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Talking Drums - Synopsis
Contemporary Dances
12 mins, 1999, 7-10 Dancers

A pulsating contemporary dance with a wonderful blend of dance and atheleticism it uses nine percussion instruments - the mridangam, ghatam, ganjira, konnakkol, mathalam, thudumbe, udukkai, pambai and thavil. The dance employs syncopated rhythms and cross rhythms with Bharatanatyam, Tamil folk and Modern movements in the choreography.

An International collaboration between Arangham and Houston artistes
Renowned Texas based dancer and choreographer Rathna Kumar and Anita Ratnam forged an artistic collaboration with dramatic results. During a three week process at Houston, Texas, USA, in June/July 1999, with 18 members of Kumar's Anjali Dance Company, Ratnam and two senior members of the Arangham Dance Theater Group, Aarti Bodani and L.Narendra Kumar created an exciting 60 minute ensemble work called TALKING DRUMS.

The work premiered in July 1999 and marks one of the first attempts of an India-based choreographer to set original and modern works on dancers of Indian-American origin.

"Talking Drums" contains an original score of 12 South Indian percussion instruments, all played by master drummer N.K.Kesavan, a key figure in the musical scores of well known film composer Ilayaraja and an indispensable artist with modern dancers and musicians in India.

"Talking Drums" uses only traditional Indian syllables - spoken and played - to cross geographical and intellectual boundaries, seeking to resonate in the minds of bodies of dancers who live many continents away from their parents' homeland. The deliberate asymmetry and changes from the assonance of traditional Indian dance make it a stimulating ensemble and endows it with an overall quality of poised excitement.

A pulsating contemporary dance with a wonderful blend of dance and atheleticism it uses nine percussion instruments - the mridangam, ghatam, ganjira, konnakkol, mathalam, thudumbe, udukkai, pambai and thavil. The dance employs syncopated rhythms and cross rhythms with Bharatanatyam, Tamil folk and Modern movements in the choreography.

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