Tag Archives: Impulse

An impulse to dance. Again

Hofesh Shechter Company: Political Mother

Hofesh Shechter Company: Political Mother

We’re set to go. Over the next three months India will be enjoying the best of contemporary dance from the UK. Not just by watching the performances which are a rare treat, but also by interacting with performers through a range of activities planned with dance organisations in India and young people across the country, including workshops, master classes and networking events.

All this is part of Impulse 2, the British Council’s new season of contemporary dance. The season is built around 15 performances by leading UK dance companies — Hofesh Shechter Company, Scottish Dance Theatre and Avant Garde Dance.

The first series of performances — Political Mother by Hofesh Shechter Company — brings the sound and feel of a rock concert with gritty, fast-moving visual movements and is described as “especially appealing for young people (14+) because of its fast moving, highly physical choreography”. Watching this video would definitely make anyone agree.

The tour launches in Hyderabad on 5 September and travels to Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai. Find out more about show dates at www.britishcouncil.in/impulse2.

In October, the Scottish Dance Theatre, Scotland’s national contemporary dance company, returns to India (they were here as part of Impulse held in 2012 along with Akram Khan Company, Aakash Odedra Company, Protein and Champloo, where we took contemporary UK dance to seven cities over eight months). The tour will be from 1-11 October 2014 and the performances will be held in Chennai, Bengaluru, Delhi and Kolkata.

In November, we have Avant Garde Dance, a London based company pushing the boundaries of hip-hop and contemporary dance. The tour will be from 1-21 November 2014 and the performances will be held in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai.

Lots to look forward to. Follow this blog if you want to keep abreast of everything that’s happening around Impulse 2. And do send in your comments and thoughts.

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Akram Khan Company India Tour 2012; by Farooq Chaudhry

In September 2012, Akram Khan Company undertook a six-city tour of India with its dance production Gnosis. The company performed in Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi. The tour was a partnership between Akram Khan Company, the British Council and the Prakriti Foundation in India. It was an intense schedule whereby the company spent three days in each city – a travel day, technical set up day and performance day. It was Akram Khan’s first tour to India after a gap of nine years. The programme was a balance of classical kathak and modern dance. After the success of Akram’s section in the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony and his ever-increasing status as an internationally renowned artist, the expectations in India were high.

When the company first toured India in 2003, the audience was of an affluent high status fashionable crowd, as such one gets at major opera houses in Europe. This time around the audience was much more diverse. It was great to see many young people, students, and established and fledgling artists. The audience was much more knowledgeable and enthusiastic than previously, and it was an immense pleasure to share our work with them. They were more in line with the audience demographics we get in London and Europe, and
it was very reassuring to see how India is embracing more contemporary expression and accepting the fact that it is more relevant to its evolving culture. In my opinion, Gnosis performance has attracted more attention because it was a mixed programme of classical and contemporary dance, Akram’s enhanced status and the programme was part of a touring festival arranged by Prakriti foundation. All venues were suitable for showcasing our work though there still remain issues over the availability of good quality technical resources.

Akram and I conducted workshops as part of the programme. Arts managers and artists mainly attended the workshops. That’s no surprise because of the workshop programme focusing on dance producing and dance creating. It was a real mix of experienced professionals and those who have just entered the market. I believe the expectations of those that attended were realistic and it was an enjoyable experience to share processes with those who were hungry to learn. As I said earlier the primary expectations of participants was to understand how they could develop their own creative process, rethink the best models for managing their organisations, being better leaders and thinking how best their work could be positioned and developed in the context of a “market.”

We did not really have time to establish any collaborative opportunities on the tour apart from hiring a local musician who appeared to learn a lot from working with Akram and his company. We did however meet with a very promising young choreographer called Deepak Shivaswamy. He had just won a choreography award and we decided to support him by inviting and paying for him to attend a creative process with Akram in Europe and to mentor him through the creation of a new work he is making. Aside from Deepak we met many
talented artists and we certainly sense the tour has paved the way for future collaborations.

