Join prominent visiting artist Dr Swarnamalya Ganesh and Chitra Sundaram as they explore Sadir the historic precursor to the classical Indian dance style of Bharatanatyam.
In a special curation by Chitra Sundaram, Akademi launches the first of its dance dialogue series with the London debut of Dr Swarnamalya Ganesh. The noted Bharatanatyam artist and actor will be joined by Chitra, a prominent figure in the UK dance community. Together they will explore the narratives, the women, and the repertoire of ‘Sadir Āttam’: the command performance of the 17th early 20th century that was presented in darbars and salons for royalty, aristocracy and officers of The Raj.
This event presents the her-story of the Sadir dancer; her repertoire and her reputation as an articulate, charming and sophisticated performer. Swarnamalya will share the experiences of seeking out hereditary dancers; piecing together closely guarded anecdotes and repertoire pieces. Nearly eighty-five years after Sadir disappearing into Bharatanatyam, we begin to embrace both, joining the discourse of multiple histories. The discussion and demonstration will both trace and move beyond the narratives of erasure and caste politics behind present-day Bharatanatyam. The evening will include a 10 minute Q&A.
Dr Swarnamalya Ganesh is a trained Bharatanatyam dancer, an Indian actress and TV anchor. Over the years, she has anchored several shows, acted in films across various languages and performed on many stages all over the world. She has a Masters in Bharatanatyam and PhD in Dance History from Madras University.
Chitra Sundaram is a dance/theatre choreographer, Bharatanatyam performer, mentor and educator. Her research and teaching interests include the problems and potential of classical forms in cross-cultural and intergenerational transmission of narratives. Chitra was the trustee of Akademi, and currently sits on the board of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. Chitra is an Associate Lecturer in Theatre &Performance at Goldsmiths College, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.
Asia House is the Centre of Expertise on Asia. They drive political and economic engagement between Europe and Asia through their programme of events, featuring thought leaders and opinion formers; through their policy and advisory services; and through their research activity. They also create greater cultural understanding between Europe and Asia through our Arts and Learning programme. Asia House was founded in 1996 by the former diplomat Sir Peter Wakefield.
Celebrating 40 inspiring years.
Join Akademi in the second of our dance and dialogue series: Rukmini Vijayakumar, a noted Bharatanatyam artist and actor from India, in an artistic conversation Vena Ramphal.
Akademi brings to you an exclusive partnering with eloquent Bharatanatyam artist and actor Rukmini Vijayakumar with Vena Ramphal a media celebrity, scholar and a practicing Bharatanatyam dancer.
This conversation will frame classical Indian dance and its relevance in a global contemporary context. Rukmini will share her experience in creating and touring work that adheres to traditional vocabulary while experimenting with context and presentation. This sumptuous pairing of two eminent women will be a warm and uplifting insight into a modern cultural India.
Vena Ramphal is a yoga teacher, dancer and relationship coach who can be seen on ITV and Channel 5. Vena is also a trained Indian classical dancer, who has performed for the royalty, prime ministers and several celebrities.
Asia House is the Centre of Expertise on Asia. They drive political and economic engagement between Europe and Asia through their programme of events, featuring thought leaders and opinion formers; through their policy and advisory services; and through their research activity. They also create greater cultural understanding between Europe and Asia through our Arts and Learning programme.
Rukmini Vijayakumar is the Director of her Classical Dance Company Raadha Kalpa and her art space LshVa, in Bangalore, India. After an initial exposure to ballet, she pursued a training and rigorous practice in Bharatanatyam under the tutelage of renowned practitioners. She later graduated from the Boston Conservatory with a BFA in Modern dance and Ballet. She is an avid yoga practitioner and has Studied Human Anatomy and Physiology at the Boston University. Rukmini’s productions have toured the world and have been appreciated by audiences. She is also an actor recognised for the roles that she has played in several Indian Films and Theatre performances.