Friday, March 11, 2011

Arpana Dance at SCR's New Studio Series

The stated goal of SCR's new Studio Series is "to create stronger ties between arts organizations and expose audiences to the rich diversity of the local arts scene." Last night's preview of as a river featured Orange County's Indian dance organization of longstanding, Arpana Dance Company, and its artistic director Ramya Harishankar (left). It continues through Sunday.

Ramya, an internationally respected choreographer who has preserved the legacy of Indian dance by educating new generations of artists here in Southern California for many years, stepped outside her comfort zone when she married the traditional "Bharata Natyam" program that she choreographed with a second act original contemporary work utilizing traditional idioms that she partnered with Priya Srinivasan to create.

There is an altogether different kind of athleticism required in Indian dance from its Western counterparts--yet no less physically demanding. There is also a refreshing attention to smaller gestures, facial expressions and even vocalization that instills a high degree of drama and humor in both the traditional and contemporary pieces performed.

No comments: