Friday, June 1, 2012 Home

Multicultural Katha

One of the things I love about living in the Twin Cities is how easy it is to expand my cultural horizons. Often I don’t even need to leave town. 

This weekend Katha Dance Theatre celebrated their 25th anniversary. While the company’s focus is the classical Kathak dance of north India, they also collaborate with dancers from a broad range of cultures. These collaborations have resulted in fascinating new dances that build on an intertwined mix of traditional roots from around the world.

Tonight’s performance is a retrospective, but with a few new works tossed in for good measure. While it is a treat to watch all of the beautiful traditional dances, the masculine and feminine imagery in the dance “Ardhanariswar” (from That Tremendous World) stands out as simple and stunning. (Simply stunning.)

Things really take-off when the flamenco dancers hit the stage in the wonderfully choreographed piece “Journey.” Set in an airport, the new work is a delightful exploration of the meeting of cultures that occurs when bad weather delays several international flights.

It all makes for a lovely evening that closes with the unexpected juxtaposition of India dance and heartfelt Gospel music. This isn’t a complete surprise, as this was also the concept behind Soul to Sole, which I had the pleasure of seeing  a couple of years ago, but it gave a very different feel to the end of the evening.

It is a lovely glance into a variety of cultures, as viewed through the lens of Northern India.




This is a shot of mine from the original staging of Soul to Sole. I’m hoping for a few photos of this weekend's performance from a friend – if I get them I’ll add them to this post.

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