A Meeting of Cultures: An inspiring dance story of Anna Pavlova and Uday Shankar and its lasting influence – Abundant Art
A Meeting of Cultures: An inspiring dance story of Anna Pavlova and Uday Shankar and its lasting influence
Actor Bhaji on the beach, Bend it like Beckham, Boy with the topknot, appletree house
‘An excellent event it was too. Loved the documentary, the dancers and the Q and A. So heartening to see these stories being told.’
Architect / Director Owner at David Joseph Consulting
‘The subject of the film is so interesting especially from a historical point of view and it really puts modern Indian dance into context. It’s fabulous to see the traditions of dance are still being utilised in dance schools in the UK and worldwide’
Writer for Abundant Art E-mag
‘I really enjoyed the screening. Protima was amazing.’
writer for AA E-mag
‘The event on Sunday was so fantastic – I felt like I learned a lot and it was so special to see the performance. Congratulations on the film and such a successful event. So interesting to see the historical and contemporary applications of Uday Shankar’s dance style. Also, it was such a treat to see the live dance performance – thank you’
‘I watched the film with anticipation, and I wasn’t disappointed, it was as captivating as I thought it would be. The archival clips and footage were beautiful and it was wonderful to see how these dances were brought to life for a new generation of dancers and audience. The film was engaging and informative. I really enjoyed the dancing after the film which really brought the historic significance of the subject to life and the questions and answers afterwards gave added depth to the background of the story, really fascinating. Overall this was an enjoyable and memorable experience, it was so lovely to be immersed in the culture and world of Uday Shankar and Anna Pavlova for the afternoon. ’
'What a wonderful event it was'
'The whole event sounds most interesting. Sorry to have missed it. Well done team for creating something special like this.'
Founder and Director of Gabriel Fine Arts
‘Fantastic event and beautiful performance. Congratulations.’
streetfootballtopro Julia’s contact
‘Was very, very interesting I loved it and I enjoyed it so much and I learned so much.’
AA E-mag writer
‘Cosy and impressive screening’
It was an absolutely spellbinding experience.
Can’t tell you how enlightening, entertaining and enjoyable the afternoon was. Take a bow Protima - yesterday was superb and it was all down to your tireless efforts resulting in this this labour of love
We have always admired your effortless and graceful dancing and have been privileged to have worked with you in close quarters as you have created and developed some superb compositions - yesterday’s live dancing was no different. Exciting, innovative, sublime.
But yesterday it was amazing to see you combine your dance and choreography skills with your talents as a master script writer, editor, film maker - as well as an eloquent orator. The depth of research, the way you chose to present a complex and very wide-ranging subject - was truly admirable. The film was so beautifully and aesthetically made, a true tribute to a legend and a tribute to your dance teachers and your dance roots. As we discussed, this needs to be showcased more and to wider audiences - looking forward to more screenings which will hopefully reach out to even wider audiences. Well done once again
Founder And Director of Baithak UK, Filmmaker,
CongratulationsProtima, I think I appreciated the film fully this time with its optimal projection quality. It is a wonderful collection of archival footage and informed interviews. And the link to living heritage with the Laban chapter. I hope many more people can view and learn more about this strange but incredible partnership.
Dr. Prarthana Purkyastha
Senior Lecturer / Research and knowledge
Exchange Lead, Dept. Of Drama, theatre, and Dance, Royal Holloway
University of London
I am writing to you to congratulate you once again on producing a really wonderful documentary on Uday Shankar! It is such a valuable artistic and teaching resource to have. Do be in touch.
Dr. Geraldine Morris
Honorary Research Fellow in Dance, University of Rohampton
Thank you so much for inviting me to the film today. It was wonderful and I wondered whether it will be available as a resource? It would be very valuable one and useful for all dance cultures.
Really, well done and thanks again.
A key output of our project is a 50 min documentary film that tells the story of this first of a kind dance partnership through the eyes of BA 2 dance students of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of music and dance. Through this story we explore how contemporary dance in UK today have been shaped by diverse cultural dance influences.About the film:
The first performance of Anna Pavlova and Uday Shankar’s collaboration took place at the ROH in 1923 and this is where the story begins. The story is woven through the research and discoveries of the BA2 students of Laban who are a major part of the film. We follow two parallel storylines. One charts the story from the meeting between prima ballerina Anna Pavlova and the then unknown fine arts student at the Royal college of Art, Uday Shankar (elder brother of Ravi Shankar) to the flowering of the latter’s genius and the intense interactions with dancers and artists in the UK and other parts of the world. This ultimately leads to the birth of the first Indian contemporary dance through the distillation of different Indian dance forms and UK influences. The second storyline is the journey of contemporary dance students of Trinity Laban and their gradual discovery of this story as part of their dance heritage (BA2 Historical project – Dance Legends of the 20th century). The film culminates with the students restaging Uday Shankar’s iconic choreography “ Kartikeya” at the Bonny Bird Theatre at Trinity Laban.
The film is about how they unfold the first artistic connections between UK and India, ballet and contemporary dance and the birth of a new dance legacy through their research and technique learning and restaging rehearsals.
The story also explores the current relevance of this collaboration and how this is an inspiration to the current diverse cultural scene in the UK. We have had the opportunity to interview academics, dance practitioners, historians, curators Shankar’s family members and artists like Akram Khan, Mark Baldwin and upcoming south-Asian talents like Vidya Patel who speak about the current relevance of this iconic collaboration and their association with the heritage.
We recently launched the film in India with screenings in Kolkata and Mumbai at the NCPA.
Venue: Hochauser Auditorium, Sackler Centre for arts education, Victoria and Albert Museum
Date: 1st May 2022
Find Out MorePast Screenings
Yule Hall at the Tollygunge Club, Kolkata, India 27 Dec 2019 6.30 pm
National Centre for Performing Arts, Mumbai, India, 12 Dec 2019 03.00 p.m.
Nandan, Kolkata, India, 09 Dec 2019 06.30p.m.