Modern Dance and Kathak


9973f2425ece2c96dae4ef02c9d83a4f-2Synergy, or shared meaning, is a fusion show that combines the traditional aspects of kathak with the innovative features of modern dance. It is presented by Nrityodaya Kathak Academy in La Mirada.

Under Bhairavi Kumar’s direction, students learned the grace and precision associated with kathak, while Ann Stabolepszy, faculty member at Cal Poly Pomona, introduced dancers to a very different world of modern dance. Thus, trained in two unique areas of dance, young performers will perform with the Cal Poly Dance Ensemble.

The show is made more spectacular with music and expertise of musicians like Mayookh Bhaumik, tabla player composer of music for this production. Bhaumik trained under celebrated gurus Jnan Prakash Ghosh, Sabir Khan, and kathak legend Birju Maharaj. He will also accompany the dancers on the stage. Sougata Banerjee, is a vocalist from the Pt. Jasraj School of Music. Dinuk Wijeratne, is a composer and pianist with training from the Julliard School of Music. He will accompany the group on the piano, along with Veereshwar Madri, who will play the violin and dilruba. This special union of music and dance has resulted in a production that is more than just a traditional show: it is perhaps a personal representation of every dancer on that stage since all of them are Indian Americans learning to balance two unique cultures. The first half of the program will include the nine rasas presented through both kathak and modern dance. The second half will have a depiction of four basic elements: earth, water, wind, and fire. When these elements are abused, they spell disaster for all living beings, says Kumar, artistic director of the Nrityodaya Kathak Academy, who has choreographed the dance to depict that result.

Kumar says that this is her first fusion project with modern dance. “It is very interesting because you expand your vision to other cultures and learn lots of different techniques of not only modern dance but also collaborated music that has been composed especially for this event,” she adds.

—Smita Garg

Friday, June 23, 7:30 p.m. La Mirada Performing Arts Center, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. $30, $50. (909) 630-8558, (213) 841-2226.

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