We are thrilled to present our first ever Midday Mantra: Dance Series this December. Enjoy stunning performances from local artists Katie Ryan and Lakshmi Srinivasan, curated by Magdalen Gorringe (Saturday 5 December), and from Divya Ravi and Pallavi Anand, curated by Mavin Khoo (Saturday 19 December). Plus there’s incredible music from Mahendra Patel and Vibs Bhatia, curated by Hardish Virk (Saturday 12 December). All performances will be broadcast live on our Facebook page – see you there! Read on to find out more…
Saturday 5 December, 12pm
Midday Mantra: Magdalen Gorringe Presents Dance From Katie Ryan & Lakshmi Srinivasan
As curator for our first Midday Mantra: Dance Series, Magdalen Gorringe presents two outstanding dancers from the Midlands – Katie Ryan and Lakshmi Srinivasan. Their passion and commitment shines through in their performances, which celebrate classical Indian dance forms less frequently encountered in the UK. Don’t miss this feast for the eyes and soul!
Katie Ryan performs odissi, a beautifully compelling prayer to Saraswathi, goddess of arts and learning. Lakshmi Srinivasan performs bharatanrtyam, a form of bharatnatyam that incorporates the karanas, giving her own dynamic and playful interpretation of the story of Krishna’s battle with the serpeny, Kaliya.
Katie Ryan is a freelance dance artist who specialises in the classical Indian dance style of Odissi. A graduate of London Contemporary Dance School, Katie is uniquely placed as a UK-trained dancer pursuing Odissi at a professional level. Aiming to engage contemporary audiences through the medium of classical Indian dance, Katie is a member of Odissi Ensemble. She has performed in productions supported by Kadam, including Shades of Love (2012), Gods and Mortals (2016-17) and Sacred Shapes / Sacred Fires (2018-19).
See Katie perform below.
Lakshmi has choreographed a fresh and exhilarating dance performance, exploring the theme of Kalinga Nartanam (Krishna’s dance in which he subdues the serpent Kalinga), by incorporating the Karanas and Charis of Natyashastra. Kalinga Nartana is a popular mythological story in which young Krishna dances on the serpent Kalinga in order to stop him poisoning the Yamuna river. Later, Krishna, and his friends visit the river. Krishna jumps in and swims deep – but there he encounters Kaliya. In a blistering rage, Kaliya spreads out his hoods and coils around Krishna, triggering a mail-biting underwater action sequence. Krishna bravely fights with Kaliya, dancing joyously on the hoods of Kalinga. The subdued Kalinga eventually surrenders to Krishna and all people rejoice.
Her experience as a tutor and workshop leader has included work with Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (London), DanceXchange, Sampad, Chitralekha Dance Company (Birmingham); Annapurna Indian Dance Company (Halifax); Coventry University, Warwick University, Herbert Art Gallery & Museum (Coventry) and Southam College. She has performed her own choreographed work at Birmingham Balaji temple, Margam, International Dance Festival Birmingham, Kalasamarpan event at Kalasangam, Diwali Utsav Wolverhampton, Kalakunj Reading, Coventry University (Romani Arts Festival) and Coventry Big Lottery Fund Event. In terms of collaborations, her work with other artists includes Magdalen Gorringe’s If I Could Reach Home (2015-16).
See Lakshmi perform below.
Saturday 12 December, 12pm
Midday Mantra: Hardish Virk Presents Music From Mahendra Patel and Vibs Bhatia
We are pleased to welcome Hardish Virk to curate this event for our latest Midday Mantra series. Passionate about connecting communities with arts and cultural experiences, Hardish has worked on visual arts, dance, music, theatre, festivals (mela, carnival, street arts), museums and heritage projects across the country. He is delighted to present two thrilling musicians, Mahendra Patel and Vibs Bhatia.
Hardish has thirty years’ experience in arts marketing, PR and audience development, and advises on race equality, diversity and inclusion as well as consulting on policy and strategy. As an artist, Hardish has experience of acting, directing, producing and writing in relation to theatre and live events. He is author of the book Spirits Message and has been DJing since the late 1980s.
