Projects

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#JeSuis
Aakash Odedra Company presents #JeSuis, a touching dance-theatre piece about individuals struggling to find their voice in the stand against oppression.
Through a diversity of dance, music and cultures, these seven dancers from Turkey deliver a tribute to all the people, whether they are in prison, a refugee camp, or in a house behind closed curtains, whose stories have not yet been ‘hashtagged’ and where their freedom of movement, their speech, religion or liberty remains at stake.
#JeSuis was born from the belief that our ability to speak out and stand together will see us through to brighter times.

  • Concept, Direction & Choreography – Aakash Odedra
  • Originally created and performed by – Melissa Ugolini, Su Güzey, Beril Senöz, Gizem Aksu, Yasin Anar, Taner Güngör, Evrim Akyay
  • Assistant Choreographer & Rehearsal Director – Konstantina Efthymiadou
  • Dramaturg – Lou Cope
  • Composer – Nicki Wells
  • Lighting Designer – Alessandro Barbieri
  • Production Manager – Salvatore Scollo
  • Set & Costumes – Ryan Dawson Laight
  • Producer – Anand Bhatt
  • Coordination – Michelle Osorio
  • Voices – Dance Artists
  • Additional Voice – Mohammed A Bakri
  • Oud Recording – Fady Fareed
  • Kafkas track “Deeper” written and performed by The Soft Moon permission courtesy of Captured Tracks and Low Profile NYC
  • Audio Fragment – Charlie Chaplain, The Great Dictator © Roy Export SAS

#JeSuis
Aakash Odedra Company presents #JeSuis, a touching dance-theatre piece about individuals struggling to find their voice in the stand against oppression.
Through a diversity of dance, music and cultures, these seven dancers from Turkey deliver a tribute to all the people, whether they are in prison, a refugee camp, or in a house behind closed curtains, whose stories have not yet been ‘hashtagged’ and where their freedom of movement, their speech, religion or liberty remains at stake.
#JeSuis was born from the belief that our ability to speak out and stand together will see us through to brighter times.

  • Concept, Direction & Choreography – Aakash Odedra
  • Originally created and performed by – Melissa Ugolini, Su Güzey, Beril Senöz, Gizem Aksu, Yasin Anar, Taner Güngör, Evrim Akyay
  • Assistant Choreographer & Rehearsal Director – Konstantina Efthymiadou
  • Dramaturg – Lou Cope
  • Composer – Nicki Wells
  • Lighting Designer – Alessandro Barbieri
  • Production Manager – Salvatore Scollo
  • Set & Costumes – Ryan Dawson Laight
  • Producer – Anand Bhatt
  • Coordination – Michelle Osorio
  • Voices – Dance Artists
  • Additional Voice – Mohammed A Bakri
  • Oud Recording – Fady Fareed
  • Kafkas track “Deeper” written and performed by The Soft Moon permission courtesy of Captured Tracks and Low Profile NYC
  • Audio Fragment – Charlie Chaplain, The Great Dictator © Roy Export SAS
Echoes
Echoes
Echoes is an exhilarating, high-octane Kathak dance experience which explores our relationships with our ancestors. The piece is choreographed by Kathak icon, Aditi Mangaldas, who is renowned for her artistry, energy and for breaking new ground, adding a contemporary twist to this stunning form of Indian dance.

“From the off, Odedra surprises. Instead of wearing the bells on his ankles, and to a plaintive song, he swings them in a circle of light. They ash and glitter as they slice through the beams, thudding as they strike the floor. A cascade of ghungroos dangle in one corner like a glistening waterfall, individual ones snaking across the floor in rivulets of gold”. The Dancing Times

  • Choreographers – Aditi Mangaldas
  • Performed by – Aakash Odedra
  • Lighting Designer – Fabiana Piccioli
  • Rehearsal Directors – Dheerendra Tiwari and Amit Khinchi
  • Music – Shubha Mudgal and Aneesh Pradhan
  • Lyrics – Paltudas, Bheekha Sahib, Meerabai
  • Lyrics sourced by Shubha Mudgal
  • Voice – Shubha Mudgal
  • Sarangi – Murad Ali
  • Tabla and recitation – Mohit Gangani
  • Pakhawaj – Ashish Gangani
  • Recorded at Studio Fuzz, New Delhi by Nitin Joshi.
  • Mixed and mastered by Nitin Joshi
  • Costume : Digvijay Singh
  • Set and Technical Direction – Sander Loonen
  • Co-produced by Curve Theatre (Leicester), DanceXchange (Birmingham), La Comete (Chalons-en-Champagne) and Generously supported using Lottery Funds through Arts Council England.

