Dance this Fall: Shantala Shivalingappa and Paul-André Fortierby Sabreena Chandra
/ September 1, 2011
Flash version here
Dancing along cultural borders
Born in India and raised in Paris, Shantala
Shivalingappa dances in the artistic space between Asia and Europe.
She is professionally-trained in both the Indian Kuchipudi dance and
contemporary dance and has had the opportunity to perform with many
great artists, such as Maurice Béjart in 1789… et nous, Peter
Brook in The Tempest and Hamlet, and Bartabas in Chimère.
NAMASYA (which means, "worthy of salutation"), a piece
with Kuchipudi influences inspired by nature, artistry, grace, beauty,
and energy, is sure to amaze her audience once again. Using her heterogeneous
dance training to her advantage, Shivalingappa executes a breathtaking
piece filled with culture and passion.
Catalan singer Ferran Savall—the son
of bass viol player, composer and conductor Jordi Savall—provides
an enchanting backdrop for Shivalingappa’s performance with
his song "Paris." The dance piece is also accompanied by traditional
Northern Indian music and music by Yoichiro Yoshikawa. The dance consists
of four pieces by four different choreographers: part one, Shift,
by Shivalingappa herself; part two, Ibhuki, by Ushio Amagatsu,
master of the first butô dancing generation; part three, Smarana,
by Shivalingappa’s mother, Savrity Nair; and part 4, Solo,
by Pina Bausch.
Shivalingappa first pursued Kuchipudi
dancing while training with her Guru, Vempati Chinna Satyam. Satyam
was born in the village of Kuchipudi and is a descendant of one of the
families responsible for passing on the traditional Kuchipudi dance.
Shivalingappa’s contemporary training began with Pina Bausch, who
was a close friend of her mother. She quickly became as devoted to this
style of dancing as to Kuchipudi, and her passion for both resulted
in a fusion of these culturally different performance practices.
Kuchipudi dance originated in the eponymous
village in southern India’s Andhra Pradesh State. Originally, it was
a very aggressive dance form based on a 2000-year-old treaty called
Natya Shastra. The dance uses every part of the dancer’s body to tell
a story; each facial expression and hand gesture expresses a different
meaning or emotion.
Contemporary dance emerged as a fusion
of ballet and modern dance. It is unclear exactly where contemporary
dance began, but wherever it is performed, contemporary dancers focus
on expressing the lyrics and emotions of music or silence through movement.
There are many similarities between the
contemporary and Kuchipudi styles; an emphasis on the intricacies of
each movement, such as hand gestures and the body’s flow, is present
in both styles. Shivalingappa describes how Kuchipudi and the contemporary-style
dance in NAMASYA are much the same: “There’s something in
the fluidity that’s of the same family. [It] gives the same feeling
and expresses the same thing, somehow.” Only the meaning of the gestures,
which is dictated by each culture, differentiates them.
The legendary contemporary dancer Martha
Graham once said, “The body says what words cannot.” Shivalingappa’s
dancing proves just that. NAMASYA: worthy of salutation, worthy
In Montreal at the Cinquième Salle (Place
des Arts), November 22 and 26, shantalashivalingappa.com,
30 Minutes, 30 Days, 30 Years:
Paul-André Fortier's Danse-Création
Company Brings a World-Renowned Piece Back to Montreal
Recipient of some of the most prestigious
dance awards for choreography, including the Jean A. Chalmers award,
Paul-André Fortier celebrates his company Fortier Danse-Création’s
30th anniversary this year. He's celebrating with the revival
of an internationally renowned piece created in 2006: Solo 30x30,
which features 30 minutes of dancing during 30 consecutive days. The
theme of this piece is the tension between the individual and the city.
Typically, Fortier performs Solo 30x30 in the middle of a busy
area of a city at rush hour, allowing street noise to guide his rhythm.
This year, however, he is performing his solo indoors, in the foyer
of Place des Arts. The Espace Culturel George-Émile-Lapalme will offer
new challenges as a venue, but also, hopefully, new boons. As it is
an open common space for people to walk through, Fortier's audience
will be astonished by his ability to perform in a totally un-staged
location. Also, the crowd he will encounter here will be one with artistic
interests, mostly on their way to other arts performances; this audience
might have different reactions than outdoor spectators. Fortier promises
an unforgettable performance.
September 22 to October 21 fortier-danse.com