Kalpana – Ideas In Movement

Exquisite was written all over it.

Ideas in Motion – Kalpana by Agal Dance Company, directed by Vishnu Arunasalam held at ICE, Parramatta was presented to an exclusive intimate audience on the 9th November at 5:30pm.

The evening commenced with the showing of the film “Our Country” produced by Agal Dance Company with the support of Blacktown City Council.

“Kalpana – Ideas in Motion” explored the views of its Director, through the medium of his dancers and musicians who lent their imaginative explorations, in effect, responding to the stimuli that surrounds them today in Australia.

Brave and confident, the dancers have ventured out of their closed environs to show their world of art envisioned against the Australian landscape be it a busy Railway Station, a busy suburban road or the cityscape of Sydney or the vast and immense coastlines of Australia.

The film captures and contrasts the existence of South Asian cultural presence in Australia. The artists were successful in presenting, through their artistry – South Indian Carnatic music and Bharathanatyam by juxtaposing movement and music against differing landscapes and rugged Australian surrounds with great delight, amazing photographic shots and directorial initiative.

The film was conceived and directed by Vishnu Arunasalam; Photography- Ramya Kuganathan @dioscuriphotography; Sound Design- Bala Umashankar; Makeup- Sahana Balachandar @sahzlikesmakeup
Jewellery- @valampuri.au

Following which they presented Nritya Lahari an energetic piece set to Raag Jog in a composition by M. Sukhi; imagined to dance by T .Shriram. The dancers were Chidambaram R Suresh , T. Shriraam from Melbourne, Vishni Ravindran , Nikki Sekkar and Shobhana Suresh

This was followed by ‘Quick maths (Pancha Nadai) Allaripu‘ – composition by Suresh Chidambaram whose mathematical ingenuity was mindbogglingly quick. Too quick, I would say, for it to reach out to a wider audience. But a worthy attempt.

My inner monologue followed, in an interdisciplinary exploration of spoken word, poetry and sculpturistic imitation in movement (neo Karanas). Music by Kalmi ‘Duduksa’ was presented by K Shriram.

Shriram, explored the isolation and loneliness of a migrant battling racial and sexual identity crisis. A bold piece, presented with such sensitivity there were no cringe worthy moments.

The spoken word between ‘paccha tamizh‘ and English helped easily grasp, in a word, the diverse cultural existence we lead – one in our homes and another outside. With child like innocence, the protagonist negotiated both complex issues of racial and sexual identity.

The next piece deserves special mention as it was one of my favourites for this evening. ‘In elements‘ was introduced as a part of a larger body of work. The dancers managed to capture the elements, without the usual cliched movements and choreography.

The choreography extolled the theme and the music, through movement, rhythm and mime and was the standing glory of this piece. Choreography and concept Agal Dance Company; Sound produced by Kiran Mudigonda; Dancers by – Suresh Chidambaram, Shobana Suresh, Nikki Sekkar; Jathies composed by Suresh Chidambaram.

Nikki Sekkhar’s exploration of the contemporary Tamil poet Perumal Murugan in ‘Songs of a Coward’ was a good concept as it attempted to try and portray a poet’s challenging life in standing up to let his political voice heard despite suffering isolation.

T Shriram again enticed his audience with his one legged portrayal of a peacock in the Poetry of Peacock – music composition of Madurai R Muralidharan – dance composed by Shriram – ( Bharatha Nirtyam)
Amalgamation of Bharath Natyam and Karanas.

An unforgettable curation by Agal Dance Company. Look forward to its next curation.