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Two Troupes Study Contrast


By Lisa Traiger
Special to The Washington Post PHOTOS Previous Start Over
Friday, March 13, 2009; Page WE20

This week at Strathmore, body and


soul, earth and spirit, art and
politics intertwine when two
distinctive companies -- one
contemporary, one traditional --
present new choreography that
melds these yin-and-yang natures.
The acclaimed Washington-based
CityDance Ensemble takes on
environmental issues in a program
titled "Carbon," while India's
Nrityagram Dance Ensemble mines Jason Ignacio and Alice Wylie of CityDance Ensemble. (By Paul
spiritual paths in its own evening Gordon Emerson)
called "Pratima: Reflection."
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The CityDance program includes the piece "Thirst," by Resize Print E-mail
choreographer-in-residence Christopher K. Morgan, Yahoo! Buzz Save/Share +
which parses what it means to be thirsty, physically,
metaphorically and spiritually. Another work, "The COMMENT
Mountain," by Filipino choreographer Jason Garcia No comments have been posted yet about
Ignacio, uses volcano sonification, creating a musical this item. Be the first!

score from the sound waves emitted by the seismic POST A COMMENT
activity of volcanoes, among them Mount Pinatubo in You must be logged in to leave a comment.
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the Philippines.
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"When Jason started to look at the questions of climate,


environment, change and its challenges, instead of TOP JOBS on
taking a Western approach, he went back to his
traditional roots," says CityDance artistic director Paul • Educational Interpreter I / II / FAIRFAX COUNTY PUBLIC
Gordon Emerson. SCHOOLS - FCPS

Post • Building Supervisor I / FAIRFAX COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS -


The piece, which is grounded in Filipino folk dance, FCPS
Discussion Policy
pushes the CityDance dancers into unfamiliar territory. • Transportation Attendant / FAIRFAX COUNTY PUBLIC
WHO'S BLOGGING
But Emerson speaks approvingly of the effort: "I find it SCHOOLS - FCPS

gratifying that Jason, who came to this country on a » Links to this article • Principal, Elementary School (Effective Date: / FAIRFAX
COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS - FCPS
gifted-and-talented visa as a folk artist of Filipino
culture, has begun to share that with a group of Western-trained dancers." • Appliance and Equipment Technician I / FAIRFAX COUNTY
PUBLIC SCHOOLS - FCPS

Later in the week, the unparalleled Nrityagram Dance Ensemble returns to the area with its ALL TOP JOBS
work "Pratima: Reflection." The tightknit ensemble is made up of women who live, study
and work in a small village ashram in southern India, where they dedicate themselves to the Find Your Dream Job Now!
preservation of the ancient temple dance form Odissi. Keywords Locations
e.g. Marketing IN Choose...
"The production starts with the concept
of creation and destruction . . . where

1 of 3 3/13/09 12:55 PM
Two Troupes Study Contrast - washingtonpost.com http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/0...

we come from and where we're going," FEATURED ADVERTISER LINKS


says artistic director Surupa Sen. The Join TD AMERITRADE and trade free for 30 days + get $100.
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language (hastas) that provides a


narrative throughout the six sections of
the work. Sen says she explains the
hand gestures before the start of each
dance to help audiences understand the work's meaning.

"Pratima," too, is deeply connected to the environment on an elemental level. It concerns the
stuff of life, the creative forces of the Hindu gods and the universal mysteries of creation.

"I was interested in the word pratima and what it meant," Sen says. "It had so many
wonderful meanings in Sanskrit, our ancient language. In India when you say reflections it
could mean contemplation, it could mean being born or made in the same image of . . . it
could mean almost anything, so it gave me vast possibilities to explore."

CityDance Ensemble, Nrityagram Dance Ensemble Music Center at Strathmore, 5301


Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. 301-581-5100. http://www.strathmore.org. CityDance:
March 14-15. $20. Nrityagram Dance Ensemble: March 19. $12-$48.

Understand more about:

Jason Garcia Paul Gordon


Sen
Ignacio Emerson

Christopher
India
K. Morgan

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