Malaysian, Australian artistes combine to re-interpret Indian dance

December 10th, 2008 - 1:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Dec 10 (IANS) Acclaimed Malaysian dancer-choreographer Ramli Ibrahim is collaborating with internationally-renowned dancer Anandavalli from Australia in a contemporary dance work called Rasa Unmasked.The performance premieres in Sydney, Australia, in March next year before an international tour to Malaysia, Singapore and India.

Ramli and his Sutra Dance Theatre and Anandavalli and her Lingalayam Dance Company will be showcasing their skills in Odissi, Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi, The New Straits Times said Wednesday.

They have combined their Indian classical dance vocabularies to choreograph a bold and vibrant new work, underscored by composer/musician Alex Dea’s beautiful compositions.

Eight dancers will perform, accompanied by a cross-cultural orchestra, led by Alex on traditional Javanese vocals and rebab along with an Indian carnatic vocalist and Indian classical percussionist.

“Ramli and I have different expertise of Indian classical dance and will share our knowledge to explore the nine key sentiments of emotional landscape,” said Anandavalli.

She is one of those privileged few who have had that rare opportunity to be taught and nurtured by the foremost gurus in the field of Bharathanatyam and Kuchipudi, two of the seven classical dance forms of India.

Anandavalli retired from performing five years ago to focus on choreography and direction.

“The integrity and passion that Ramli and Alex bring to their art forms transcend the knowledge and barriers passed on to them by their gurus,” she said.

“It was this that awakened in me the desire to dance again,” she said.

For 2,000 years, India’s aesthetic theory has been underpinned by the Rasa theory - mapping out the core human emotions into nine main rasa: sringara (love), veera (heroism), karuna (compassion), adbhuta (wonderment), hasya (mirth), bhaya (terror), bibhatsa (disgust), raudra (anger) and shanta (serenity).

“The Rasa Theory is generally regarded as the all-compassing aesthetic theory that underlies traditional works, not just from India but the world over,” said Ramli.

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