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When Earth Sings -A Navarasa Production

Nirmala Garimella

Navarasa dance theater celebrates its 5th Anniversary International Women's day and Women's history Month performance with "When Earth Sings" premiering Refugee Ragas and Plantation Talas.

It is a Sunday afternoon and the Zeitgeist Gallery known as an ‘autonomous zone for creative collaboration and non mainstream community culture’ hums with the sound of soft poetry reading, as a diverse group of more than 20 people gather at a workshop titled Bloodlines: Women Writing in times of war, the first of two workshops hosted by Navarasa dance theater, setting the stage for the world premier performance of “ When Earth Sings”. The group participates in an eclectic synergy, combining poetry reading with creative writing led by Prof. Rajini Srikanth, followed by a singing workshop with Brian Rawson. The workshop was co-sponsored by SMUJP (Somerville / Medford United for Justice with Peace)

Aparna Sindhoor with Writer-Director Raju Sivasankaran, choreographed the pieces that will be showcased at the world premier. Unlike conventional dance performances, Aparna aims to humanize the art form through innovative choreography. Her pieces combine dance as a visual language with musical lyrics, contrary to other dance combinations that rely solely on music without the words. “The first piece,The Refugee Ragas” says Aparna,” is a solo dance with a drummer playing music. I have based the choreography on a few poems about women, war and Refugees. I am not using much text in this piece. It is all inspired images from poems and music. I am also using a Kannada folk song that talks about a mother who loses her daughter in war”.

Her creative choreography has won her rave reviews. Says one art critic “Choreographers often bring their passions and outrages to the stage. Aparna Sindhoor takes it a step further - she brings the stage to others...”. She definitely has a technique that is special and specialized. The second piece, Plantation Talas, Aparna explains “ It is a longer piece. The choreography is based heavily on rhythm. Dug Dineen is playing the drums. It is a group piece with 8 dancers (including me) and an actor and a singer. Raju is producing the show. We also have a guest choreographer Janet Craft who is doing one piece”

While the central theme of the dances deal with diverse topics such as immigration, war, and the struggle for self-determination, the works draw on a unique blend of Indian Classical dance, yoga, Indian folk dance and world music. The dance appeals to different emotional levels and experiences that hope to translate to the audience.

"When Earth Sings" premiering Refugee Ragas and Plantation Talas will be performed at the Tower Auditorium of Mass Art, 621 Huntington Avenue, Boston on March 14 and 15 at 8pm
Cost: Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for students and artists.For more information: navarasa@navarasa.org or 617-776-7939
Workshop Series: The second workshop "Coolie Odysseys" is on Friday Feb. 28th at 7pm With Gautam Premnath and Aparna Sindhoor

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Aparna Sindoor

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