Moving On

Another view on Caledonia's top Indian dancers

Article by Ruth Christie | 24 Aug 2011
  • Moving On

Don’t be fooled by appearances. Dance Ihayami’s may at first seem simply beautiful, however look beyond this and there is much more to see.

Returning to the Fringe, Dance Ihayami’s style remains deeply narrative. The choreography is incredibly ornate and from the smallest movement - an intertwined toe, the splay of a finger – a real conversation grows between the company’s dancers and the audience.

This is a story of a journey, the evolution of both dancer and art, as Dance Ihayami look at the ever changing effects of multiculturalism on their classical Indian dance. Touches such as the choice of contemporary Indian and Scottish music and the inclusion of tartan within traditional costumes suggest Moving On seeks to blend rather than reject creative differences.

Based in Scotland, this south Asian dance company embraces the impact of change, challenging and moving cultural boundaries in order to develop its own repertoire. Indeed, as Dance Ihayami translates into “Dance, I am here”, it is apparent that the company is not only exploring, but driving, this change in contemporary classical Indian dance.

Moving On also includes short film by Krish Shrikumar and finally here is a company that is able to mix media both sensitively and successfully. Close ups of a female dancer – fierce concentration in her eyes – serve to show the rigours of training. This is matched on stage by the company as they follow the same strict steps, clearly referencing their roots in traditional dance. Meanwhile black and white photos of an old India interrupt this story, each one a reminder of the journey this classic art has undertaken as the photos link in some way to movement, such as the one taken through a bus window. And finally Edinburgh appears on screen as the female dancer emerges with trepidation into blinding light. Unsure of her way she eventually finds inspiration on the street as choreography is shared between dancers on screen and stage.

Moving On is intricately choreographed and expressively performed. As Dance Ihayami create their own stunning narrative style, theirs is an intelligent beauty. Poetic and laden with meaning.

Moving On by Dance Ihayami 23-27 August 2011, 21.45 Zoo Roxy