Philadelphia-based Courtyard Dancers continues it’s efforts of bringing Indian classical performing arts to the community with yet another year of Facing East. In this collaborative production, four east coast contemporary dance companies will perform a joint production entitled Practice/Riyaaz. Using Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Odissi, and Sattriya as foundational training, these companies will present duets, trios and group pieces that embody the notion of intentional, daily practice.
Performing will be Courtyard Dancers (with branches in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Kolkata, India they have promoted and developed the art of Kathak as cultural literacy and empowerment); Washington, D.C. based Dakshina Dance Company (which examines through Bharatanatyam the connections between Indian, social, and modern dance forms); Sakshi Productions (a neo-classical Odissi and contemporary dance company); and Philadelphia’s Sattriya Dance Company (the Sattriya art form is a labor of love for sisters-in-law Madhusmita Bora and Prerona Bhuyan).
Riyaaz practice is about our lived experiences. It disciplines the body and the mind so that we can get habituated to movements, words, expressions. Riyaaz, an Arabic word is foundational to the practice of dance and music in India. It is ultimately about living and dancing. The cessation of riyaaz is death. As Rodolph Nureyev writes: “You live as long as you dance. In other words, you live as long as you are in riyaaz.” In practice or riyaaz there is a constant process of polishing, stripping away of the unnecessary – of the ego. Things become clarified in practice. What we value, what is worthy of repetition, how we want to shape ourselves and the worlds we create, what we are committed, how to diagnose and adjust, and adjust, and adjust.
Courtyard Dancers presents Facing East 2019
October 11-12 at 7:30pm
FringeArts, 140 North Christopher Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia
Tickets $25 online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/courtyard-dancers-presents-facing-east-2019-tickets-68226203411