PARBOLD BASED SWATI DANCE COMPANY PERFORM NAVDURGA ON INTERNATIONAL DANCE DAY 2021

Ahead of International Dance Day 2021, we got in touch with Dr Swati Raut, Artistic Director of Swati Dance Company, a South Asian dance company based in Parbold. We wanted to find out more about their upcoming performance of NavDurga. Hi Dr Raut, thanks for taking time to speak to the people of Wigan about your dance company, Swati Dance, where you are Artistic Director. How did you get into dance yourself and what style of dance does the company focus on?

I have always danced for as long as I remember. A dance teacher Ammu Kutty would conduct dance classes at my school as a after school activity. I used to watch the class and finally persuaded my parents to let me join the class, that's when my love affair with Dance started. I graduated in Dance in 1979. Dance with a Company called 'Nrityashree" in Mumbai India, until I came to the UK in 1987. At Swati Dance we focus on Bharatanatyam, one of the most popular Classical Indian Dance Style. This International Dance Day, you’re putting on a performance of NavDurga. Can you tell us what the show is about?

'NavDurga' is a piece about the 9 forms/Avatars of the Goddess, who is an epitome of the WOMAN. She who is the beautiful wife or beloved, a dutiful daughter, a loving mother and who will fight evil, injustice (Demons) in times of distress. She in her very last avatar attains siddhi- the eternal knowledge. We have used a contemporary English poem as the opening act and traditional text for the other verses. How have you been able to produce NavDurga during the lockdown? We started work on it before the first lockdown and it seemed as if all would be fantastic as always, but then Lockdown happened. The work had to be divided into 2 parts, creation of the music and choreography of the Dance. We had Zoom meetings for the initial discussions with the musicians. Vijay Venkat, my composer, Composed the music and shared his ideas with the other musicians, who worked and reworked their sections to achieve the desired effect. All the tracks were recorded by the musicians in their own homes. Then these were sent to Bangalore where they were mixed and mastered. Suddenly, I would get a choreographic idea and then a short percussion duet was introduced. Both instruments kangira and mridungam played by the same artist, Prathap and then mixed. Viola and Flute are also played by Vijay Venkat and then the 2 tracks were mixed. For the dance, I had to choreograph each section then record the choreo and share it with the individual dancers. The most challenging was a rhythmic section at the start were all the avatars rise from the ground and dance together. I was so worried how they would synchronise but I was pleasantly surprised on the day of the recording. Each dancer had rehearsed by them selves in their own spaces on Zoom. This Online creation has been challenging to say the least but so very exciting. We couldn't have done it without the funding received from The Arts Council. Where can people find out more about Swati Dance Company’s upcoming shows and classes? www.swatidance.com Where can we watch NavDurga?

@SwatiDanceCompany Facebook Live on the 29th April at 6pm (UK TIME) Watch the trailer here:

PARBOLD BASED SWATI DANCE COMPANY PERFORM NAVDURGA ON INTERNATIONAL DANCE DAY 2021