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Gearing up for Champloo

champloo changed againAfter an immensely successful run of 4 tours from the UK, we are eagerly awaiting the last and final tour by Champloo, who with their explosive & unique production are a fitting end to this exciting season of dance titled impulse.

February will be a bittersweet month for us as we gear up for one of the biggest dance companies from the UK to hit Indian shores.

Bristol based Champloo is one of UK’s leading B-Boying dance companies – founded in 2007 by Wilkie Branson. Highly regarded for his dance film work, White Caps represents Wilkie Branson’s first major live work. Integrating lyrical film with explosive breakdance, White Caps is a multimedia experience that follows the journey of two young men as they embark on an epic and gruelling personal adventure.

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Protein Dance Company – Performances

Protein

3 big screens that create a wall like backdrop. Facebook, Emails, Twitter.. The ever familiar sound effects of an email pinging in your inbox, a facebook notification, people liking your status, your photos, the awkwardness of online dating sites and the reality of the people you meet online.. All this and much more formed the crux of Protein’s LOL.

An extremely well written, witty take on the social mores in an internet age, LOL was performed by versatile actors/dancers who kept the audience engaged and connected with their quick moves and breathtaking dialogues.

Director Luca Silvestrini also made appropriate changes in the script to connect to the audience of the city they were performing in with words like Dosa and Big Bazaar featuring prominently.

Protein is a must watch performance for all internet users. It makes you laugh yet think at the same time.

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Scottish Dance Theatre and us – an experience we will never forget.

By – Mokshaa Akkamma Kuttayya, Class 12, Abacus Montessori School, Chennai

Part of a Scottish Theatre group from Dundee in Scotland worked with us for about an hour and fifteen minutes. The energy in them and their enthusiasm was contagious and all of us participated actively. They made us do some movements to loosen up and we also played some games that involved these movements. They then split us into groups and made us draw patterns on the floor across the room and also use the movements from earlier in the pattern. We also had to be coordinated within one group and use signs from each other as cue to change movements. At the end of the session they performed a small part of their piece for us in which energy they had was quite mind blowing.

Overall it was an amazing experience because none of us had ever attended any workshop or session like it. Everybody enjoyed it, even the boys (which is saying something, although they will deny it). It was interesting to see the way a dance/ theatre group works and their style of dancing was really vibrant and refreshing.

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Scottish Dance Theatre

A group of warm, friendly and down to earth people who get up on stage and with intense physicality and fluid grace perform to a crowd of more than 1000. Just another dance show, you may think. But thats where you are wrong. With every consequent move they transport us to another world where we connect with the very real and human emotions that they portray. Performance is not just their strong point. With a heavy outreach programme, traveling around the city in pouring rain and maddening traffic, Scottish Dance Theatre managed to wiggle their way into this city’s heart with their commitment to teaching and sharing their love and passion for dance and movement.

Arts is supposed connect people and encourage knowledge sharing and Scottish Dance Theatre does exactly that. If the rest of the tour follows the pattern of Chennai, then it wont be just a city that loves them but an entire country.

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Impulse – a new movement in dance

season of UK Contemporary dance

Impulse – the influence of a particular feeling or mental state. What better word to describe a dynamic, versatile season of dance. A season that explores all the avenues of dance and dance performance including the process of putting together a production.

Performance, teaching, artistic connections and building relationships. All of these are key factors in “impulse”.

Right from the conceptualisation stage to the launch and process, impulse has resembled a flexible rubber ball, bending and shifting shape to accept and incorporate new ideas, thoughts and processes in the field of contemporary dance.

A unique opportunity for young dancers, choreographers and arts organisations to meet, interact with and learn from established and world renowned contemporary dancers from the UK, impulse is setting the trend for a new movement in dance in India. The time is ripe for change and growth in the dance sector in India and impulse comes at the right time to feed and nurture young minds in contemporary dance.

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