A Celebration of All Things Cultural, Artistic, and Entertaining in Madison
Feb 17, 2010
A World of Dance
If you’re a fan of dance in any of its myriad forms, you’re probably pretty excited about Planet Dance.
This dance extravaganza, which takes place Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Overture Center, is the culmination of a four-year collaboration between Kanopy Dance, Kalaanjali School of Dance and Music, Sadira and the Riad Dance Company, Tania Tandias Flamenco & Spanish Dance and West African Dance of Madison.
Planet Dance blends modern, flamenco, Middle Eastern, classical Indian and West African forms of dance, showing the unique elements of each and also how the earlier traditions have influenced contemporary choreographers.
Kanopy artistic director Lisa Thurrell says the idea for such a collaborative production began years ago, when various dance groups used her company’s studio space. Kanopy staff and dancers were inspired by what they were doing and wanted to work with them.
“Really, it was just this energy, this hanging around with other groups,” she says.
Kanopy began performing with the groups, incorporating Indian, flamenco, Middle Eastern and African styles into their modern choreography. And now all five traditions are coming together for Planet Dance.
“It’s been almost like a puzzle to put together,” Thurrell says about joining the groups. “You really learn a lot—about the similarities and about the extreme differences.”
Dances in the performance include “Nagwas Tabla,” contrasting Middle Eastern and modern dance soloists, “Balance of the Wheel,” which compares the movements of the Bharatnatyam Indian style to that of modern choreography, and “Circle of Life,” in which West African drumming and dancing merge with a modern ensemble.
The program also features traditional dances by each company and ends with a number that brings all five together.
With such diverse styles represented in the performance, Thurrell anticipates audiences will leave Planet Dance feeling inspired and uplifted.
“There’s just a deep sense of joy about the human spirit expressed in these dance forms,” she says.
Planet Dance takes place February 19 at 7:30p, February 20 at 8p and February 21 at 2:30p at Overture Center. For tickets or more information, call 258.4141 or visit overturecenter.com.
Photos courtesy of Kanopy Dance.