Experience Indian dance with a difference by Samudra, one of India's top contemporary dance companies from the lush tropical state of Kerala. Samudra will perform a dynamic fusion of ancient and modern, inspired by the martial art of Kalaripayattu, classical Bharatanatyam and Yoga. Vibrant dance, live musicians and stunning visuals combine to create a breathtaking experience in the upcoming Soorya Festival.
By adapting the dynamics of Kalaripayyattu and Malkhamb with evocative music and lighting, the dancers' scintillating productions are spectacular aural and visual shows.
The lithe dancers seem to glide, float and move seamlessly through the air as they communicate with the audience in a language shorn of dialogues. The evocative lighting adds to the feeling of weightlessness as the dancers create drama on stage through their movements.
Samudra Indian Contemporary Dance Theatre - is creating waves on the international dance circuit. Having performed in 120 countries and countless festivals, the two lead dancers and choreographers are now in the process of expanding their repertoire to wow critics with their language of dance.
Samudra dancers talk of using dance as a path, and of finding their body's wisdom. "Our dance is like a meditation. Our bodies vibrate after a while," says Madhu. "We dance in unison so much that we don't even need to look behind at the other to see if we are in rhythm. Our bodies catch the rhythm instinctively."
Samudra's "Sound of Silence" was selected for the Best Production Award at the Spoleto Festival, Italy. Dancers from 55 countries had participated in the event. In 2004, Samudra represented India at the Biennale Contemporary Dance Choreographers' Festival in Venice. They have performed at the Royal Opera house London, Spoleto Festival Italy, Iddac Dance & Music festival France, Bonn Biennele Germany, festival of Arabian Gulf, Soorya India festivals, and festivals across India.
They have been awarded as best choreographers in the 54th National Film Awards for the dance choreography in the latest film Rathrimazhathe
When samudra is on stage all of life is in motion .. a world in motion. Their movements according to different rhythms , their fantastic leaps & whorls weaving a relationship among themselves hold the viewers spell bound. Samudra fills up the space with myriad forms.
View videos of Samudra dancers
Sri Ramesh Narayanan
Shri Ramesh Narayan has enthralled audiences in several parts of India and abroad. Blessed with vigorous and expressive voice, his renditions are noted for their memorable felicity, depth of imagination and power to touch the listeners' heart. Be it a weighty Khayal or a moving Bhajan, his renditions take the connoisseurs and masses alike, to ecstatic heights.
Perhaps one of the most celebrated achievements is the 30-hour concert he had performed,at the Soorya Music and Dance Festival 1994, Thiruvananthapuram, dedicated to his father and his guru, the late Narayan Bhagavathar and to Pandit Mothiram, the exponent of Mewati Gharana.
On this memorable occasion, the press venerated him thus: "Popular Malayalee Musician, Shri Ramesh Narayan, who was devoted himself to Hindhustani Music, has fulfilled his greatest ambition of singing continuously for 30 hours, and created a world record. He started his historic concert on October 8th, 1994 with 'Anandeswar Ardhanaree Nateswar' in the Raag Bhairav....The 30 hour marathon concert went on smoothly and without a break. At the end of it, Shri Ramesh Narayan wept like a child in ecstasy of his achievement, and the crowd showered him with flowers and bouquets in appreciation of the one who dared to scale new heights."
Gifted music composer and director, Shri Ramesh Narayan has composed, rendered and directed music for several feature films and Television.
Received "Goldenchakra", international award from madrid film festival Spain, as the best Music Director for the film Paradesi - 2008. Sri Ramesh Narayan was honoured by The President A.P.J Adbul Kalam on April 09th 2007 at Delhi in connection with the inauguration of the Delhi chapter of Indian Music Academy.
Savitha Sastry obtained her training under world renowned gurus Dhananjayans and Adyar K. Laxman in Chennai. She received the National Talent Search Scholarship from the Government of India to pursue her training in Bharatanatyam for over a decade. She is an 'A' grade Doordharshan (television) artist and was featured as the lead dancer in a dance film titled 'Ananda Tandavam' choreographed by her guru - Adyar K. Laxman. Savitha has choreographed and directed several full length productions including Krishna - the Supreme Mystic, Sacrifice, and Purushartha. She has collaborated with several prominent bay area dance companies and her performances have won the accolade of audiences and dance critics. This year, Savitha has been spending more time in Chennai, India touring and performing as a soloist and in group productions with Soorya Dance Company, Thiruvanthapuram. She was recently featured as a soloist in the prestigious San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival held in the Palace of Fine Arts. Savitha integrates techniques from yoga into her dance practice and teaching. She has received specialized training in abhinaya (facial expressions) from workshops and classes conducted by Smt. Kalanidhi Narayan and her senior students. She also continues to train with eminent percussion artist Shri. Ramesh Babu in the wielding of cymbals and construction of rhythm patterns in Bharatanatyam. Savitha is a passionate, vibrant, and sensitive performer and is the artistic director of Sadhana Dance Academy in San Jose, CA. Her students' recent Arangetrams (solo debut) has been received with much appreciation for their technical, artistic, and choreographic merit.
