Kala Vandanam together Leela Samson and Company, will perform for the first time in the Twin Cities, presenting “Spanda” – Vibration as Life Force of the Universe on April 19, 2013, at 7:30 p.m., at Wellstone Center Performance Space, 179 Robie Street E., St Paul, MN 55107.
The internationally distinguished Leela Samson, along with a company of talented dancers and acclaimed guest artist Bragha Bessell, and music by Madhup Mudgal and O.S. Arun, present “Spanda” – a vibration – is symbolic of the enduring and perpetual energy that is the life force of the universe. It incorporates the philosophical concept of ‘Prithvi’ – Mother Earth – as the center and source of energy in the universe, and equates it with the ‘nabham’ – the womb – as the origin of energy in the human body. It is a journey inwards seeking the essential ‘center’, the origin of movement and its source of strength.
Spanda explores rediscovery of the basic movements of Bharatanatyam and the need for a reinterpretation of its traditional vocabulary. Spanda seeks to establish a more relevant dialogue between dance, music and stagecraft.
Leela Samson is considered one of the most eminent Bharatanatyam dancers of our time. Her technical virtuosity and the poetry and polish she brings to the stage make her an unforgettable dancer.
This is a unique opportunity for Twin Cities audiences to experience Bharatanatyam in an ensemble performance led by one of India’s most distinguished artists.
The company is completed with Christopher Gurusamy, B. Harikrishnan, Satyapriya Mohan Iyer, Saisanthosh Radhakrishnan, Bilva Raman, Jin Shanshan, and Arun K. Velayudhan.
Leela Samson is among India’s most dynamic and technically brilliant dancers, an outstanding representative of Kalakshetra, the famed institute for the classical arts founded by the late Rukmini Devi Arundale on the Chennai ocean front.
Distinguished as both a soloist and a choreographer, her personal style is unostentatious, serene and characterized by an impeccable technique that blends geometrical precision with vibrancy and an unfettered ease. Her rhythmic acumen is apparent in dance compositions containing varied and challenging percussion patterns.
Two documentary films, “Sanchari” and “The Flowering Tree” have been made on her works. Among the many honors conferred on her, Leela Samson was awarded the prestigious Padmashri (1990) by the President of India in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the art of Bharatanatyam as well as the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1999-2000) instituted by the apex cultural body of the Government of India.
In addition to achievements as a performing artist, she served her alma mater Kalakshetra as its Director from 2005-2012, and is the chairwoman of India’s Sangeet Natak Akademi (2010-present) and Central Board of Film Certification (2011-present).