In I Imagine
I Imagine
In I Imagine, Aakash combines beautiful choreography with powerful spoken word as he collaborates with gifted, award-winning poet and fellow Sky Arts Academy Scholar Sabrina Mahfouz. Aakash and Sabrina explore the imagined future and the confines of skin. The experimental piece features masks made by Califronian based Circus Practitioner David Poznanter, (credits include being Aamir Khan’s personal trainer for the blockbuster film Dhoom 3), and explores the dynamism of Dance/Performance Theatre.

“I Imagine is not only a superb piece of dance theatre, but a thought-provoking one, and most definitely one for our time”. The Dancing Times

  • Choreography – Aakash Odedra
  • Spoken Word – Sabrina Mahfouz
  • Lighting – Fabiana Piccioli
  • Music – Nicki Wells
  • Masks – David Poznanter
  • Technical Direction – Sander Loonen
  • Co-produced by Curve Theatre (Leicester), DanceXchange (Birmingham), La Comete (Chalons-en-Champagne) and Generously supported using Lottery Funds through Arts Council England.

Murmur 2
Murmur 2.0
Murmur 2.0 is a new iteration of Aakash’s hugely moving show Murmur on which he collaborated with Ars Electronica Futurelab and Lewis Major. The work has been extended as a full length production. A major audience hit, Murmur is an honest view of the tribulations of Aakash’s dyslexia. There are also enhanced educational packages for Murmur 2.0 which includes post-show stage demonstrations around the technology and dance.

“With a dark stage, vortexing blue lit smoke and a nightmare of projected chalk drawings that show a bird in a cage, then out free, followed by an almost Hitchcockian raging murmur of birds on the wing, our dancer is like Saint-Exupéry’s, The Little Prince that I see referenced in the chalk drawings, his long scarf outstretched with birds flying on leashes”. Jane Oriel – Art Scene in Wales

  • Supported by Arts at Dartington, NYU Abu Dhabi, The Place (London) and Generously supported using Lottery Funds through Arts Council England.
  • Original Supporters for Murmur:
  • Supported from by Sky Arts Academy Arts Scholarships and IdeasTap
  • Supported by Arts Council England
  • Co-commissioned by
  • Arts at Dartington, (Dartington Hall Trust, UK),
  • Bora Bora (Aarhus, Denmark)
  • Centre des Arts (Enghien les Bains, France),
  • Curve Theatre (Leicester, UK),
  • DanceXchange (Birmingham, UK),
  • Festival De Mayo (Guadalajara, MX),
  • La Comete (Chalons-en-Champage, France),
  • La Maison de la musique de Nanterre (Nanterre, FR),
  • Maison des Arts de Créteil (Créteil, FR),
  • Pavilion Dance South West (Bournemouth, UK),
  • Sampad (Birmingham, UK),
  • Studio Programme, Royal Opera House (London, UK)
Echoes
Echoes
Echoes is an exhilarating, high-octane Kathak dance experience which explores our relationships with our ancestors. The piece is choreographed by Kathak icon, Aditi Mangaldas, who is renowned for her artistry, energy and for breaking new ground, adding a contemporary twist to this stunning form of Indian dance.

“From the off, Odedra surprises. Instead of wearing the bells on his ankles, and to a plaintive song, he swings them in a circle of light. They ash and glitter as they slice through the beams, thudding as they strike the floor. A cascade of ghungroos dangle in one corner like a glistening waterfall, individual ones snaking across the floor in rivulets of gold”. The Dancing Times

  • Choreographers – Aditi Mangaldas
  • Performed by – Aakash Odedra
  • Lighting Designer – Fabiana Piccioli
  • Rehearsal Directors – Dheerendra Tiwari and Amit Khinchi
  • Music – Shubha Mudgal and Aneesh Pradhan
  • Lyrics – Paltudas, Bheekha Sahib, Meerabai
  • Lyrics sourced by Shubha Mudgal
  • Voice – Shubha Mudgal
  • Sarangi – Murad Ali
  • Tabla and recitation – Mohit Gangani
  • Pakhawaj – Ashish Gangani
  • Recorded at Studio Fuzz, New Delhi by Nitin Joshi.
  • Mixed and mastered by Nitin Joshi
  • Costume : Digvijay Singh
  • Set and Technical Direction – Sander Loonen
  • Co-produced by Curve Theatre (Leicester), DanceXchange (Birmingham), La Comete (Chalons-en-Champagne) and Generously supported using Lottery Funds through Arts Council England.

