Report 

Akademi's summer shows thrive in full capacity in Squares across the country 
 
September 6, 2007 

India Now is a celebration of everything Indian, both past and present, to highlight the strong economic and cultural links between London and India. 
 

Akademi's Attam at the National Theatre's Watch this Space
Photo: Niroo Selva

A chilled-out Bank holiday crowd was treated to the delights of Stella Subbiah's Sankalpam Dance presentation of Attam on Monday 27th August. Presented by Akademi, the classical form of Bharatanatyam was magnificently performed to an eager and appreciative audience in Theatre Square, at the entrance of the world-renowned and prestigious venue, the National Theatre. Attam was created by Stella Subbiah. It featured dancers Marcella Cappelletti, Archana Ballai, Shreya Kumar, Sarra Whicheloe, Shrikanth Subramaniam, Magdalene Gorringe, Thushy Sivananthan, Gopika Chandradeva, Veena Sivanesan and Larah Varghese.

Watch This Space is an international cocktail of innovative street theatre, world music, breathtaking circus, installations, dance shows and classes, cabaret, club nights and magnificent spectacle. The Nationalís free outdoor summer festival runs from 6 July to 16 September. Attam was part of Watch This Space's Bank Holiday Dance Weekend.

On the South Bank in London, the National Theatre presents an eclectic mix of new plays and classics, with seven or eight productions in repertory at any one time. It aims constantly to reenergize the great traditions of the British stage and to expand the horizons of audiences and artists alike. It aspires to reflect in its repertoire the diversity of British culture. 
 

Breathtaking Bells lead the light at the Trafalgar Square Festival 2007
Photos: Pete Schiazza and Hybrid Lab

For one night only, Akademi presented Bells as part of the Mayor of London's India Now season from August 3 - 5 in London's Trafalgar Square Festival. Organised by the Greenwich & Docklands Festival, the event ran from August 2 to 19 featuring performances by artistes from the UK and Belgium. Bells, Akademi's spectacular family event brought together Kathak dancers, flying aerialists (Theater Tol) and specially commissioned bells sculptures by India's Naresh Kapuria. Choreographed by Urja Desai Thakore and Amina Khayyam, the music was composed by Niraj Chag. The audience, who sat comfortably in the square, comprised of hundreds of people, who were captivated by the breathtaking performance which started at dusk on a gentle and warm summer evening. 

Bells was part of the three-week Indian-themed Trafalgar Square Festival which commenced on the 2nd August. The famous square in the centre of London saw spectacular Indian and India-related outdoor events, part of the India Now season.

Bells was originally choreographed by Kumudini Lakhia and composition by Niraj Chag and Atul Desai. It featured performers Archita Kumar, Yuko Inoue, Manuela Benini, and Theater Tol. Theater Tol are a performing arts collective comprising of performers Lisette Henst, Alexandra Meijer, Loes Buenen, Thomas Vreriks, Stefaan Cleiren, Martine Vandervelden, Marie Goeminne, Elfje Duchateau, Amy Ericx, Thais Schonoliers and technical staff Bram Bohez, Yvan Meyer and Anne Straetmans.  The performance is directed by Lot Seuntjens. 
 

Dreaming Now at the Trafalgar Square Festival 2007
Photos: Pete Schiazza

Akademi presented Dreaming Now as part of the Mayor of London's India Now Festival on 3-5 August 2007 in London's Trafalgar Square. Organized by the Greenwich and Docklands Festival, the event ran from 2-19 August featuring artists from India and the UK among others. Dreaming Now, Akademi's spectacular family event brought together Kathak and Bharatanatyam dancers with contemporary and ballet dancers, acrobats and a stilt walker bringing the crowds to a standstill. Choreographed by Mavin Khoo, Gauri Sharma Tripathi and Jen Irons, the performance was a triumph. 

Music composition is by DJ Per Qx, with eastern contributions from Niraj Chag, with featured performers Payal Patel, Seema Patel, Seeta Patel, Yamuna Devi Jesal Patel and Nathaniel Parchment.

There's still time to catch the final UK performance in Birmingham on 7th September.