Patanjali: Legends of Yoga and Dance Returns to Stage

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Patanjali: Legends of Yoga and Dance, which premiered in 2007, is being brought back by its artistic director, Malathi Iyengar. “Our two showings last year were very well received,” Iyengar says, who also choreographed the production. Patanjali explores the connection between dance and yoga, and is fortified by Iyengar’s years of research in the U.S. and India. “I feel this is a very unique concept where it’s an opportunity for people to see how the connections between yoga and dance work, how some of these things have come into our lives,” she says.

Dilligent students of yoga may have wondered: Where and how did yoga originate? What inspired Patanjali to write the Yoga Sutras? Iyengar attempts to answer these questions through Indian mythology. “The primal origin is Shiva,” Iyengar says. “Perhaps we’re all receiving movement and balance through him.”

The performance will include dancers from Iyengar’s Rangoli Dance Company, based in Sherman Oaks, and several guest dancers from India. Although the premise and concept of the work is Iyengar’s, she developed it alongside her dancers and the company’s music composer, Rajkumar Bharathi.

The Rangoli Foundation, established by Iyengar in 1985, works to present the visual and performing arts of India in a creative manner. The artistic director has created more than 20 full-length productions with this aim in mind.

While both the foundation and dance company are decades old and highly acclaimed, Rangoli is also a family affair. Patanjali’s stylish sets are designed by Suresh Iyengar, Malathi’s husband, and “the contemporary costumes with traditional elements” were designed by Lakshmi Iyengar, Malalthi’s daughter.

Opening the night will be Unwritten Rhythms, a unique band with musicians from India and the U.S.

Saturday, Aug. 9, 7:30 p.m. concert, 8 p.m. dance perfomance. Santa Monica College, Main Stage, 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. $20 advance ($15 students, seniors), $25 at the door. (818) 788-6860. [email protected] www.rangoli.org.

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