It has been a great spring season, filled with numerous kathak dance performances. The more I work with dance, the more I love it.
On February 17, kathak dancer Sudeshna Maulik and I presented a lecture-performance at the Moving Dialogues conference, hosted by Concordia University in Montreal. The title of our presentation was Talking Hands, Talking Feet - The Unified Interpretation of Bol in the North Indian Tabla and Kathak Dance Traditions. Our presentation was very well received! I think that we were one of the only presenters at the conference representing a non-Western music and dance tradition. In observing others' presentations, it was interesting to note how dance and music are often considered as two completely separate entities in the Western setting, in contrast to Indian music and dance which are entirely inseparable!
On April 2, sarodiya Raja Bhattacharya and I accompanied Sudeshna at the Maison de la culture Parc-Extension in Montreal. We performed a short instrumental piece to open, followed by a full kathak performance in Teentaal. The audience was very responsive, and the performance was followed by a Q&A session.
In Canada, the month of May is Asian Heritage Month. This year, Sudeshna and I were fortunate to have been invited to perform as part of the festivities organised by the Festival Accès Asie. The first performance was on May 7, as part of a demonstration of Indian cuisine and culture at the Buffet Maharaja.
Next up on May 14, I accompanied Sudeshna's talented young student Rijha Bhattacharjee in her debut solo performance. In addition to performing for a live audience at Ex-Centris in Montreal, this performance was part of a nationwide broadcast and was simultaneously shown to live audiences in Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver. We also responded to comments and questions from audience members in the four cities.
The event was made up of performances from music and dance artists from all four cities, representing a wide variety of Asian cultures, in addition to lectures and discourses. It was quite an eye-opening experience, and a great way to showcase Asian talent from across the country. Congratulations to Rijha on a very successful debut performance and to the Accès Asie team for their excellent organisational skills!
Thanks to Caroline Tabah for the April 2 and May 14 photos.