“He spins quietly and raptly, at accelerating speeds. It’s like a prayer.” - The Guardian
British choreographer Aakash Odedra, a master of classical Indian and contemporary dance, performs two intensely personal solo pieces. In Inked, he reinterprets the scarification and tattoos that covered his grandmother’s body, literal signs of protection that offered her a sense of belonging. In Murmur, Odedra explores how his dyslexia can transform words into abstractions reminiscent of a massive flock of starlings, twisting and turning, growing and shrinking in mesmerizing pulses, like the dancer himself.
Damien Jalet, choreographer
Aakash Odedra, performer
Fabiana Piccioli, lighting design
Jean-Paul Lespagnard, costume design
Aakash Odedra and Lewis Major, choreographers
Aakash Odedra, performer
Ars Electronica Futurelab, video technology development
Nicki Wells, music
Andrew Ellis, lighting design
"Aakash Odedra Company – Ink, Murmur – New York"
"Review: Aakash Odedra at the White Light Festival"
Aakash Odedra is an award-winning contemporary British dancer. He trained in Kathak with Nilima Devi (Leicester) and Bharat Natyam with Chitraleka Bolar (Birmingham), and later in India with Asha Joglekar and Chhaya Kantaveh. In 2009, Aakash performed a solo choreographed by Kumudini Lakhia, Maati Re, at the Svapngata Festival at Sadler’s Wells curated by Akram Khan.
In 2010, he took part in the European Network of Performing Arts 2010 ChoreoLab in Serbia through Dance Umbrella. That year he performed a duet with Sanjukta Sinha choreographed by Kumudini Lakhia, Tatha. Aakash Odedra Company was formed in 2011. The Company’s debut project was a collaboration with celebrated choreographers Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Russell Maliphant, and Aakash’s mentor, Akram Khan, culminating in an evening-length work entitled Rising. Recent works range from large-scale classical evenings to contemporary works and opera, such as the Theatre Freiburg production of God’s Little Soldier (2013). He worked with the Apollo Theatre in New York on Get on the Good Foot (2013), an evening of work that celebrated the life and work of James Brown. His work Ecstasy earned rave reviews in North America. Aakash has received numerous awards and bursaries, most recently the Bessie Award for Outstanding Performer in New York (2014), the Danza&Danza award for best new interpretation in Italy (2013), Best Male Dance Performance (Dora Award, Toronto), and Best Performance (Dance week festival, Zagreb, Croatia). In 2013 Aakash was also awarded a Sky Academy Arts Scholarship for the development of Murmur. In May 2014, Aakash Odedra Company presented Murmur (with Lewis Major and Ars Electronica Futurelab) and Inked (by Damien Jalet) at the International Dance Festival Birmingham.
All photos: Sean Goldthorpe from Joanna Rieussec (Quaternaire)