From Here to There

From Here to There

commissioned by Edinburgh Mela for World Dance Fest 2014.

Shiva, Shakti, traffic, plastic, far away bells, smile of a child, pollution, sharing food, each other’s eyes, castles, palaces, peacocks in zoo, tea plantations, humble dwellings, smell of cardamom, stain of turmeric, globalisation, crossing roads, train stations, light, homogenization, darkness, a lifetime experience, short memory, impressions that stick, insights that linger, yearning of the heart.

From Here to There is inspired by experiences in travelling, and exposure to other cultures and perspectives than your own. It is personal but also universal.

The show reflects on aspects of globalisation, exposure to different cultural influences, assimilation and distraction of differences, the search for the profound and peace.

Throughout the past 12 years I’ve traveled mostly to India. I have been thrown back and again to reflect on what seemed the big changes in the world we live in and at the same time studying and delving deeper into ancient knowledge and philosophy. Environmental, global, psychological and moral issues were raised in each trip.

I was struck by sense of confusion and sometimes turmoil between contrasting influences, outlook on life, cultural clashes….making sense in diversity and bridging gaps in personal understanding.

I have invited video artist, Mettje Houneman and composers, Niroshini Thambar and Nik Paget Tomlinson to join me on a journey of movement, visuals and sound to create a composition that travels seamlessly between different influences, the mundane, the profound, east and west, chaos, conflict and harmony.

In dance vocabulary I wanted to embrace the bharatanatyam form and make it my own. Not to be bound by the compositional codes and aesthetics but to reveal it anew as a movement language that is expressed through me.

I chose to work with three dancers who are able to bring their own unique artistic expression into the work as well as understand mine.

The piece starts with a Solo to Jewish Piyut, Keter, sang by Yasmin Levy from her wonderful album Le Juderia and continues as a journey through landscapes, emotions and images.

Director/choreographer: Merav Israel
Dancers: Merav Israel, Kamala Devam, Bafana Matea, Alys North
Music: Soundtrack includes ‘Keter’ by Yasmin Levy
All other original music by Niroshini Thambar & Nik Paget Tomlinson
Video projection design: Mettje Hunneman
Camera & Photography: Merav Israel
Costumes: Kayako Takahashi
Produced by Edinburgh Mela