MusicUnitesUS hosts innovative Indian troupe

Concert in Slosberg Recital Hall at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29

Aparna Sindhoor and Anil Natyaveda of Navarasa Dance Theater

Musicians from around the world -- including Cuba, Senegal, Iran and China -- have performed at Brandeis University in the past several years through MusicUnitesUS. Now, for the first time, dancers from South Asia take the stage for this popular campus residency and concert program.

Navarasa Dance Theater devises stories for the stage using classical Bharatanatyam dance of India, Western modern dance, martial arts and contemporary text, presented with comic timing and innovative staging. The unifying element, a Boston Globe dance critic noted last year, is the “eye for originality and a skillful use of space, sending dancers into eye-catching floor patterns.”

The concert portion of the residency was listed recently by the Boston Phoenix as one of the top 10 programs of the current metropolitan Boston dance season. It will take place at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, in Slosberg Recital Hall. Tickets are $5 for students, $15 for senior citizens and members of the Brandeis faculty and staff, $20 for the general public. Purchase tickets online or call Brandeis Tickets, 781-736-3400.

Indian film composer Thomas Kottukapally will give a pre-concert talk beginning at 7 p.m. A reception after the concert will be followed by a talk-back with the artists.

For this performance, artistic director Aparna Sindhoor adapted a story by award-winning writer Mahasweta Devi for a piece about an indigenous woman’s courageous encounter with the military. Other stories in the repertoire portray encounters with entities as varied as Bob Marley, Love, and the Divine.

“What I love about this performance beyond the virtuosity and sheer beauty of the dance, is the story that each encounter brings with it,” says MusicUnitesUS director Judith Eissenberg.  “Whether you are laughing along with a visitor’s first encounter with the Marley mystique, or feel the quiet courage of Dopdi’s indomitable spirit, the physicality of the dance embodies the narrative.  As Navarasa’s dancers combine supple and sensuous motion with gravity-defying leaps, the audience can project themselves onto the stage and into the stories.”

The Times of India called  the group's performance "an experience that stunned the audience with its complexity and beauty."

MusicUnitesUS is a three-tiered program encompassing an artistic residency, a public school program, and a World Music performance series. Since the program began in 2003, the mission has been to further the understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures through music. Visit MusicUnitesUS online for the full residency schedule.

Categories: Arts

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