Monday, 25 October 2010

New Dance Production, Corpo-realities at Laban Theatre this November

Sankalpam – Corpo-Realities
Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 November, 19.30h
Laban Theatre, Laban, Creekside, London SE8 3DZ
Tickets £12 / £8 (concessions)
Booking: 020 8469 9500 or via

Asian-inspired dance company Sankalpam are showcasing their new innovative and collaborative production, Corpo-realities, at Laban Theatre in South East London on 16 and 17 November at 19.30h. Corpo-realities, featuring a triple bill for 5 female dancers, fuses the ancient South Indian classical dance Bharata Natyam with contemporary techniques.

Three artists have been commissioned to create a collaborative choreographic framework for Corpo-realities. These include Luca Silvestrini, known for his outstanding work with Protein Dance, who uses clever observational movements to reflect cultural hang-ups; former resident Southbank Centre artist Stephanie Schober (a Trinity Laban graduate) whose sophisticated choreography exposes the performers’ desire to communicate; and Sankalpam’s joint artistic director Stella Uppal-Subbiah who has collaborated with theatre director Phillip Zarrilli to explore the psychophysical expressive process of abhinaya (internal acting).

Bharata Natyam is often thought of as the dance of the mind and soul, and Corpo-realities certainly captures this essence. This promises to be a passionate performance by the dancers delivering the progressive choreography of Silvestrini, Schober, Uppal-Subbiah and Zarrilli within the appropriately modern yet intimate Laban Theatre.

The accompanying music compliments this varied evening of dance featuring pieces for keyboard by Bach, a mixture of Chinese, Indian and French music, and meditative drones with cleverly integrated sound and text.

Sankalpam, founded in 1994 by current joint artistic directors Mira Balchandran Gokul and Stella Uppal Subbiah alongside Valli Subbiah and Vidya Thirunarayan, aims to stretch Bharata Natyam beyond its traditional classical form. However, Corpo-realities is a big departure from their usual work as it incorporates work from contemporary choreographers and dancers trained in contemporary dance technique. This blending of cultures attracts both fans of contemporary dance and those of classical Indian dance.

Expect to see precise and well articulated movement which challenges ideas of form, identity and artistic freedom, all executed with the utmost grace. By reducing the cultural specificity and religious associations of Bharata Natyam, Sankalpam revives the language of South Indian dance and makes this unique art form more accessible.

For tickets please call 020 8469 9500 or visit

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