Sharira – Chandralekha Group

Riverside Theatres 2 & 3 November 2011, 7:30PM – 8:35PM

Chandralekha was a trailblazer of Indian contemporary dance. When she died four years ago at the age of 78, she was a towering figure whose body of work and creative ideas challenged the traditional notions of what constituted classical dance in India. An influence on the likes of Pina Bausch and Susanne Linke, she controversially discarded the devotional elements of dance for passionate, body-oriented movements. And the result was electrifying.

Until now, Chandralekha’s iconoclastic work has never been seen live in Australia, and Sharira is considered her masterpiece – a blend of contemporary dance, yoga and kalaripayattu martial arts from Kerala which expresses the earthy, the erotic and the elemental.

This exclusive season features the two artists with whom Chandralekha originally created Sharira. The man, Shaji John, is the martial arts expert; the woman Tishani Doshi is a Welsh/Indian writer, poet and dancer. Their dance is accompanied by live singing from The Gundecha Brothers, India’s leading exponents of the Dhrupad style of music.

What once may have been looked on as obscene, can now be savoured as a masterly execution of the subtle beauty of restrained erotica.

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