Dance: RESOUND (Leela Dance Collective in Los Angeles)

Post image for Dance: RESOUND (Leela Dance Collective in Los Angeles)

by Nia Liat on August 25, 2021

in Dance,Theater-Los Angeles

A 5-Day Celebration of Kathak Dance Reverberating
through the Streets of Los Angeles

Get ready. ReSound is bringing kathak dance from the courts of Medieval India to the streets of L.A., featuring a 5-day celebration of free performances and $10 workshops to educate and inspire audiences of all ages. The public is invited to experience North Indian classical dance as it reverberates through the streets from September 22-26, 2021 with a goal to bring this vibrant artform to local communities, giving them the opportunity to experience the joy of kathak dance.

The free street performances will take place at such iconic locations as Santa Monica’s 3rd St Promenade, DTLA’s Grand Park, and Venice Beach (see schedule below) showcasing kathak dance at its best, including percussive footwork, swift pirouettes, dynamic repertoire, and exhilarating music. There are also workshops (also listed below) are a great opportunity for individuals to experience kathak first hand, the way that kathak dance can ground the body, focus the mind, and uplift the spirit. Workshops are held at some of LA’s most popular studios including Evolution Studios, Electric Lodge, and The Vault.

ReSound is conceived and arranged by Rina Mehta, senior disciple of kathak legend Pandit Chitresh Das and cofounder of Leela Dance Collective. ReSound showcases Das’s original compositions and choreography, while featuring a new generation of emerging kathak dancers trained in his iconic style – Sonali Toppur, Ahana Mukherjee, Carrie McCune, and Ria DasGupta. Select performances also feature an opening performance by Los Angeles’ inaugural Leela Youth Dance Company.

Rina Mehta, Concept & Arrangement for ReSound. Photo by Marissa Roseillier.

Friday, Sept 24, 12:30pm:  Grand Park, DTLA
Friday, Sept 24, 4:30 & 6:30:  The Village, Woodland Hills
Saturday, Sept 25, 11:30am:  Venice Beach
Saturday, Sept 25, 1:30 & 2:30:  3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica
Saturday, Sept 25, 5:30:  Memorial Park, Pasadena
(featuring performance by Leela Youth Dance Company)
Saturday, Sept 26, 11:30: Oak Park Amphitheatre, Oak Park
(part of the Kathak Karnival featuring family activities
and performance by Leela Youth Dance Company)

Saturday, Sept 26, 5:30: Town Plaza, Culver City

Kathak (pronounced cut – tuck) comes from the word katha, meaning story, and a kathaka is a storyteller. The dance form can be traced back to 400 BCE when kathakas, a nomadic class of dancers and musicians much like the bards of Europe, would travel village to village relaying mythology, history, and religion through the art. During the Mughal Empire (1526-1857), kathak moved out of the temples and into the Mughal courts, becoming a form of entertainment for the great emperors of India. It was in these courts that kathak evolved into a true classical artform, and developed rhythmic and technical sophistication, as well as an expansive range of movement and aesthetic vocabulary. Modern day kathak embodies this rich history and, in its stylistic and artistic expression, represents an amalgamation of both Hindu and Islamic aesthetics and culture. In the 20th century, the art form emerged onto the proscenium stage and traveled outside of India, finding roots in diasporic communities throughout the US and beyond. It is one of the eight classical dance forms of India, and encompasses a wide range of performance styles that can be divided into two main categories, storytelling (nritya), and dance without explicit narrative (nritt). One of kathak’s most notable characteristics is the fast, percussive footwork dancers perform by striking their bare feet on the floor using various techniques. In addition, it is known for swift pirouettes, a dynamic movement vocabulary, and compelling character portrayal. Kathak is typically performed with North Indian classical Hindustani music, which provides an exhilarating soundscape and a very collaborative environment for the artists. Dancers wear a string of 150-200 bells around each ankle to ornament their footwork and movements, and to highlight the rhythmic sophistication of the artform.

Here are the Workshops ($10)
Register HERE

Before Bollywood (Wed, Sept 22, 7-8 p.m., The Vault Dance Studio, 57 Palmetto Dr, Pasadena) Before Bollywood there was kathak, known for its grandeur, beauty, and elegance. Join us for a workshop that introduces you to the movement, music and expression of this dynamic art form. Students of all levels and backgrounds are welcome.

Bare Feet Beats (Thurs, Sept 23, 7- p.m., Evolution Dance Studios, 10816 Burbank Blvd, NoHo) Dive into the dynamic world of kathak. Move, groove, jam and slam as you learn how to make rhythm and music with your bare feet. Students of all levels and backgrounds are welcome.

From Sensuality to Spirituality (Sat, Sept 25, 10-11 a.m., Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave, Venice) Radha is one of India’s most beloved goddesses. Her love, devotion and yearning for Krishna is a metaphor for our relationship to the divine. As we explore Radha’s love for Krishna through the art of kathak, classical dance of North India we explore the eternal human search for the divine. Students of all levels and backgrounds are welcome.

The Indian Avatars (Sun, Sept 26, 12-1 p.m., Oak Park Amphitheater, 5600 Hollytree Dr, Oak Park) In this workshop, kids are introduced to kathak, classical dance of North India. Kids learn coordination, movement rhythm, music and dramatic expression as they delve into the rich world of Indian mythology. For kids, ages 5 and up. Part of the Kathak Karnival featuring additional family activities.

Movement, Music & Meditation (Sun, Sept 26, 3-4 p.m., Diaz Studio of Dance, 3816 Culver Ctr, Culver City) Discover the beauty and dynamism of kathak. Workshop participants are introduced to the technique, movement, music and poetry of the art form woven together into an experience that is meditation in motion.

The Indian Avatars (Sun, Sept 26, 4-5 p.m., Diaz Studio of Dance, 3816 Culver Blvd, Culver City) In this workshop, kids are introduced to kathak, classical dance of North India. Kids learn coordination, movement rhythm, music and dramatic expression as they delve into the rich world of Indian mythology. For kids, ages 5 and up.

Family Festival – $10

Kathak Karnival (Sun, Sept 26, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Oak Park Amphitheater, 5600 Hollytree Dr, Oak Park) The Kathak Karnival invites children and youth of all ages to a day of dance, music, food and fun. Admission includes access to kathak workshops for children and youth and all carnival activities including face painting, photo contests, games, gift giveaways, and more. Don’t miss the highlight of the carnival – exclusive performances by the Leela Dance Collective and the newly founded Leela Youth Dance Company. Free parking included with the admission fee.

Schedule
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• Check out their moves on YouTube
• Register to attend a free pop-up performance and get a discount code for Leela Academy’s fall session and register for a workshop to save your spot – availability is limited

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