Karuna Murthy is a young exponent of the Tavil working as a professor at the Vaikom Kshetra Kala Peetom, the only institute dedicated for temple-based performing arts in India.
He took the first step at the age of ten when he started learning Tavil from Narayana Panicker of Haripad, a temple-town in Alleppey (since renamed Alappuzha) district of Kerala. in south India.
After three years of initial learning, Karuna headed for Tamil Nadu to learn from some of the grand masters of Tavil percussion.
He started his higher lessons with Tanjavur Govindaraj and later moved to Tiruvidaimarudur Venkatesh to fine-tune the art of playing this complicated percussion instrument.
With a genuine appetite for more, Karuna was accepted by maestro Valayappatti Subramaniam who helped him learn the advanced lessons in the art of Tavil playing. Already into the concert circuit in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the young man was later under the tutorship of another Maestro Mannarcudi Vasudevan with whom he continues to play to this day.
From playing with Carnatic Clarinet maestro AKC Natarajan, Saxophone Maestro Kadri Gopalnath, Nadaswara Vidwans (maestros) Seturaman Ponnuswamy and Tiruvizha Jaishankar, and Vettikkavala Shashikumar, Karuna's shift to a more global perspective in music was quite natural.
He met his first overseas student, Christian Auer from Germany, in 1996 during a concert in Varkala, Kerala. Christian's appetite for learning Tavil turned their relationship into one that is more than that of a student and a teacher. In 1999 Christian invited Murthy to Germany thus providing the first overseas break for the young exponent who had by then played with several maestros in India.
Besides playing with them, Karuna conducted several workshops for drummers and percussionists of various genres while in Europe. He has since been regularly performing with Flamenco dance exponent Bettina Costano from Spain. They form a trio with the legend of Chenda (another soutth Indian percussion), Mattannoor Sankaran Kutty.
As a Tavil exponent, Karuna blends well with the multi-genre, multi-discipline music and dance shows organised in various countries by Soorya Cultural Society run by Soorya Krishnamoorthy.
Karuna's journey into world of music started at a very early age. His brilliance and dedication in the field of percussion did catch the eye of many maestros. They found in him a cheerful and gifted musician with lot of vibrant energy to perform.
Karuna's journey into the world of fusion music accompanying legends like Saxaphone maestro Kadri Gopalnath, Chenda maestro Mattanoor Sankarankutty, Violin maestro Kunnakudi Vaidhyanathan and Veena (an Indian string instrument) maestro Rajhesh Vaidhya, for concerts both in India and abroad, won him kudos.
He also accompanies the renowned Saxophone duo Lavanya Sisters, two young musicians from Chennai, for most of their recordings and concerts.
Karuna has the distinction of having played in over 1,500 stages around the world.
In 2008 Karuna was bestowed with the prestigious honour `Asthana Vidwan' of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetom for his meritorious service to traditional Indian Music.
His busy schedules in India and abroad didn't stop Karuna from playing for some of the leading film music composers in Tamil and Malayalam Harris Jayaraj and M Jayachandran.
During his early forays into the European circuit, Karuna has played with world music combo Embryo and features in their live recordings. As an upcoming Tavil player, Karuna had in the late 1990s organised a few widely-televised concerts in Kerala with Jazz Saxophone exponent Roland Sheiffer, Germany-based percussionist Hakim Ludin, Switzerland-based Tabla player and music professor Jatinder Thakur, Kanjira player Selva Ganesh among others.
Apart from his Indian students, Karuna teaches several Europeans who got hooked on to the mesmerising power of Tavil that he played during his several shows in Europe. Besides Christian, he also teaches Austrian drummer Sven Kienesberger who is now a favourite student and friend.
From an interview of Steve Smith:
From Hakim Ludin Afgan percussionist:
The Odissi exponent Meera Das and team of 6 dancers from Cuttack, Orissa (India) presents the graceful and sculpturesque dance style of Odissi from the eastern state of Orissa. Meera is the disciple of the Great Masters Guru Kelucharan Mahopatra & Guru Gangadhar Pradhan and has performed in over 450 dance festivals in India (Khajuraho, Konark, Puri Beach, Nishagandhi etc.) and international festivals, sponsored by Indian Council of Cultural Relations. She is also the winner of several awards like Mahari (2002), Urvashi (2003), Padmashri Samjukta Samman (2004) etc. for her outstanding contributions to Odissi dance form.
