NATyA Dance Reinterprets Dasavatar

Weaving together classical Indian dance, spoken word poetry and world music to offer a reinterpretation of the Dasavatar—an ancient set of stories depicting Vishnu’s ten incarnations—NATyA Classical Dance Company’s annual production 10 Avatars of Truth and Melody, May 26-28, “reflects these ancient tales by depicting diverse moments in time and space: 19th-century Gandhians and 20th century environmentalists, the sacrifices of Nelson Mandela, and the wisdom of the Buddha, to name a few.” Musical ensemble VidyA will share the stage at CounterPULSE in San Francisco, offering an interpretation of ten raagas that merges jazz and South Indian classical music.

NATyA Dance
(NATyA/Photo: Ganesh Ramachandran)

Founded in 2003 by Vallari Shah and Smitha Radhakrishnan to bring Indian classical dance traditions to modern audiences, NATyA has already produced over 80 performances. The company brings together artists with years of extensive training in dance to perform styles such as Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Mohini Attam, Odissi, and Kuchipudi together on stage, infusing mythological stories with new energy and portraying contemporary stories.

You may have heard NATyA co-founder and sociologist Radhakrishnan’s “Desi Dilemmas,” a podcast series drawing on her personal experiences as an academic and an artist to discuss issues such as love, politics, art and the “desi overachiever syndrome.” Listen to Radhakrishnan talk about a previous NATyA production, “Lost Tales: Glimpses From 1000 Ramayanas” in this podcast interview.

May 18, 2007
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