Mon 29 Sep 2014

Internationally acclaimed Leicester dancer and one of the Curve’s first Associate Artists, Aakash Odedra, is bringing his new work Murmur inspired by his experiences of dyslexia to Curve on 10 -11 November, as part of an international tour.

Originally born in Leicester and diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age, Odedra was announced as a Curve associate artist in 2013. He has recently received award nominations at the Infant Festival in Serbia for another work, ‘Rising’, and a Bessie Awards nomination for best performer for his choreography for ‘Ecstasy’, an interpretation in Kathak to the works of James Brown.

Finding written language alien, dance became Odedra’s preferred mode of expression.  In 2013 he was one of five performers to be awarded a Sky Academy Arts Scholarship in support of the creation of Murmur.  This enabled him to pursue his ideas with Austrian-based Ars Electronica, a centre which explores the linkages between Art, Technology and Society, bringing a striking technological dimension to the performance.  Aakash’s journey during the project has also been captured by Sky Arts in a short film and as part of his aim to increase awareness about the frustrations Dyslexia can bring, he has accepted an ambassadorial role with national charity Dyslexia Action.

During the creation of Murmur, Odedra worked in collaboration with Australian choreographer and former Curve Young Arts Entrepreneur, Lewis Major, and acclaimed producer Farooq Chaudry. They commissioned Ars Electronica’s research division, the Ars Electronica Futurelab, to create a three-dimensional stereoscopic environment in a storm of paper. The original soundtrack is by Nicky Wells, a protégée of Nitin Sawhney, classically trained in Indian music. Lighting is by Andrew Ellis.

Inked is choreographed by Olivier Award-winning Damien Jalet on Odedra whose grandmother’s body was covered with tattoos that ensured her protection and sense of belonging. In Inked, the body becomes a place of transformation as it journeys through a ritualised space. The original score is by Scott Morgan and lighting by Fabiana Piccioli winner of the Knight of Illumination Award for dance in 2013.

In a review of the international premieres at the International Dance Festival Birmingham, dance critic Hanna Weibye ( described Odedra as a “dance creator to watch out for”, and his new work as “showing a mature integration of the languages of classical Indian and Western contemporary dance within a visual and thematic frame shaped by Odedra’s own strong creative vision”.

Aakash originally trained in the south Asian styles of Kathak and Bharatanatyam and is now developing his own distinctive performance style. In 2011 he commissioned Akram Khan, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Russell Maliphant to create a triple bill of solos known as ‘Rising’ which marked Odedra out as an international star of dance.

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