Leher, which translates to Waves in Urdu, is inspired by a phrase that was often used by my guru Sandhya Desai in my early years of training — Kathak is like a river, it flows… 

This short work begins my investigation of the anatomical specificities of the spine in relation to the Kathak technique, as well as the undercurrent of Angika Abhinaya (conveying meaning through the whole body), which is inherent to Kathak. This research is framed within the Hindustani classical music structure of the Bandish, in which poetry is set to melody and rhythm. The poetic lines of this Bandish, refer to a river and its movements. Parallels are drawn between the spine and the river: both flowing, expansive, and contained. 

Commissioned by CanAsian Dance for its 2021 Grit: Short Dances program.

  • Choreography, performance: Tanveer Alam
  • Music: Gurumurthy Vaidya
  • Video, projections, editing: Robert Kingsbury
  • Dramaturgy: Harikishan S. Nair.
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