BARAYE-Woman. Life. Freedom
I and the entire crew feel honoured to have been able to dance to this beautiful song by Shervin Hajipour who was arrested within 2 days of releasing his song on Instagram. Each #baraye is a call out to bring awareness to the human rights violations in Iran. We hope our work will amplify the voice of the movement in Iran.
Premiere: MARCH 2023
I made a conscious decision to come work in the United States. The social, cultural, educational perspectives were different. I needed to think differently to understand fully the functioning of systems and relationships. I met more strong and beautiful women from different countries and cultures.
Some written off by society and some worshiped as role models.
Each one of them hid a story behind their bodily exteriors.
Each one of them had a perspective on their lives as well as others.
Each one was right!
Premiered: MARCH 2014
KALAPRAYANAM-journey in time & space
The intricate rhythms, different time signatures and myriad spatial formations in this dance are intended to communicate how life itself is a journey: at times random, at times fixed, at times fluid, and at times firm.
The piece begins with slow languorous movements interlaced with equally slow but terse movements. It then moves on to the rudiments of Bharatanatyam; simple strikes, placements and glances that get progressively more complex. Groups of dancers execute the same movement at the same time but at different time intervals.
As the dancers weave patterns in space they are also playing with Kala or time, who at the end, defines each dancer’s destiny. How we respond to the dictates of Kala, defines the path our lives will take.
Premiered on June 2009 (prelude in May 2005)
JATHISWARAM - Ranjani
Music composition - Meera Krishna
BINDIS & BRAIDS-Struggles on 1st generation Indian Americans
Written by teenagers
Composed by teenagers
This a choreographic presentation on the challenges faced by 2nd generation Indian Americans is a result of many months of brainstorming in my weekly dance classes with my teenaged students. We talked about struggles, joys, pains and frustrations. My shishya Astha Soni wrote the script and another shishya of mine, Vennela Kadavakollu took her first leap into experimenting with creating music under my guidance. It was such a heart-warming project and I loved creating costumes for the two personalities in one as they adapted to life balancing two cultures and expectations.
This work is a representation of the struggles faced by 2nd generation Indian Americans immigrants who walk the narrow tightrope between the two cultures. It is a hopeful piece about what could change to create a smoother “growing up” for children of first generation immigrants in the US across nationalities.Premiere: APRIL 2021
ANNOTATING EMOTIONS & ERAS
I was grateful to use the movement and voice of artists such as Meera Krishna and Vidya Sekhar as well as percussionist Emam in this exciting venture.
Premiered on APRIL 2015
Laya SamvAd - Rhythmic Conversations
“Rhythmic Conversations or Laya Samvaad" was born out of the chronic lack of local Bharatanatyam musicians. As dancers, we were limited by the pre-recorded music we could obtain from India. This meant not being able to work on new productions locally and improvise on stage.
As I pondered on the idea of a new production, I thought, why not have the dancers do nattuvangam and speak out the jathis for other dancers? Why not have a challenge-response sequence performed by the dancers themselves? That is how Laya Samvaad was born.
"Laya Samvaad does not have boundaries except for that of a rhythm pattern. What you see at one performance cannot be considered complete. It is ever-growing, constantly evolving depending on the dancer and the respondent.”
Premiered on June 2009 (repeat shows in 2009-2012)
VARNAM- Shanthala Devi
This was my first attempt at creating a fully home-grown varnam including poetry and konnukol composition. I learnt a lot about how such incredibly complex pieces take shape and why.
The varnam is based on a Kannada fiction novel, by Dr. K.V. Iyer. The novel tells the story of a 12th century queen Shantala Devi, who is immortalized in the architectural wonders at Belur and Halebid, small towns in southern Indian state of Karnataka.
Raga: Poorvikalyani | Tala: Adi |
Lyrics: Nagashree Yagati & Dr. Gayathri Ashok
Music Composition: Dr. Meera Krishna |
Dance & Jathi Composition: Dr. Joyce Paul Siamak
SAM LUMINOUS - Site specific Art
Dancers - Vilasini, Shalini, Meera
Vocalist - Ganga
Music - Meera Krishna
Premiered 2011 (repeat shows 2012)