Sooraj Subramaniam
© Tom Decuyper

India Dance Festival: nimbus + Pallavi + Ashtapadi


Different times Korzo Studio X

Event in the past.
Performance Sooraj Subramaniam
Production Maghenta
Part of India Dance Festival

Visitors to the India Dance Festival will certainly know Sooraj Subramaniam as a dancer. His physical, clean lines and rich dance vocabulary make him a versatile performer. This year the festival presents Sooraj as a maker. In addition to the modern work nimbus, he shows his strenght and a different side of Odissi with two classical works.


nimbus was born out of the simple fascination of seeing shapes in clouds. The rain cloud is used as a metaphor for the swirling and condensing of expectation and desire, which turns to loss and despair as the elusive cloud shape-shifts and washes away. Finally, as silver linings go, whatever truth, conviction and joy there is to be found can only be sought within.

Genre Contemporary | Length 13 minutes

Concept, choreography & performance Sooraj Subramaniam | Music composition & recording Osama Abdulrasol | Vocals Helena Schoeters | Light design Sooraj Subramaniam | Film & editing Jan Bosteels | Editing for screen Tom Decuyper | Costume Greta Lemaitre | Production Maghenta | Content support Avatara Ayuso, Seeta Patel | Support (Australia) Sangam, Dancehouse Melbourne | Support in kind Mestizo Arts Platform, Kopergietery, Kunstencentrum Vooruit, Danspunt, Minard Schouwburg | Funded by City of Ghent, Flanders - State of the Art

Pallavi: Kalyan

Deriving from the meaning to flourish or elaborate, the pallavi is a genre of choreography in the Odissi style that uses sculpturesque poses to form intricate movement and rhythmic arrangements. The raga (melodic scale), which sets the mood and gives the flavour of the composition, is described as a regal and beautiful warrior:

Behold the warrior preparing for battle, his sword drawn. With his forehead marked with vermillion, and armour covered in gold, he steps into battle. Lord of dissolution, drenched in red, the beauty of raga Kalyan is sung by the sages.

Genre Odissi | Length 13 minutes

Ashtapadi: Priye charushile

Written in the 12th century by saint-poet Jayadeva, the Ashtapadis are a set of poems that have immortalised the love between the milkmaid Radha and the pastoral god Krishna. In this poem, Radha is dejected by Krishna’s seeming infidelity. Krishna asks for forgiveness and professes his love through flattery:

“Beautiful Radha, won’t you speak just a little so that the gleam from your teeth may dispel the darkness in my heart? I am like that chakora bird, entranced by the moon-like lustre of your beautiful face. Do away with your pride, come here and let me taste the nectar of your lotus lips. You are my body, my soul, the gem of my existence. Won’t you yield to my desires? My entire being is being consumed by the heat of Cupid's love arrows. Please, place your tender feet upon my head and quench this fever of love.”

Movement genre Odissi | Length 11 minutes

Credits Odissi works
Choreographer Guru Deba Prasad Das | Music composition Ramahari Das | Music recording Ramli Ibrahim | Vocals Lakshmikant Palit | Recitation Gajendra Kumar Panda | Mardala Dhaneshwar Swain

Live aftertalk

After the performance there is a live aftertalk with Sooraj Subramaniam.

Join the conversation via Zoom

(code: 698119)


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