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Ballet classic given Indian spin


DANCER-CHOREOGRAPHER SEETA PATEL ON PERFORMANCE AND REIMAGINING THE RITE OF SPRING IN A NEW WAY by ASJAD NAZIR Famous ballet The Rite Of Spring has been re-imagined in the classical Indian dance style of bharatanatyam for the first time by Seeta Patel. The award-winning British choreographer and performer has assembled six outstanding performers for the brand new adaptation of Russian composer Igor Stravinsky’s ballet and orchestral concert work that was first premiered in 1913. The most unique staging of a piece that has been choreographed by many different artists and companies over the years recently commenced a UK tour. The transformative retelling of the tale combining western classical music and Indian classical dance is the latest exciting chapter in Seeta’s journey, which has included many triumphs. I caught up with Seeta to talk about dance and The Rite Of Spring. What first connected you to dance? I was a bit of a performer from a young age in made-up plays at junior school. When I was 10 years old my parents offered me the chance to go to a local Saturday school in my hometown of Bristol where I got my first real taste of dance. My teacher at the time had a love of bharatanatyam that was infectious. She kept lovely scrapbooks with pictures of dancers and I think her enjoyment made the early years of my dancing joyous. How did you feel taking to the stage for the first time? I was very young so I don’t remember quite well, but it was definitely part of some festival or celebration at my local Hindu temple. It was exciting to wear the pretty costume and jewellery. I remember the fun and excitement I shared with the other dancers in my group. Which of your many projects has given you the greatest joy? I…

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