November London première for new dance/theatre show inspired by the chaos, creativity and colour of kite festival
Regional previews and Sadler’s Wells première for Pagrav Dance’s major new work, press night 18 November
Kattam Katti is a new dance/theatre performance from Pagrav Dance Company created by Urja Desai Thakore (recently a BBC Young Dancer choreographer) that transports its audience to Uttarayan, the world-famous kite festival that takes place in Gujarat, North India. The show vividly brings to life tales of competition, danger, excitement and unity wonderfully evoking both the solemnity and delight of this hugely important celebration.
The show will hold its world première in London for two nights at Sadler’s Wells’ Lilian Baylis Studio on 18 and 19 November. This follows dates at MK Gallery Milton Keynes (7 October), Bedford University Theatre (20 October) and Watford Palace Theatre (12 November). There is also a performance at Folkestone Quarterhouse on 25 November and further UK dates will follow in 2022.
Every January millions of people from different cities, religions and social classes come together to fly kites in a unique event marking the transition from winter into spring. Whilst it is a joyous event, Uttarayan is also ruthlessly competitive. The aim is to fly your kite higher than anybody else’s. Competitors coat their kite strings with glass pigment that while beautiful on the surface will also cut the strings of other kites. Wounds to participants are not unknown and penthouse-owning rich people make full use their advantages by launching their kites from high rooftops. Kattam Katti draws parallels with society’s inequalities in India, the UK and around the world.
Kattam Katti (Cutting Through) is a neo classical work with a contemporary feel and strong roots in the South Asian dance tradition. It features original music, performed live, by four musicians who interact with and move around the four dancers.
Founded in 2005 by acclaimed dancer, choreographer and teacher Urja Desai Thakore, Pagrav Dance Company creates work rooted in classical Indian Kathak styles, fused with contemporary storytelling and design. The company is also highly committed to nurturing the next generation by providing a supportive platform for emerging dancers.
‘Today there are many deeply divided societies around the world,’ said Urja ‘I used kite flying and the festival as a metaphor for the inequalities of privilege I see in those societies and in the corporate world. It is also based on my personal observations of the festival and Gujarati heritage in general. I hope that by addressing such universal themes in this way we can introduce Asian dance to new audiences from diverse cultures’.
Tapping into the chaos, creativity and colour of the kite festival, the company brings to life the excitement of Uttarayan with lyricism, drama and exquisite technique. The work is created and performed by a new generation of British dancers of Indian heritage, accompanied by live musicians who collectively illustrate the highs, lows, loves and losses of lives that are lived out among the festivities. Kattam Katti is suitable for all ages and backgrounds.
‘a striking and exquisite work, Kattam Katti is the antidote we all need in the current climate’
Maya Pinder, The Insanity in Dancing on an early sharing
Kattam Katti features dramaturgy by Lou Cope, set design by Simon Daw and lighting by Hector Murray.
Co-commissioned by Sadler’s Wells it is funded by Arts Council England and Milton Keynes Council with partners Cambridge Junction, Bedford University, Akademi, SED, Gem Arts, Bedfordshire Dance and Bedford Creative Arts.
Pagrav are also hosting kite-making workshops at each venue that Kattam Katti visits alongside dance workshops in local schools.
Kattam Katti by Pagrav Dance Company
Asian dance company combine neo classicist movement with live music to tell tales inspired by the colourful yet ruthlessly competitive Uttarayan kite festival, highlighting the parallels with today’s divided societies.
60 mins, suitable for all ages.
12 November 8pm
Watford Palace Theatre 20 Clarendon Rd WD17 1JZ
£10 01923 225 671 www.watfordpalacetheatre.co.uk
18/19 November WORLD PREMIÈRE
London Sadler’s Wells Lilian Baylis Studio, Rosebery Avenue, London EC1R 4TN
£17 020 7863 8000 www.sadlerswells.com
25 November 7.30pm
Folkestone Quarterhouse, Mill Bay, Folkestone CT20 1BN
01303 760740 www.creativefolkestone.org.uk
Kattam Katti will also tour in 2022