Embracing the Past and Empowering the Future

Centre for Dance Research, Michaelis Theatre

Image - Embracing the Past and Empowering the Future

Wednesday 16 October, 6-7.30pm

In the 40th anniversary year of the UK-based South Asian dance company Akademi, Roehampton Dance is honoured to host its founder, Tara Rajkumar OAM. Along with dancer Bindu Rajendren, Tara will explore the evolution of South Asian arts over the last four decades, the types of knowledges it has created and its relationship with contemporary choreography. Including two short dances performed by Bindu Rajendren, this event will offer an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the past and continuing work of Akademi.

Tara Rajkumar has made distinguished contributions to dance in Australia, the United Kingdom and India for over four decades, taking the classical Indian dance forms of Kathakali and Mohiniattam and contemporary productions to many parts of the world, from village halls to prestigious venues. Tara's work in UK in the 1970s and early '80s brought many accolades and led to her founding the first National Academy of Indian Dance in 1979 in London with British government support. Akademi, as it now called, is celebrating its 40th year of sustained contributions to South Asian Dance in the UK.

Bindu Rajendren is a specialist in the classical Indian dance style of Mohiniattam. Eloquent and intense facial expressions with graceful and flowing movements that evoke rasa-anubhuti (aesthetic experience) are characteristics of Bindu's dance performances. She works under the mentorship of Tara Rajkumar, her Guru, to compose, conceptualise and choreograph new works.