After over a year of planning, research and development, Bagri Foundation and Aakash Odedra Company present a world tour and a new dance commission. Entitled Samsara, the new work is a collaboration between Aakash Odedra and Hu Shenyuan, two of the finest exponents of culturally-specific dance forms from their countries of origin, India and China, on the world stage.
Samsara is inspired by Wu Cheng’en’s classic 16th century Chinese novel ‘Journey to the West’ which depicts the journey of Buddhist philosophy from India to China, in turn inspired by the real life monk Xuanzang who undertook a pilgrimage in the 7th century. The story of cultural exchange and common philosophy will be key to Odedra and Shenyuan’s interpretation.
World premiere: Asia TOPA Festival in Melbourne, 5 to 7 March 2020
Chinese premiere: Shanghai International Dance Center, March 2020
European premiere: 11 June 2020 at Birmingham Hippodrome
Samsara is co-commissioned by Curve, Leicester and Birmingham Hippodrome. Aakash Odedra is Associate Artist at both venues.
About Aakash Odedra Company
Based in Leicester, Aakash Odedra Company exists to deliver exceptional creative experiences for audiences and participants and to help create a society that is happier and healthier through dance and the arts. We want to ensure that our dance work reflects excellence, removes barriers to access excellent dance and art and makes art and dance education opportunities more widely available. We create dance works through a synthesis of Kathak, contemporary and Bollywood-Jazz which push boundaries, responding to and drawing inspiration from contemporary issues. Bilingual in classical and contemporary dance we use the voice of British-Asian experience to translate ancient and contemporary movement languages to tell new stories relevant to today. Our location within Leicester’s international communities has allowed us to be more aware of, and pro-active about, the opportunities of plural heritage and the importance of a culture of accessibility, social justice, messaging and making people feel welcome. Aakash Odedra Company is one of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisations.