Oct 15 and 16 at 8pm, Oct 17 at 4pm; all in person, Oct 15 virtual also
Chitresh Das Institute and ODC Theater present the World Premiere of "Mantram," created by Artistic Director Charlotte Moraga in collaboration with renowned Sarode player and composer Alam Khan. "Mantram" simultaneously celebrates creative innovation and the kathak tradition with choreography and music that are experimental but based in the Indian classical art vocabulary. It is a sonic and visual journey exploring how despite our bodies pulsating the rhythms of the world around us, have we become so disconnected.
Mantra, or chant, is drawn from Vedanta-considered the world's oldest, unbroken oral tradition. Kathak dance's percussive footwork, lyrical movement, and basis in spirituality, bound together through resonance and vibration, are Moraga's focus for the choreography and Khan's for the music. At its origin, Hinduism was a philosophy, sanatana dharma, meaning no beginning and no end. Moraga's and Khan's work will channel the vibration of mantra and its practice as a connection to nature and spirituality.
"I have been fascinated with the story of the first sound. For kathak dancers the foundation of our dance is striking our feet to the ground-connecting body and earth," Moraga says of her inspiration for "Mantram," her first evening-length work.
Begun before the pandemic, "Mantram" has evolved over a long creative process in collaboration with collaborators Alam and Lighting and Scenic Designer Matthew Antaky, a longtime collaborator with Pandit Das, who has created risers upon which the dancers will perform.
The Chitresh Das Institute presents traditional and innovative works in kathak dance and Indian classical arts that ignite the imagination. Our work is grounded in commitment to community, legacy, and seva (service). The music will be composed by renowned musician Alam Khan.