Kala Vandanam premieres
Ritu - The Seasons
Anne Simley Theater at Hamline Uni, 7:30pm
January 28, 2017 St. Paul, MN
December 18, 2016
Suchita Sairam and Kala Vandanam present premiere of RITU - THE SEASONS, an original Bharatanatyam work, exploring the cycles of the seasons, and how nature and life form an intricate, interwoven web.
Date: January 28, 2017
Venue: Anne Simley Theater at Hamline University, 1530 W Taylor Ave, St. Paul, MN 55104
I bow to the wheel of six seasons
Cycles of birth and death
Each season bestows gifts
Enchanting our hearts
Bringing abundance to our earth
At Kala Vandanam, while we love to celebrate the traditional foundation of our beautiful art form, it is also refreshing to jump outside of mythological and storyline-based content to experiential content as the basis for choreography and music. Enlivened by how the seasons are perceived across cultures and across time, the production is inspired by Antonio Vivaldi’s beautiful 18th century Le Quattro Stagioni (Four Seasons) and Kalidasa’s brilliant 4th century Sanskrit poetry, Ritu Samhara. Vivaldi’s innovation of “program music,” introducing each movement with poetry, also serves as an important note. With poetry from Ritu Samhara as the backbone for the imagery, and Vivaldi’s “program music” element and composition style, including the signature Allegro-Adagio-Allegro framework as inspirations for the music, we have brought our interpretation to the stage.
The primary goal was to give aspiring Twin Cities Bharatanatyam dancers a platform to be a part of a professionally produced original production, like their peers in theater and ballet regularly have. To give them a full experience, they have been through a rigorous audition process that included a panel of highly accomplished panelists from across the United States. Though these young aspirants are trained in a solo art form, they are blossoming together, artistically and personally, as an ensemble.
The creation of Ritu - The Seasons has been generously supported by the Knight Foundation and friends of Kala Vandanam.
Photos: Rick Ulku
Ritu – The Seasons is performed by a cast of aspiring Twin Cities Bharatanatyam dancers to a professionally recorded original soundtrack.
Concept, Choreography and Artistic Direction: Suchitra Sairam, Kala Vandanam, St. Paul, MN
Music Composition: Jyothishmathi Sheejith, Sahrdaya Foundation, Chennai, India
Sound Engineering and Design: Sai Shravanam, Resound India Studios, Chennai, India
Direction: Dipankar Mukherjee, Pangea World Theater, Minneapolis, MN
Poetry Transcreation: Meena Natarajan, Pangea World Theater, Minneapolis, MN
Sanskrit Lyrics: Ritu Samhara by Kalidasa, and original poetry by Dr. S. Kannan, Chennai
Musicians: Vocal - Jyothishmati Sheejith, mridangam - V. Vedakrishnaram, tabla - S. Ganapathi, flute - J.B. Sruthi Sagar, violin - Easwar Ramakrishnan, sitar - L. Kishore Kumar, konakkol (vocal percussion) - Sheejith Krishna and Suchitra Sairam, nattuvangam talam & narration - Suchitra Sairam
Advance purchase (online) 20$, at the door (credit card only) 30$
For more information: http://www.kalavandanam.com/event/ritu-jan2017/
TRAILER (30 sec) - https://vimeo.com/194687219
TRAILER (2 min) - https://vimeo.com/194686626
Suchitra Sairam is a highly committed Bharatanatyam and nattuvangam artist, and received foundational training in the Kalakshetra style from Padmini Chari. Suchitra has continued advanced training in Bharatanatyam under the Dhananjayans, and (late) M.V. Narasimhachari and M. Vasanthalakshmi. Her artistic work has been received with appreciation, and is noted for both its adherence to her gurus’ exacting standards and its depth in technique and expressional dance. Suchitra founded Kala Vandanam in 2002, where she personally teaches every student and continues her choreographic explorations for solo and ensemble Bharatanatyam works. She is the recipient of a 2015 Knight Arts Challenge grant from the Knight Foundation, a 2016 Next Step grant from the McKnight Foundation, and a 2017 Folk and Traditional Arts grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Suchitra holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from MIT, and an MBA from the University of Texas-Dallas.
Kala Vandanam adheres to the Kalakshetra style of Bharatanatyam, which is known for its geometry and precision of technique, subtle expressional dance, and keen sense of aesthetics, Kala Vandanam looks to expand creativity within the framework of this exquisite dance form, retaining its traditional roots while contributing to its evolution as a “living” performance art. Kala Vandanam is also committed to propagating Indian performing arts through hosting performances and workshops by internationally acclaimed artists for the community to enjoy.