Lecture Demonstration – 7:00 pm
Of the many percussive dance forms across the globe, it is curious that two such geographically remote forms of Kathak from North India and Flamenco from Southern Spain, have so many visual, rhythmic, and kinesthetic similarities. In an interesting lec-dem by Archana Kumar accompanied by Varun Krishna on Spanish guitar, the audience will explore these commonalities that may point to some loosely shared historical and cultural links, through comparative movement analysis, where Archana’ intertwines personal narrative with insights gleaned from her own practice and observation.
Together, Archana and Varun have been collaborating on an exploration of the various aspects of Flamenco – from composition to the emotive qualities. They have developed a couple of authentic tunes and some fusion / experimental tunes that blends aspects of Kathak and Flamenco. Both of their interest lie in blending the Gypsy style of Flamenco – that is very emotional and offers a lot of scope for improvisation with Kathak and other musical genres
The lec-dem will be preceded by the stunningly photographed Latcho Drom. a 1993 French documentary film directed and written by Tony Gatlif. The film traces the Romani gypsies’ journey from north-west India to Spain. Could they be responsible for carrying Kathak elements across the continent? The film is a beautiful documenting of their dance and music and is a feast for the senses. The film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival.
Archana Kumar is an independent performing artist and trained dancer, whose works are bold, evocative and radical. Her decade long residence in the USA, laid the foundation for her journey in modern dance, physical theatre and improvisation. Her artistic journey began with Kathak, and having led a premier Kathak school in Seattle and Evanston, she continues to actively teach Kathak in Bangalore.
In 2011 she received the “SPANDANA” Award for her exceptional contribution as a teacher in the field of Kathak in Bangalore. She owes much of her theatre exposure to her mentor, Hiroshi Ohashi of the Proto Theater, Tokyo.
Since 2016 she has been exploring Kathak’s “daughter”, Flamenco through her Flamenco Ensemble-Alemari workshops & classes at various schools and her own studio, Open Square.
This particular exploration of the relationship between Kathak and Flamenco excites her and she says ‘I have only scratched portions of the surface, for there is too much to discover, create and experience in 1 lifetime’
Saturated with playing rock and metal with various bands, Varun Krishna found his passion for classical & flamenco guitar music. Born in Gudalur near Ooty, his early influences were classical music and music composed by Ilayaraja. He has been playing the guitar for over 12 years, mostly self-taught. Currently, under the guidance of Mr. Kenneth Issac of BSM, he is continuously deepening his skills with master classes from renowned classical guitarists like Anders Miolin, Ögmundur Þór Jóhannesson, Pedro Roca, Henk Olden and Aleix Tobias Sabater. The master class with Mr. Henk Olden opened doors to playing the flamenco guitar, and got deepened when Varun met Mr. Aleix Tobias who gave him finer insights into the rhythm structures used in flamenco. Deeply inspired by these 2 individuals he went on to read more and learn more on the internet about flamenco guitar music, dance and its connection to India.
Flamenco music continues to inspire him, and he is looking forward to completing his Grade 8 and master flamenco guitar playing in Spain in the coming years and perform with Spanish dancers.