‘Women Who Dare’ | Performances at The Queen’s House, 8 Mar

Friday 8 March 2024, 10am to 4:30pm
The Great Hall, The Queen’s House, Greenwich

Free but ticketed

We were invited by the Royal Museums Greenwich to to perform at their celebration of International Women’s Day, Women Who Dare – a creative retreat that honours the spirit of boldness and courage in women, in collaboration with South Asian arts collective, COMMONGROUND&.

On the 8th of March, the Queen’s House in Greenwich bustled with with storytelling, performances, talks and workshops. The event took inspiration from the life of Zeenat Mahal, the last Empress of the Mughal Empire and wife of Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal Emperor. Royal Museums Greenwich has recently acquired a miniature of Zeenat Mahal, which is on display in the Queen’s House.

The audience got an opportunity to immerse themselves in the regal grandeur of Mughal period in Indian history where art and artists found a special place. One such artform is Kathak. Regarded as one of the eight forms of Indian classical dances, Kathak originated in Northern India over 2000 years ago, with beginnings traditionally attributed to the traveling bards known as Kathakars or storytellers. It is highlighted by strong footwork, pirouettes & facial expressions. The dance style has survived and evolved over many centuries especially during the Bhakti movement, but it particularly flourished under the royal patronage of Mughal emperors. For a day, the Great Hall at The Queen’s House was transformed into a Mughal court, where we presented two Kathak compositions performed by artists, Jesal Patel and Seema Patel.

Firstly, a tarana composed and sung by Ashit Desai and music produced by Gauri Sharma Tripathi. This tarana explains the beauty of the rhythm through various movements and combinations of rhythmic phrases and stances. It is a traditional Kathak piece that showcases graceful movements, intricate footwork, and fast pirouettes.

Next up another tarana produced and composed by Maulik Shah. It is a fast-paced composition based on the melodic elements inspired by Persian and Arabic phonemes. The music is characterised by repetition of certain phrases and high-speed percussion accompaniments.

Fabulous! Beautiful! Exhilarating to watch!

Audience member

Excellently executed work in unison.

Audience member

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