In I Imagine
I Imagine
In I Imagine, Aakash combines beautiful choreography with powerful spoken word as he collaborates with gifted, award-winning poet and fellow Sky Arts Academy Scholar Sabrina Mahfouz. Aakash and Sabrina explore the imagined future and the confines of skin. The experimental piece features masks made by Californian based Circus Practitioner David Poznanter, (credits include being Aamir Khan’s personal trainer for the blockbuster film Dhoom 3), and explores the dynamism of Dance/Performance Theatre.

“I Imagine is not only a superb piece of dance theatre, but a thought-provoking one, and most definitely one for our time”. The Dancing Times

  • Choreography – Aakash Odedra
  • Spoken Word – Sabrina Mahfouz
  • Lighting – Fabiana Piccioli
  • Music – Nicki Wells
  • Masks – David Poznanter
  • Technical Direction – Sander Loonen
  • Co-produced by Curve Theatre (Leicester), DanceXchange (Birmingham), La Comete (Chalons-en-Champagne) and Generously supported using Lottery Funds through Arts Council England.

Murmur 2
Murmur 2.0
Murmur 2.0 is a new iteration of Aakash’s hugely moving show Murmur on which he collaborated with Ars Electronica Futurelab and Lewis Major. The work has been extended as a full length production. A major audience hit, Murmur is an honest view of the tribulations of Aakash’s dyslexia. There are also enhanced educational packages for Murmur 2.0 which includes post-show stage demonstrations around the technology and dance.

“With a dark stage, vortexing blue lit smoke and a nightmare of projected chalk drawings that show a bird in a cage, then out free, followed by an almost Hitchcockian raging murmur of birds on the wing, our dancer is like Saint-Exupéry’s, The Little Prince that I see referenced in the chalk drawings, his long scarf outstretched with birds flying on leashes”. Jane Oriel – Art Scene in Wales

  • Supported by Arts at Dartington, NYU Abu Dhabi, The Place (London) and Generously supported using Lottery Funds through Arts Council England.
  • Original Supporters for Murmur:
  • Supported from by Sky Arts Academy Arts Scholarships and IdeasTap
  • Supported by Arts Council England
  • Co-commissioned by
  • Arts at Dartington, (Dartington Hall Trust, UK),
  • Bora Bora (Aarhus, Denmark)
  • Centre des Arts (Enghien les Bains, France),
  • Curve Theatre (Leicester, UK),
  • DanceXchange (Birmingham, UK),
  • Festival De Mayo (Guadalajara, MX),
  • La Comete (Chalons-en-Champage, France),
  • La Maison de la musique de Nanterre (Nanterre, FR),
  • Maison des Arts de Créteil (Créteil, FR),
  • Pavilion Dance South West (Bournemouth, UK),
  • Sampad (Birmingham, UK),
  • Studio Programme, Royal Opera House (London, UK)
Murmur
Murmur
Diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age, Aakash found conventional education at school very challenging. He felt defined by his learning difficulties, but not his abilities. As written language was so alien, dance became his preferred mode of expression. In Murmur, Aakash and Australian choreographer Lewis Major delve into the idea of warped and exaggerated realities. In a major collaboration with Major and Ars Electronica Futurelab (Linz, Austria), the company explores how the misconceptions of dyslexia can be revealed through visual design, light, sound, movement.

  • Choreographers – Aakash Odedra, Lewis Major
  • Performed by – Aakash Odedra
  • Futurelab Project Management – Kristefan Minski
  • Futurelab Technical – Patrick Müller / Erwin Reitböck
  • Futurelab Programming – Florian Berger, Roland Aigner, Otto Naderer
  • Futurelab Graphics / Animation – Andreas Jalsovic
  • Original Concept (Futurelab Involvement) – Roland Haring
  • Lighting Designer – Andrew Ellis
  • Assistant Lighting Designer – Clare Byrnes
  • Composer – Nicki Wells
  • Music Supervisor – Nitin Sawhney
  • Dramaturge – Farooq Chaudhry
  • Technical Director – Sander Loonen
  • Media Art Operator – Imanol Gómez

Projects
INKED
Scarification and tattoos have been used since old times as marks of identity or experience. Aakash Odedra’s grandmother’s body was covered by signs that ensured her protection and sense of belonging. In Inked, choreographed by Laurence Olivier awards winner Damien Jalet , the body becomes a place of transformation, an envelope marked, folded and metamorphosed by it s journey through a ritualized space. The figures and drawings made on his own body reveal the inner duality of the dancer who enters through a series of transformative stages in a self seeking quest, an exploration of the body’s limits and powers, as a way to transcend them.