Mahendra Patel is a full-time and hugely popular musician, drummer and percussionist, who specialises in playing by ear. He has been playing hand drums for over 30 years and mixes different styles from around the world. Having regularly hosted drumming workshops in and around Coventry, he has recently performed and started teaching in Iceland. Founder of Kadence Music, he has also presented at TEDxCoventry and has worked with Coventry UK City of Culture 2021.
See Mahendra perform below.
Vibs is an upcoming Brit-Indian artist, born and raised in Birmingham. She specialises in fusion music singing in Hindi, Punjabi and English alongside playing guitar. Being an avid singer in Hindi, Punjabi and English, she brings a unique dynamic to live music. Her most loved aspect of music is being able to keep her heritage and culture alive whilst collaborating with other artists. She is an exciting and versatile performer, singing in genres ranging from Bollywood, Qawaali, Indian Ghazal and Punjabi, to contemporary R&B, Hip-Hop and Alternative Folk/Indie. Currently, she is working on her very first EP and various collaborative projects with other South Asian creatives. By day, she passionately works in the Environment and Sustainability industry and is actively raising awareness of the climate emergency among South Asian communities.
In the UK, she has performed at several festivals and venues including Symphony Hall, Birmingham; Barclay Card Arena, Birmingham; Belgrade Theatre, Coventry; The Curtain, Shoreditch, London; Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, London and New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth, among others. Internationally, she has performed in Austra, Holland, Toronto, LA, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Hyderabad and New Delhi.
See Vibs perform below.
Saturday 19 December, 12pm
Midday Mantra: Mavin Khoo Presents Dance From Divya Ravi and Pallavi Anand
We are delighted to welcome Mavin Khoo to curate this event for our Midday Mantra: Dance Series, and he is thrilled to present two exceptional dancers, Divya Ravi and Pallavi Anand.
Mavin Khoo is internationally recognised as a dance artist, teacher, choreographer and artist scholar, Mavin Khoo tours with a focus on solo Bharata Natyam performances and specifically commissioned contemporary duet works. He also acts as Rehearsal Director to Akram Khan (Company).
Divya Ravi presents a thrilling performance choreographed by Mavin Khoo – an excerpt from a Tanjore Quartet Varnam that explores unabashed love and romanticism, interweaving verses from a Narayanateertha Tarangam and Madhurashtakam. Combining poetry, classical dance and music, the unmissable performance will feature vocals rendered by the renowned Dr. Sharan Subramanian.
Divya has performed at coveted dance festivals in India, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Kuwait, Hong Kong, the UK and China. Her solo works Manjari, Sarvasya, Poems of Love, Saarini and Narmada have been lauded for their thought-provoking premise and creative choreography. Divya’s sound technique stems from rigorous formative training under the guidance of Sri. Kiran Subramanyam & Smt. Sandhya Kiran, Dr. Soundarya Srivathsa, and mentoring in Abhinaya under Smt. Bragha Bessel. She is also intensively trained in the Navarasa Sadhana actor training module under Sri G Venu, and she continues to explore her artistic pursuits in the UK, actively training with Sri. Mavin Khoo.
Pallavi Anand starts her breathtaking performance with an invocatory dance in praise of Lord Vishnu in his various avatars as Rama, Venkateshwara and Krishna. Following this will be a nritta or abstract dance piece, Jathiswaram, which highlights intricate adavu sequences alongside the repetitive musical notes.
Pallavi’s training in Bharatanatyam began and developed with her mother, Smt. Shalini Shivashankar (Director of Upahaar School of Dance, London) from the age of 5. She continued to complete her arangetram or graduation in 2008 and later received further guidance in Chennai at Bharata Kalanjali School of Natya, founded by the Natyachaaryas, the Dhananjayans and Smt. Bragha Bessel. She is the winner of Akademi’s YUVA 2016, South Asian Youth Dance Competition and has presented solo, duet and group recitals in the UK, India, Canada, Latvia and Dubai. Pallavi continues to train and find her voice in dance under the mentorship and guidance of Sri. Mavin Khoo.
This event will be broadcast live on Sampad’s Facebook page on Saturday 19 December, from 12pm.
Image (from left to right): Pallavi Anand, Mavin Khoo and Divya Ravi.