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Classical journey opens new Jungle Book page

Spectators at the forthcoming Tempo Dance Festival 2013 would be able to identify Bharata Natyam performers as their doctor, lawyer, tax consultant, engineer and experts in a host of other professions.

The Indian segment of the annual Festival this year will feature artistes from ‘Yatra Dance,’ an Indian dance company presenting their version of ‘The Jungle Book’ at ‘Q’ Theatre (located at 305 Queen Street, CBD) at 630 pm on October 13.

It would be interesting to see how the famous work of Rudyard Kipling lends itself to one of oldest forms of Indian classical arts.

Publicist Kate Simmonds (of Elephant Publicity) said that the ‘Yatra’ version of ‘The Jungle Book’ endeavours to bring the traditional dance beyond the barriers of land and language to the modern audience.

Three modes

“Set to a partnership of Western and Indian classical music, ‘The Jungle Book’ tells the tale of Mowgli and friends through Bharata Natyam. Dancers wield three modes- Bhava (expression) Raga (melody) and Thala (rhythm) to present a contemporary production with its roots in the heritage of Eastern and Western cultures,” she said.

She said that ‘Yatra’ dancers have learnt Bharata Natyam both in India and New Zealand, and that they share a common passion for the art.

“In a venture to share this with a wider audience, they bring ‘The Jungle Book,’ pushing the envelope through fusion music, lighting and narrative, while remaining true to tradition and discipline in choreography,” Ms Simmonds said.

The Festival, scheduled to be held from October 9 to 20, acquires additional significance since it would mark the tenth anniversary of the event. It will also see the confluence of Maori, World, Youth, Family and Contemporary events, culminating in the annual ‘Honouring A Dancer’ Award.

“The Festival has charted a path for established and upcoming New Zealand dancers. It provides a stage for the return of world leaders and a platform for emerging and young entrepreneurs and performers to step into limelight,” Ms Simmonds said.

Photo :

The Professional Yatra performers

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