  • ‘Inked’
  • Choreographer – Damien Jalet
  • Performed By – Aakash Odedra
  • Assistant Choreographer – Aimilios Arapoglou
  • Composer – Loscil
  • Lighting Designer – Fabiana Piccioli
  • Costumier – Jean Paul Lespagnard
  • Supported from by Sky Arts Academy Arts Scholarships and IdeasTap
  • Supported by Arts Council England
  • Co-commissioned by
  • Arts at Dartington, (Dartington Hall Trust, UK),
  • Bora Bora (Aarhus, Denmark)
  • Centre des Arts (Enghien les Bains, France),
  • Curve Theatre (Leicester, UK),
  • DanceXchange (Birmingham, UK),
  • Festival De Mayo (Guadalajara, MX),
  • La Comete (Chalons-en-Champage, France),
  • La Maison de la musique de Nanterre (Nanterre, FR),
  • Maison des Arts de Créteil (Créteil, FR),
  • Pavilion Dance South West (Bournemouth, UK),
  • Sampad (Birmingham, UK),
  • Studio Programme, Royal Opera House (London, UK)
Projects
Get on the Good Foot.
Aakash Odedra was privileged to be asked to create and perform a dance work inspired by the music of James Brown by The Apollo Theater in New York. Artistic Director of the project Otis Sallid invited Aakash to research the life and work of James Brown and to interpret James Brown’s work through Kathak. Through numerous residency periods Aakash created ‘Ecstacy’ which premiered at the Apollo Theater in October 2013 followed by a North American Tour.
Read a review of Aakash’s piece here in the Wall Street Journal Wall Street Journal Blogs – “James Brown Dance Tribute includes Indian Kathak Surprise”
Projects
God’s Little Soldier
City Theater Freiburg (Germany) invited Aakash Odedra to choreograph on their operatic adaptation of Kiran Nagarkar’s book, God’s Little Soldier. A story about the life of Zia, an extremist character who changes religions more than once, the production opened in Freiburg in May 2013. With a cast of over 30 dancers from the local area, Aakash also performed solo in the opening season of the production.
Review: dnaindia.com – “God’s Little Soldier Marches to German Stage”
Projects
Triple Commission for HM The Queen
Aakash was asked to choreograph 3 pieces for HM The Queen as part of the Diamond Jubilee Tour in March 2012. The first two pieces were performed at the campus of De Montfort University. The pieces featured groups from Leicester’s local community including children and young people from Desi Masti the Academy, English Martyr’s School and De Monfort University in partnership with Curve Theatre. Leicester City Council also commissioned Aakash to create a centre-piece performance for HM The Queen at Leicester’s Clock Tower, this time Aakash worked with Desi Masti’s elite dancers to choreograph the piece.
Projects
Mandala
“MANDALA, produced by Sampad South Asian arts & Seeper – photos by Adrian Burrows”
MANDALA was a ground-breaking production that integrated cutting-edge 3D digital technology with South Asian performing arts as the result of a bold, new collaboration between Sampad South Asian arts and leading arts & technology company, seeper. The dazzling outdoor performance event took place in Birmingham’s Chamberlain Square and Nottingham’s Old Market Square in September 2012.
Directed by Kully Thiarai, with stunning choreography by Aakash Odedra and artistic direction by Piali Ray, it aimed to present South Asian dance and music in a fresh and exciting new way.
MANDALA was choreographed by Aakash and featured hip-hop/streetdance collective Bboy’s Attic, Devika Rao and a company of artists, mixing the beautiful forms of classical Asian dance with edgy, urban attitude.
The striking dance sequences were set to a powerful soundtrack that featured the music of world-class artists Anoushka Shankar and Zakir Hussain and the performance culminated with an uplifting live appearance by multi award-winning tabla artist, Talvin Singh.
The façades of Town Hall Birmingham and Nottingham Council House formed an interactive backdrop for the shows and the structures came to life with stunning visual effects and 3D digital light projections triggered by the live South Asian music and dance.
A ‘mandala’ is a circular symbol that represents the universe in some Eastern religions. The performance reflected on our journeys through life and how we are all shaped by our experiences. The mandala shape formed by the projections symbolised the idea that the past, present and future are all part of a never-ending life cycle and also represented our collective histories and cultural heritage.
The multimedia spectacle provided the dramatic celebrations for the final weekend of the prestigious London 2012 Festival, a 12-week festival that showcased the UK’s world-class culture and gave people across the UK an opportunity to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
MANDALA aimed to awaken a mood of joy and celebration by inspiring audiences to salute the achievements of the past and to renew their collective hopes for the future. It ultimately created an immersive and memorable experience enjoyed by more than twelve thousand people across the three performances.
Projects
Rising

Rising is the successful debut production of Aakash Odedra Company. It features four works performed by Aakash, exploring different processes and aesthetics to create a new personal language.

