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Mandala: digitally illuminated dance

Posted on September 4, 2012

devika-rao-in-mandalaOn Friday and Saturday, Birmingham Town Hall and Nottingham Council House will be illuminated by colour, light and dance, mixing urban and classical Asian styles. Mandala is a free outdoor performance, with digital projections and visual effects triggered by live music and dance.

Mandala (Sanskrit for “circle”) unites British Asian dancers Aakash Odedra and Deviva Rao (pictured) with Bboy’s Attic and a company of artists. The soundtrack features music by Anoushka Shankar and Zakir Hussain, plus a special live appearance by award-winning tabla artist Talvin Singh. The production is directed by Kully Thiarai, with choreography by Aakash Odedra and artistic direction by Piali Ray. The performances are part of the London 2012 festival, which ends this weekend.

The first performances take place in Chamberlain Square, Birmingham on Friday, September 7. The show begins at 6.30pm with a free outdoor performance by dhol’n’brass band Red Baraat, presented by Town Hall, Birmingham. The Mandala performance starts at 8.30pm, with a repeat performance at 9.30pm. The evening also marks the start of artsfest, the UK’s biggest free arts festival.

On Sunday, September 9, Mandala will be performed at 8.30pm in Old Market Square, Nottingham. This show marks the opening weekend of the World Event for Young Artists and the final weekend of MelaFest 2012, presented by New Art Exchange and Nottingham Asian Arts Council.

See www.mandala2012.co.uk for more information.

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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