• Thursday, July 25, 2024

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Seeta Patel: Dance feeds my soul and is how I offer something to the world

Seeta Patel and lead dancer Sooraj Subramaniam in The Rite Of Spring – Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou

By: ASJAD NAZIR

ACCLAIMED dancer and choreographer Seeta Patel has made a name for herself with boundary-breaking work that shines new rays of light on the classical dance style of Bharatanatyam.

The award-winning performer has collaborated with big names and continues that by partnering up with the full Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO) for her latest production The Rite of Spring. She presents a compelling dance work to Igor Stravinsky’s iconic score of the same name.

Eastern Eye caught up with the London-born talent ahead of the show’s London premiere at Sadler’s Wells Theatre on March 13 and 14 to find out more about the culturally bridge-building ensemble work.

How do you reflect on your amazing dance journey?

I am so incredibly grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way over the years. For all my hard work and the support of so many wonderful people, this show at Sadler’s Wells will be a real milestone and cause for celebration.

Tell us about The Rite Of Spring?
This is an iconic work by Igor Stravinsky, a massively influential figure in the classical music world and beyond. When this ballet was first premiered, it caused riots in Paris, and since then, it has inspired many choreographers to create their own interpretations.

What inspired you to combine classical Indian dance with western classical music?
There are some pieces of western classical music that lend themselves so well to Indian classical dance. There are rich layers and rhythms to be explored using the various aspects of the dance forms. And there is such power in both the music and dance genres that shine even brighter when combined.

Why did you want this to be an ensemble production?
The score is so incredibly epic – I felt that an ensemble piece would reflect the range and dynamics of the music. It is a narrative of a community, and the experience of a collective of people.

What has it been like collaborating with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO)?
The BSO are a brilliant orchestra under the baton of chief conductor Kirill Karabits. Kirill is so wonderfully open to this collaboration and has shown his palpable excitement when seeing dancers in real life. And the artistic director Dougie Scarfe and his team have shown such a commitment to making this happen with my company, despite Covid scuppering our plans. It’s such a privilege to be working with them.

How did you select this music for the show?
I have been working on the piece since 2017 and after some experimenting, it was clear this piece was calling to be made.

How does this ensemble show compare to other productions you have done?
This will be the largest production I have ever staged. I have done a lot more solo work over the years, so this is a really exciting moment.

What is your favourite moment in it?
I have several favourite moments but sometimes it is surprisingly the quiet moments I love, where you can feel a tension and energy building up just before it explodes.

What does dance mean to you?
Dance has been my life for over two decades now. It’s been a rollercoaster journey, but I feel dance still feeds my soul and is how I offer something to the world.

What inspires you creatively?
I’m inspired by films, music and conversations I have with people. I’m always open to inspiration, wherever it may come from.

Finally, why should we all come to the show?
This is a rare opportunity in the UK to see Bharatanatyam at this scale with such a brilliant orchestra. We have excellent dancers from all over the world. This is not a show to be missed.

Seeta Patel Dance: The Rite Of Spring is at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, London EC1R 4TN on Monday March 13 and Tuesday March 14. See www. sadlerswells.com

 

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