Gifted performers share Hindu inspired dance both earthly and divine

1-tukre4Catch Tukre’ at Riverside Theatres, Parramatta, while you can. Part of Form Dance Projects and Riverside’s Dance Bites 2015, Tukre’ is the work of Australian choreographer and performer Rhagav Handa, left, of Indian heritage, who is trained in modern and indigenous contemporary dance. As the performance unfolds, Rhagav tells a story of his forebears who were jewellery makers in India. They worked with molten metals and gem cutters.  From a simple beginning, where he lights a flame, his arms and hands move with increasing speed and precision through planes and angles corresponding with their work. At the same time, his movement draws on the circular and linear patterns of traditional Kathak dance.

Gradually he introduces dialogue between himself and video images of his mother. While you are learning about the cultural traditions within family, you are discovering his warmth and gentle humour. As a gay man, he 1-tukre1doesn’t correspond to traditional expectations. Rhagav embraces his audience in sharing his story and reveals an open and natural charm. As the story progresses, lighting and sound highlight the uniqueness and speed of his movement. A wonderful rolling and twisting of his hands accelerates in a shaft of light as he crosses the stage. Tukre’ is only on until Saturday, May 2. Bookings – click here. Photos of Raghav by Gregory Lorenzutti.

At the end of the month comes another dance program at Riverside rich with the traditions of Hindu culture. Lingalayam Dance Company, under the artistic direction of Anandavalli, will present Dances of Divinity in partnership with musical director Aravinth Kumarasamy, who is now artistic director of Aparas Arts Singapore. It is a welcome reunion. Aravinth worked with Lingalayam and a live orchestra for five years from 1999. Anandavalli says, “During that time the company dancers gained a deep understanding of the integral role of the musical score. It ties1-Dances of Divinity-Riverside 30th May 2015 together the nuances of a particular theme – it creates a platform for the choreographic vocabulary and for the production as a whole.

“It was an era that saw the Lingalayam Dance Company create some of its most profound works. It saw us gain a place as one of Australia’s mainstream dance companies – and this was in no small measure due to the musical brilliance of Aravinth.” Guest artist in this new collaboration is male choreographer and dancer Mohanapriyan, left, of Aparas Arts Singapore. Dances of Divinity brings to life the lyricism of the Hindu dancing deities. For one night only, May 30, bookings 8839 3399.

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