performed by an all female collective and leads into an ensemble of eight male dancers performing bharatanatyam to carry the narrative. Grab your tickets here.
Odissi is typically performances as a solo art form but for the final performance of Darbar Festival, Madhavi Mudgal brings seven dancers to challenge the traditional framework. They will present six distinctive pieces from her repertoire, some of which you can see in rehearsal in the video gallery below. You can secure your seats for the show on Tuesday 26 November, here.
Akram and Mavin wanted to create an ambience in the foyer space ahead of each main house show. On Monday 25 November, you can find Chakardar: Power of Tabla enticing you into the theatre from 18.30. On Tuesday 26 from 18.00, Raga Room’s Veena, Violin and Venu will open your evening in foyer before you see Madhavi Mudgal’s ensemble take the stage.