In celebration of the auspicious Festival of Lights, The Actors Studio Seni Teater Rakyat will be unveiling its second instalment of the KonTra dance series, KonTra : Asirvatham from 28 to 30 October 2022 at Pentas 2, klpac.
Asirvatham which simply means blessings in Tamil refers to the form of love, compassion, forgiveness and altruism that we receive and pass on to one another.
Perfectly suited for the upcoming Deepavali celebrations, KonTra : Asirvatham sets out to celebrate the idea that, in life, everything is a blessing – whether it is a moving body, opportunities that knock on our doors, or loved ones who stay.
Conceptualised by The Actors Studio’s Resident Choreographer Zhafir Muzani, the KonTra dance series aims to experiment with the fusion of classical, folk and contemporary dance.
This second edition presents a dazzling array of traditional Indian dances such as Bharatanaytam, Kathak and Odissi, while exploring elements like Abhinaya (expression), Mudras (hand gestures), and Talam (rhythm of beats).
It boasts a line-up of six award-winning choreographers, each bringing something different to the table due to their diverse backgrounds and expertise.
One cannot talk about Indian classical dance without mentioning Bharatanatyam, one of the oldest forms of classical dance from Tamil Nadu that is known for its spellbinding footwork as well as distinct hand gestures and facial expressions.
One will be able to experience it in Agnes Rhythm Dance’s “Blessing Continues…” which features dancers as young as six years old to adults depicting a story about blessings received throughout a dancer’s journey.
Iqram Company’s “Siapa”, on the other hand, also draws on this classical dance form while playing on contemporary aspects like the art of expression (Abhinaya) and Talam.
Bharatanatyam aside, two other age-old Indian dance forms that one must experience in your lifetime are Odissi and Kathak.
Harshini’s “Reflection of Pathways” brings to light the challenges a classical dancer goes through in pursuit of her dream with a bold combination of the rhythmic Bharatanatyam, the gentle and graceful Odissi as well as the fast-paced Kathak.
Audiences can further witness the dynamic contrasts between speed and stillness typical in a Kathak dance, characterised by its mesmerising footwork and spins, in Kishore Krishnan’s “Within my mind”.
Using the beauty of Mudras, a series of expressive hand gestures that is an intrinsic part of Indian classical art forms, Mamad Hj Samsudin’s “At Mapley” recreates a scene that is familiar to all Malaysians and an all-time favourite hangout spot – the Mamak stall.
Last but not least, Ealbie Breandent’s “Vali” tells about the pathway one chooses in life to fulfil one’s desires.
With its colourful costumes, rich and diverse dance styles and positive theme, Kontra : Asirvatham is the perfect way to celebrate Deepavali as well as Indian arts and culture with your friends and family. This production is supported by The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac) & Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC).
KonTra : Asirvatham will be staged at Pentas 2, the klpac from 28 to 30 October 2022. Get your tickets here.
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Cover image and press release supplied by the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre.
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