BhuKham - Circus of Earth and Sky

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 December, 2007, 12:00am

The Daksha Sheth Dance Company

Hong Kong City Hall Theatre

Today and tomorrow, 8pm; Sat, 3pm

The Daksha Sheth Dance Company blurs the boundary between contemporary dance and circus acts by combining both in its productions. In its latest work, BhuKham, the Indian performing arts troupe fuses aerial dance, martial arts, yoga and kathak - a classical dance form from North India.

BhuKham, derived from the Vedic terms bhu and kham, explores the opposing forces represented in ancient cultures by Earth and sky, or in more scientific terms, by matter and space. The performance features five dancers and two musicians playing live on stage.

According to artistic director Daksha Sheth, the work encourages the dancers to explore movement and their 'dynamic partnering' with space.

'It is an expression of how far we can push ourselves towards excellence,' she says. 'BhuKham brings all the mystery, magic, physicality, risk and excitement of the circus to dance. The impact is further enhanced by the extraordinary music score composed by Devissaro, [our] visual and music director.'

Sheth has spent many years researching Indian martial art forms such as mayurbhanj chhau (from Orissa, East India) and kalaripayattu (from Kerala, South India), and for this production she has looked at the gymnastic traditions of mallakhamb from Maharastra (West India).

From this she has developed with her dancers choreography that employs rope and aerial skills, supported by live percussion and electric guitar. She says the hour-long production seeks to bring modern Indian dance to new audiences.

The programme is made up of a dozen separate acts with titles such as 'Creation', 'Terminal Velocity', 'Gravitational Attraction' and 'Solar Fusion', reflecting the show's metaphysical themes.

The Daksha Sheth Dance Company is made up of artists from diverse backgrounds who are interested in exploring modern and traditional performing arts. They have all received training in Indian classical dance, yoga, Indian martial arts and gymnastics, as well as in a diverse range of musical instruments. Sheth is regarded as a maverick in the Indian dance world for 'straying' into unconventional territories. But it is exactly her radical style that has earned her international acclaim as a fiery and creative choreographer.

5 Edinburgh Place, Central, HK$160 and HK$220 Urbtix. Inquiries: 2268 7323