Puse/Kadam connects South Asian dance and music to the community. While retaining its South Asian/Indian roots Pulse/Kadam has over the years succeeded in connecting with various other international art forms. Unlocking Creativity Shorts (UC Shorts) is one of its best productions that provides a platform for contemporary work in dance. The collaborative format encourages experimentation between different forms and techniques that stretches the boundaries of cultural and artistic expression.
This year’s UC shorts showcased 5 hand picked pieces creating magic on the floor of the Luton Hat Factory. The evening started with a piece called “Brief Moment” by Spridoula Dance. Choreographed and performed by dancer Nikki Bakolis-a contemporary and Bharatnatyam dancer, in accompaniment to live music by cellist/composer Ellen Jordan, the piece explores the relationship between a dancer and her counterpart on stage, which in this case was Ellen on cell. The relationship shared by the two performers using two different forms of art create a unique vocabulary of movement and sound. It brings in immense possibilities of performance through sharing each others positive energy in the course of their choreographic journey.
This was followed by an enchanting piece called Darshan by Divya Kasturi – a dancer trained in several Classical Indian Dance forms, vocal music and physical theatre. In her piece Kasturi “encounters the divine and demonstrates the power and attraction of Bharatnatyam”, a beautiful deviation amidst contemporary presentations. “Darshan” projects a celestial atmosphere flowing through energetic movements put together with grace and almost speaking facial expressions by the traditionally costumed Kasturi.
Ashima Suri, an Indo-contemporary dance artiste performed excerpts from her “Ashes and Rebirth”, a forthcoming production. Her performance was in complete contrast to the evenings other performances. Ashima’s performance was pure energy and power unrestrained by inhibitions. Ashima was all set out to open her mind out to the audience and her vivid movements connected the audience to her emotions. She potrays “a story of a woman who through the reflection of herself in the painting, begins to shed the many layers and expectations of herself to the point where all that is left are ashes”. But her journey does not end here. She rises again. It’s the strength of being a woman.
The variety of the evening keeps unfolding when the next in line is ‘In’ versus ‘Un’ by Khavita Suri. A piece with a very modern approach where there is a clever play of dialogue that seamlessly blends into dance. The piece highlights the dichotomies of modern urban living- between chasing material well being and seeking spiritual comfort, ignorng the uncertainities that also exist, unwilling to take risks But at times these uncertainities might excite us and we are left to juggle between the two sides of the rift. Kaur, a very lively performer arrests the audiences attention and brings in a touch of humour to the evening.
The evening’s crowning glory is guest artiste Kalpana Raghuraman’s “The Spirit of Frida”. This was premiered at the Epic Women Conference in Chennai. Depicted through powerful dance, film projection and mime, the performance narrates the struggles of legendary mexican painter and activist Frida Kahlo. Its high on emotion and tugs at the audience’s heart strings. Raghuraman is a performer of repute, and her strong stage presence complements her superb performance to create an unforgettable experience for the audience.
Unlocking Creativity Shorts is a bold and innovative platform that creates a canvas splashed with a rainbow variety of dance techniques, cultures, art forms and artistes providing a memorable experience to the audience.