The agility like quick silver combined with a feline sort of grace best describes the performance of Anjana Jha. Talented Anjana Jha started learning the nuances of kathak under the guidance of Guru Shri Sukh Dev Singh Kushsa at a tender age 8. She later underwent training under kathak meastro guru pt. Shri Rajendra Gangani of the Jaipur gharana. She took admission into the prestigious institute of kathak dance- kathak kendra. Its is here that she was further polished by her guru and has now blossomed into an artist of fine calibre who is deemed to gain recognition as the years roll by.
She completed her diploma honours and post graduate diploma from the kathak kendra, New Delhi and has completed her Phd from Indra kala sangeet vishwavidyalaya, Khairagarh University Chatisgarh.
Subtle abhinaya, lithe and crisp footwork, clear movements and fluency in the idiom are some of the fine hall marks of her performance. This has allowed her to perform on many prestigious platforms in India and abroad. She has imbibed the best from her guru of the Jaipur school of kathak.
1. An empanelled artist of the ICCR.
2. Anjana Jha is a graded artist of the Delhi Doordarshan several of her programs were telecast on Doordarshan in Delhi and Bhopal.
3. She is the recipient of a silver medal awarded by Padma bhushan Pt. Birju Maharaj. For being a topper at the kathak kendra.
4. The title of 'Nritya Shri' was awarded with a gold medal for participation in Kiran Sangeet Samaroh 2004. Katni.
5. The title of 'Kathak Shri' was awarded by all India dance competition 2004.
6. A scholarship awardee from the ministry of culture.
7. Secretary/standing member of guru Seva Kala Kendra production.
8. Presented with the 'Gwalior Gaurav award' from the Gwalior Vikash Samiti.
1999 - North-East festival at Guwahati, Assam.
2000 - North-East Festival at Delhi
2001 - North-East Festival at Delhi Haat, Delhi
2002 - North-East Festival at Pragati Maidan, Delhi.
2003 - Cultural Programme at Delhi
2004 - Cultural Dance performed on International Trade fair at Pragati Maidan, Delhi.
- Dance performance on J.N.U. Stadium During I.A.A.F. world champion, Delhi.
- Season's Festival at Delhi Haat, New Delhi.
- As a Dance Teacher in Daulat Ram College Dance Competition, Delhi.
- Sung a Jingle Song Radio Programme, Delhi.
2005 - North-East Festival, Indore.
- Performed in Sangeet Natak Akademy, Delhi.
- Malwa Festival held at Indore
- Cultural Dance perform at Palakha Mandi, Orissa.
2006 - At Shankatalal Hall, Delhi.
- Performed at Ura-Khera-Bapoly, Haryana.
- At Medical Camp, Vasant kunj(Delhi)
- North-East Festival at Pragati Maidan, Delhi.
- Performed at Goa Festival, Goa
2007 - Got 1st Prize in Cultural Dance held at Talkatora
2008 - North-East Festival at Delhi Haat, Delhi.
- North-East Festival at Pragati Maidan, Delhi.
- North-East Festival at Gandhi Darshan, Delhi.
- Participated in 101 days Kerela's Festival with Soorya World, Trivandrum.
- New Medi World Foundation Day, Delhi.
- Fusion Dance, Kerela.
2009 - Demonstration Department of Music.
- P.S.C. Conference (Public Service Commision Bank Coorporation), Kerela.
- Brahmakumari, Kerela.
- Tourist Festival, Lalit Kala Nilambur, Kerela.
- Kala Kendra Bhavan Bangalore.
- Choice School Foundation Day, Cochin.
- Tivoli Hotel, Cultural Programme, New Delhi.
- Arogya Festival Govt. Of Kerela, Trissur.
- India International Tea Convention, Le Meridian, Kerela.
- Sri Sri Guru Mahashivratri, Kollam.
- ING- Cul- Programme.
- Choreographed "Billy Bhagat" Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal, M.P. in N.S.D. workshop.
- 45 days Workshop Dhemaji, Assam.
- Felicilation Programme, Shillong.
- Fusion Dance, Chennai.
- Ganesha Mandir, Kattalam.
- Sadepur Cultural Programme.
- Indira Gandhi's Birthday, Shanti Shastha, Delhi.
- India Cooperative expo-09, Kerela.
- Fusion Kovallam. Kerela.