“Single-minded passion is never quite enough. Innovation is a collective performance.” Unknown

Aakash performs solos choreographed by Russell Maliphant, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Akram Khan and himself and featuring lighting by Michael Hulls and Willy Cessa. All use Aakash’s background in Kathak and Bharatanatyam to create a distinct flavour of contemporary dance.

The project has been commissioned by AKCT (London), DanceXchange (Birmingham), Sampad (Birmingham), Eastman (Antwerp), The Hat Factory (Luton), Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Dance (Leicester), South East Dance (Brighton), New Art Exchange (Nottingham), The Place (London), Curve Theatre (Leicester), Southbank Centre (London) and funded by Arts Council England and Akademi (London).

  • CUT – choreographed by Russell Maliphant
  • Lighting by Michael Hulls
  • Music by Andy Cowton
  • Rehearsal Director Lewis Major

For CUT Russell creates a piece using elements and dynamics that Aakash is familiar with from his background in Kathak and Bharat Natyam. Shaping that into a world where the lighting cuts and highlights that movement and creates a contained world that expresses its own logic of flow and form.
Working with lighting designer Michael Hulls to achieve this, and with composer Andy Cowton, both of whom have collaborated with Russell before, CUT is the result of this collaboration.

  • In The Shadow Of Man – choreographed by Akram Khan
  • Lighting by Michael Hulls
  • Music by Jocelyn Pook
  • Rehearsal Directors Jose Agudo and Lewis Major

The direction for this solo choreography, is not so much about making a piece, as it is about exploring my continuous fascination with the ‘animal’ we have within ourselves.
I feel the question that is constantly evoked during my research of the ‘body’, is that as human beings, we continue to evolve from generation to generation, but ‘are we becoming more ‘human’ over time, or are we becoming more like ‘animals?’.
I have always felt a strong connection to the ‘animal’ embedded within the Indian dance tradition. Kathak masters have so often used animals as forms of inspiration, even to the point of creating a whole repertoire based on the qualities, movements, and rhythms of certain animals. So, in this journey with Aakash, I was fascinated to discover if there was an animal residing deep within the shadow of his own body.

  • Constellation – choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
  • Lighting by Willy Cessa
  • Music by Olga Wojciechowska
  • Rehearsal Directors Paul Zivkovich and Lewis Major

Lightning and thunder. Light and sound. The illusions of distance and nearness they convey in a sky that deceptively appears a constant. Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui has been fascinated by the different images these convey, while their source is often one and the same. He seeks to highlight different patterns of sound and different sources of light that come together to create a constellation, a system where things are kept suspended and in movement by each others’ gravitational fields and contending forces. By the flow of light and sound emanating from darkness and their return to that state. All this with and through Aakash as the locus, the astral body generating its own rhythms and luminosity.

  • Nritta (Kathak) – Choreographed by Aakash Odedra
  • Music arranged by Aakash Odedra

Nritta means (pure dance) is divided in to two elements masculine and feminine. The strong sharvic power drawing from the God of Dance Shiva in his tandav form (vigorous dance ) mixed with droplets of lasya (soft circular seductive) moves belonging to his other half Parvati/ Prakriti. Tandav also symbolises the cosmic cycles of creation and destruction, as well as the daily rhythm of birth and death.
Nritta displays they merging or coming together of both male and female to give birth to a form with perfect balance called ardhanareshwara (symbolising then oneness of both beings). Nritta is the exploration an discovery of time, space, rhythm and how ones potential energy effects the relationship with them.
The 16 beat time-cycle is used as a metaphor for the departure and union of the dancer (Shiva / masculine) from his rhythmic time cycle (Parvati / feminine). The ultimate aim being for the dancer, a rhythm to unite on the first beat of every time cycle and celebrate the sum (the neutral point of the time cycle).
Sum is also the rare occasion where stillness is explored, like the meditative form of Shiva, the point of thoughtlessness, when mind body and soul come in to alignment and time freezes entering a spiritual plane of bliss. the dancer spins in endless circles of ecstasy for a never ending search of his beloved.