Akademi presents: Archita Kumar and Bhagya Lakshmi Thyagarajan @ Rich Mix, 2nd November 2012, 7pm
Rich Mix 35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road E1 6LA
*£5 ticket offer- No more than 10 tickets can be purchased by one person. £10 on door, £8 student + concessions. Call: 020 7613 7498 or visit: http://www.richmix.org.uk/
The programme features performances by acclaimed South Asian dance artists: Archita Kumar and Bhagya Lakshmi Thyagarajan exploring their own practice and inspirations. Up-beat, downbeat, elegant, energetic, cool, hot, this programme is a vibrant mosaic of choreography designed for the 21st century.
Akademi is a cutting-edge organisation that works to enhance excellence in the practice of South Asian dance in Britain. This performance is part of the daredevas programme a collaboration between Rich Mix and Akademi.
Archita Kumar is a UK-born Kathak performer. She has been featured in several of Akademi’s productions including Sufi-Zen, Bells, Daredevas, Ekatra. Past performances have included the Mayor of London’s Olympic Cultural Festival, Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Trafalgar Square Festival, Pagrav Dance Company’s Baharan and TV appearances such as Star Television’s Simply Star.
Archita’s training in dance began at home under the tuition of her mother Gopana Kumar. She then went on to formal training in Kathak in London at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan under the tutorship of Jayshree Acharya and Abhay Shankar Mishra, subsequently carrying on her practise under the guidance of Urja Thakore. Archita continues to attend master classes conducted by well-known gurus including Pt Birju Maharaj, Saswati Sen, Geetanjali Lal, Aditi Mangaldas, and has travelled to India to study with Kumudini Lakhia at the Kadamb institute in Ahmedabad.
Archita has also trained in Odissi with Shankar Behera of Mumbai, in Hindustani vocals with Pandit Vishwa Prakash and in sitar with Gaurav Mazumdar. She has also studied classical piano and has a degree in biomedical science from the University College London.
Bhagya Lakshmi Thyagarajan
Bhagya Lakshmi is a Bharatanatyam dancer who is from a family of artists. Bhagya Lakshmi started her training in Bharatanatyam with her father and later on moved to Chennai to complete her dance training in the eminent institute of Kalakshetra in Tamilnadu, India. She has been living in the UK since 2010 where she performs and conducts classes. She has also performed in countries across the globe including; Bangkok, Singapore, France, Spain, India and the UK
Archita Kumar performs:
Taruni is a pure technical piece that begins with the vilambit (slow) tempo of teentaal (a 16-beat time cycle), taking the audience on a journey that explores the various nuances of the taal. The second half of the piece is a tarana (vocal composition) in raag bageshree and showcases the more dynamic rhythmic and movement compositions found in Kathak.
Music: Archita Kumar; tabla: Sujit Mukherjee. Choreography: Archita Kumar and Kumudini Lakhia.
Thumri "heri sakhi"
Thumri is genre of north-Indian classical vocal that can be characterised by lyrics that tend to describe romantic love. Often in Kathak, it is the love for the divine lord Krishna that is depicted. In this particular thumri the heroine is complaining to her friends about the mischievous Krishna, giving examples of various situations that interrupt her daily chores. She tells them how he blocks her path on her way to fetch water from the well, not letting go of her hand and importuning her on other occasions. This thumri portrays the personality of a very young heroine, with her innocent reactions revealing a very sweet and naïve nature.
Choreography and music: Pandit Birju Maharaj
This stuti (a spiritual invocation) is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Durga. Popular images of the goddess depict her to have multiple arms, each grasping a different weapon. She is shown to be totally fearless, riding a tiger ready to fight the battle against evil, personified as the powerful demon Mahishasur. Durga, with her long, untied hair is a symbol of female power and this goddess is widely celebrated during the annual festival of Navratri.
Choregraphy: Geetanjali Lal. Music: traditional
Bhagya Lakshmi Thyagarajan performs:
This is an invocatory item performed to show gratitude to all the guru's and to take their blessing.
Music: Shankar tucker,
Choreography: Bhagya Lakshmi
This piece is in praise of the lord of dance, Lord Nataraja, describing him and his many forms.
Music: Sudha Raghunathan
Choreography: Ragam Revathy
Jagan Mohanane -Krishna Ragam
This piece is a keertanam where the dancer portrays the leela’s of Lord Krishna
Music: Krishnaveli Lakshmanan
This piece is a padam in behag ragam where the nayika is very upset with Krishna because he is trying to talk to her and take her into his embrace without her consent.
Music: Ragam Behag
Choreography: Santosh Menon
This piece is an iyem descrbing the goddess Kali. Kali is portrayed mostly in two forms: the popular four-armed form and the ten-armed Mahakali form. In both of her forms, she is described as being black in colour but is most often depicted as blue in popular Indian art. Her eyes are described as red with intoxication and in absolute rage, her hair is shown disheveled, small fangs sometimes protrude out of her mouth, and her tongue is lolling.