These videos all share a common trait, representing the cultural migrations of choreographers from various dance genres.
Through her work with choreographer Pina Bausch and theater director Peter Brook, Shantala Shivalingappa truly embodies and embraces multiple cultural worlds.
La Otra Orilla
El12 (el doce), 2013
While this revolutionary new group is based in Montreal, its founder-directors lived in Spain for a number of years where they honed their skills in flamenco singing and dancing. If you have never before thought of how the ruffles on a flamenco skirt might be compared with sea foam, this clip from the U.S. premiere of El12 (el doce) will provide a graphic demonstration. This is a new take on flamenco that both surprised and delighted Pillow audiences.
LeeSaar The Company
Both Lee Sher and Saar Harari began dancing in their native Israel, but they have based their company in New York since 2004. Their Pillow debut in 2012 featured a fascinating full-evening work called FAME, exploring various aspects of celebrity in unusual ways. This particular excerpt presents an exaggerated view of the posing and preening that we see played out in popular culture every day.
Chui Chai, 2010
Extensive studies in both Thai traditions and contemporary dance have enabled Pichet Klunchun to combine these elements into fascinating genre-bending works, such as this modern take on “The Ramayana” entitled Chui Chai. And after you watch this remarkable East-West convergence, you might also enjoy a PillowTalk with Klunchun from our collection of interviews on YouTube.
Hofesh Shechter Company
Although the Israeli-born Shechter emerged from the fertile ground of Batsheva, he’s now headquartered in the UK. This clip from the all-male Uprising packs a wallop, with both the dancing and the hard-driving percussion score devised by Shechter himself.
Shen Wei Dance Arts
Although he’s a veteran of China’s very first modern dance company, Shen Wei now bases his own group in New York. This bit of extraordinary dancing by two of his performers is from the company’s second Pillow appearance in 2006, in a work entitled Map.
Akram Khan Dance Company
Kaash ("If"), 2003
It was Akram Khan’s parents who initially relocated from Bangladesh to London, but their son steeped in their national traditions by studying Kathak at the Academy of Indian Dance. Later combining this traditional mastery with studies in contemporary dance, Khan has produced his own individual style which owes a debt to both aspects of his training. This excerpt from the U.S. premiere of Kaash is a perfect example.
Born in the U.S. as Russell Meriwether Hughes, La Meri became a citizen of the world through her extensive travels and studies of various cultures. This glimpse of her Hindu translation of Swan Lake is an example of the way she bridged different genres.