'... as a viewer, I needed to feel what the dancers were going through and it worked well...' (Malcolm Keen, Pulse magazine)
Pagrav’s new work is set amidst the chaos, creativity and colour of the Uttarayan kite festival. Through tales of competition, danger, excitement and unity, Kattam Katti explores the parallels between this fiercely competitive event and deeply divided societies, echoing the current global climate.
With striking set design, and interaction between the dancers and musicians, Urja’s stunning vision marks a new age of neo classicism that is sure to delight all ages.
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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, this first piece portrays sakhi in play and then 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. In the finale, a duet stresses the tension evident in a dance between Maya – representing disillusion - and the Supreme.
Originally commissioned by Sujata Banerjee Dance Company for Hemantika Festival 2019.
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.
Aunusthan, meaning celebration, is an evening of dance demonstrating the multi-faceted nature of kathak. The production, featuring an array of solos, duets and ensemble pieces was conceived out of the company's commitment to providing a supportive platform for the next generation of emerging performers.
Breaking Ground is based on Sonia Chandaria’s migration story - tracing her grandmother's move from her motherland Gujarat, India, to the fertile lands of Kenya in the 1940s, culminating with Sonia's own journey to the UK decades later.
Literally meaning rising sun, Uday marks an ascent to new beginnings, work and challenges in this remarkable debut solo by Shyam Dattani.
This powerful piece set on taal dhamar features virtuosic hallmarks of nritta such as chakkar, uthaan and paran in a demonstration of speed and control.
Performed by Grand Finalist Shyam Dattani as part of BBC Young Dancer 2017.
Inspired by her renowned choreography, Urja dedicates this duet to her guru, Kumudini Lakhia, exploring dynamics between two individuals.
Performed by Grand Finalist Shyam Dattani and partner Ishira Shah as part of BBC Young Dancer 2017.
A special commission produced by Akademi as a tribute to K. Asif’s 1960 Bollywood classic Mughal-e-Azam.
Expressing feelings of confinement, Lamha looks into confronting life’s obstacles.
Performed by Grand Finalist Vidya Patel as part of BBC Young Dancer 2015.
Originally created in collaboration with Theatre Tol, the Belgian performing arts company known for its stylised street theatre, Bells brings together international kathak artists with spell-binding flying aerialists. Audience members are invited to join a dramatic wedding procession under the gaze of aerial fairies, building up to a celebratory kathak finale.
As part of our 2017-18 residency at MK Gallery, Pagrav was delighted to present artist-choreographer Manuela Benini's The Red Dress Project, an evolving performance-photography project portraying powerful provocations on gender, place and identity addressing human rights issues and our impact on the environment.
The first official Festival Fringe for Milton Keynes offered 220 different opportunities for audiences to participate in performances, workshops or exhibitions. There were 30+ commissioned artists/arts organisations.
A showcase of dance from an array of disciplines presented by Jacksons Lane in partnership with Pagrav Dance Company.
Conceived to introduce the Indian classical dance forms, kathak and odissi, to school students in the Milton Keynes area through term-time workshops and summer intensives. This initiative led to
regular, accessible classes in dance, vocal music, sitar and tabla.
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.
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.
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.
I, WITHIN – ANANT/ENDLESS (DOUBLE BILL)
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.
A staging of youth dance cultivated in community settings showing a fresh approach to Indian classical dance.
This piece celebrates the timeless relationship of Radha and Krishna. Blossoming over four parts, the audience is taken through phases of their nuanced love.
This piece is very close to Urja’s heart as it was originally choreographed by her guru Kumudini Lakhia as a blessing for her move to the UK.
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