Rangmālā paintings illustrate a confluence of art, poetry and classical music from medieval India. In this work, Urja embodies the characteristic personification of these melodic modes though the portrayal of four distinct nayika. The music composition reflects a journey of maturity with an easing of tempo.
Continuum is a triptych of kathak and odissi drawing on Jaydeva’s Geetgovinda to represent a journey of duality to oneness. Beginning with a bandish, which portrays sakhi in play and the angst Radha experiences in Krishna’s absence. An asthapadi comprises the second part, where Krishna pleads with an embittered Radha to accept his love.
Kabir and I
A short dance-theatre work where the protagonist finds solace in Kabir’s poetry while confronting the loss of a family matriarch. The narrative follows their questioning the significance of life’s pursuits, the purpose of celebration and mourning, and the existence of God. Originally commissioned by Akademi for UTKARSH 2015, an initiative to support the creation of new Indian classical choreography.
Based on Javerchand Meghani’s Gujarati translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s Bengali poem Bojre Tomar Bajey Banshi, this thought-provoking piece contemplates life and death as two definitive yet intrinsically connected realms. Originally commissioned by Kadam for the Between the lines – Rethinking Tagore for 21st Century festival 2014.
“When I let go of myself, I become what I might be” – Lao Tzo Inspired by this quote, Urja looks into physical, mental and spiritual cleansing. This ensemble work however goes deeper and beyond the more typical challenges and cycles of addiction and purification. Originally commissioned by Akademi for CHOEROGATA 2013, an initiative to support the creation of new contemporary South Asian dance choreography.
In this ensemble piece, Urja probes society’s decline in tolerance and the disconcerting consequences. Originally commissioned by Dance West for Ignition Dance Festival 2017.
Intolerance of Being
A site-specific piece portraying resolutions reached when tensions arise between individuals in testing circumstances. Originally commissioned by Milton Keynes Arts Festival 2014.
Radiating flair and charm, Utsav is a series of stunning bandish weaving in and out of nritta and nritya over teental and ektaal. Originally commissioned by Shapoorji Pallonji & Co for the company’s 150th anniversary celebrations in Delhi, India.
A bold duet moving kathak vocabulary away from its conventional context. Through paradoxical reflection, two performers present as one, demonstrating the multidimensional nature of our identities. Avoiding the well-trodden path of traditional storytelling, the work explores the roles women play in modern society using abstract movement and naturalistic facial expressions.
A complex solo work presented in the classical canon exploring the rhythmic patterns of kathak in relation to the endless, cyclical nature of taal. Originally created for the UK Gharana Festival 2010 inspired by Urja’s ongoing artistic journey as a performer and choreographer.
Representing a constant shift, Flux encompasses the ever-changing nature of situations, associations and relationships. Originally commissioned for Fuse Medway Festival 2010.
Hats is an emotive solo portraying the journey of a woman traversing an array of roles and relationships to seek a sense of inner understanding and balance.
A conceptual ensemble work accompanied by live music and poetry portraying a longing for change, renewal and light that manifests with the coming of spring.
Kathak through the ages
A staging of youth dance cultivated in community settings showing a fresh approach to Indian classical dance.