Pillow Lab:
Aakash Odedra

At Perles Family Studio: Dec 16

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Pillow Lab:
Aakash Odedra

Residency: December 10 – 19, 2023
Showing: December 16, 2023

Leveraging their common cultural heritage, Aakash Odedra and Rani Khanam seek to explore and research form that upholds the sanctity of traditional Sufi Kathak, a classical style imbued with profound spiritual nuance and deeply rooted in the dance traditions of the Indian subcontinent, while also investigating its possibilities when viewed through a modern lens. The working title of their new piece is Rooh (Journey of the Soul). With music composed and directed by Rushil Ranjan and Orchestral Qawwali, the project is an immersive dialogue between traditional classical Indian dance and music, renowned for its precise rhythm and storytelling, and the innovative perspectives of contemporary forms and processes. These artists’ exploratory journey will present a captivating interplay between the spiritual charge of Sufism and classical technique and style. Islamic poetry, characterized by its profound depth and rhythmic flow, will intertwine with their research work, forming a critical part of the creative process. As this unique exploration unravels, Odedra and Khanam will illuminate the cultural richness of the subcontinent, emphasizing the extraordinary potential of its dance traditions when it engages with modern dance practice, assuring a dynamic blend of the old and new, tradition and innovation, spiritual and physical.

About Aakash Odedra

Aakash Odedra is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher. Born in Birmingham, England, Odedra trained in the classical Indian dance styles of Kathak (Nilima Devi, Leicester and Asha Joglekar, India) and Bharatanatyam (Chitraleka Bolar, Birmingham and Chhaya Kantaveh, India). Odedra formed Aakash Odedra Company in 2011 as a vehicle for commissioning solos and to develop his own choreographic work, and as a soloist has performed over 300 full length performances in 40 countries in the past decade. Notable commissions include James Brown: Get on the Good Foot (Apollo Theater) and the opera God’s Little Soldier (Theater Freiburg), The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, and the closing of the London Cultural Olympiad. Odedra has received numerous awards including the Amnesty International Award for Freedom of Expression; Best Dance at the Eastern Eye ACTA Awards, 2018; a Dora performance award (Canada); Danza&Danza award (Italy); and a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s 2021 New Year’s Honours for his services to dance.

Additional support for this residency is made possible by the Vivienne Jones Endowment Fund at Jacob’s Pillow created by Christopher Jones, Chair of Jacob’s Pillow’s Board of Trustees and his wife, Deb McAllister, in honor of Jones’s mother. The Fund was established to enhance the reach of the Pillow Lab by supporting a residency for a company based outside of the United States.