Nina Rajarani is an award-winning choreographer of classical Indian dance with 30 years’ experience as a dance-maker. She fuels traditions of Bharatanatyam and Kathak with a love of storytelling and a firm desire to reflect contemporary life in her productions. With her performing company Srishti – Nina Rajarani Dance Creations, she is equally at home working with readable western characters and traditional archetypes, and cleverly weaves sophisticated forms of dance with recognisable narratives and themes. A unique trait of Nina’s work is how Srishti musicians and dancers are choreographed together so that they are all characters in the story. This strikes a collective chord within the ensemble and further transforms the audience experience.
SEVENS is a triple bill of dance pieces, featuring Nina Rajarani performing, as well as four Bharatanatyam and Kathak dancers and three musicians in ensemble work. Seven Snags, Seven Steps and Seven Sins explore the sacred and sinful significance of the number Seven:
A flirtatious courtship, Seven Snags is the choreographic equivalent of an obstacle race. This fast-paced ensemble piece is rhythmic, full of exciting dynamics and challenging cross-rhythms.
Seven Steps, a duet by Nina Rajarani and vocaslist/composer Y Yadavan, is based on saptapadi – the most important rite of a Hindu marriage ceremony; with each step, the couple take a vow that is beautiful, simple and timeless.
Seven Sins, based on the age-old concept of rights and wrongs, is a piece for the full ensemble of seven dancers and musicians. This thought-provoking, nuanced piece questions the very perception and challenges that have become social norms.
Srishti’s latest outdoor work Jham! (pictured) is an upbeat and energetic musical collaboration between dancers and musicians that uses creative improvisation – or “jamming” – to initiate a rhythmic interplay between classical and modern forms of music and dance. Jham! has a distinctly relaxed, contemporary feel, with four musicians – including a beatboxer, a saxophonist and a traditional Karnatik vocalist – performing alongside four Kathak and Bharatanatyam dancers.