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Cie JHANKAR: «Rassa» / Dance and Music from India /

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At the origins of JHANKAR lie something much more than an encounter and nothing less than a reunion: with our Indo-European roots... Rassa dismantles borders, mocking the passage of time.
It is the prompt of a nomadic storyteller, he who, from the temple of the mogul palace, has drawn on the sources of Hindu and Islamic spiritualism before opting for the path of liberty.
Along the way, music and dance have woven an unforgettable web, where mythical silhouettes pirouette, self-impose and then disappear during a return to the most ancient sources of our identity.

Hubert Laot (Auditorium Director of the Guimet National Museum of Asiatic Arts, Paris).

JHANKAR is embedded in the ancestral art of “Kathak”; “kathah” signifying “a story” and “kathak” “the storyteller”. Kathak dances originated in the north of India and developed mainly at the courts of the sumptuous mogul palaces. The show alternates a narrative dance with the virtuosity of complex rhythmic compositions, evoking all the subtleties of emotion within a unique choreographic language, attitudes and gestures transporting the spectator towards the Hindu enchantment of Rassa.

The four members of JHANKAR are all virtuosi in their own right. They collaborate here in a creation bridging tradition and modernity. The original compositions, based on erudite, Indian rhythms, are inspired by Hindu “raags” and Persian modes.

At times, the movement appears to hang motionless within the outbursts of silence which give way to new dimensions : music, elegance, gracefulness and the body itself evolve into prayer. The dance becomes a passageway to spirituality. An acoustic archway appears, a dancing body freezing at its centre like a painting.

With this show, JHANKAR revolutionises the production of Kathak dance, offering an erudite musical score which follows the dancer throughout the complexity of her steps and even the most intimate of her gestures. Renewing an extremely early aspect of these choreographic traditions, Maitreyee Mahatma also sings as she dances, thus recreating the poetic and artistic ambience of the sumptuous mogul courts and ancient Hindu myths.


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