NYDC, Seeta Patel and Kadam Dance and Music worked together over a four-month period (February – May 2019) to deliver a pilot project that addressed the need for high quality, cross-disciplinary progression routes for dancers in both South Asian and Contemporary dance as well as provide an opportunity for young dancers of different cultural backgrounds to develop a greater understanding of the virtuosity and rigour that exists across dance styles.
Award-winning choreographer and dancer Seeta Patel created a new piece with three NYDC alumni dancers and three Bharatanatyam dancers that was presented alongside her new work, Reimagining The Rite of Spring, which toured England May 2019. Underpinning the commission was the idea that virtuosity exists in all styles and that the unacknowledged hierarchy between Western and Non-Western styles needs to be challenged. The dancers worked creatively with Seeta to see how contemporary and Bharatanatyam dance forms can complement each other without losing their own essence.
This work was created during the NYDC residency in Hull alongside the work that was created by Botis Seva with current NYDC dancers at the time. The two groups worked in separate studios, but there were moments of connection throughout the residency and in the evening toolbox sessions. Additionally, dance writer Shivaangee Agrawal (Pulse Connects) observed the work happening in both studios and interviewed dancers across both projects to blog about the similarities and differences between hip hop, contemporary and Bharatanatyam creative processes. This helped to ensure that the experience was disseminated nationally to dance teachers, students and parents and raised awareness in the South Asian dance community about further possibilities within the sector.
Choreographer: Seeta Patel
Director, Kadam Dance and Music: Sanjeevini Dutta
Dance Writer, Pulse Connects: Shivaangee Agarwal
Dancers: Arran Green (NYDC Alumni), Claire Niesyto-Bame (NYDC Alumni), Georgia Redgrave (NYDC Alumni), Hiten Mistry (Bharatanatyam dancer, Leicester), Kirsten Newell (Bharatanatyam dancer, Edinburgh), Pallavi Anand (Bharatanatyam dancer, London)
Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham
The Place, London
The Place, London
Lakeside Arts, Nottingham
It really has been an amazing experience. Will miss seeing everyone, I have connected with each one the team in such a special way – Hiten, Bharatanatyam dancer
Firstly, I just want to thank you a huge amount for the opportunity. It was honestly an experience I won’t forget, and have learnt so much in such a short amount of time! I feel very lucky to have been a part of such a rewarding experience! Hopefully it’s not the end!’ – Georgia, NYDC Alumni