Raghav Handa shines both as choreographer and performer– Aussie Theatre
I am an Australian choreographer and performer of Indian heritage with training in modern and Indigenous contemporary dance. My movement language is extremely physical and dynamic. I am inspired by the traditional circular and linear movement patterns of Kathak dance but my goal is to extend the body and language of contemporary dance by interpreting these patterns through a modern overlay of speed and precision.
Through my work, I want to introduce Indian audiences to contemporary dance and Australian audiences to India’s cultural diversity. This strategy has been recognised by the Indian community (through support from Indian Link publications), SBS and ABC radio and dance critics in The Sydney Morning Herald, Aussie Theatre and Real Time. It also led to me being identified as a “dancer to watch” by Jill Sykes and Michelle Potter in Dance Australia magazine in 2015.
In 2014/15, I performed my first major solo work Tukre’ in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. Tukre’ explored the impact of lineage and rites of passage on my artistic evolution and was well received by audiences and critics. In 2016, I toured my second work, Mens Rea, in Cairns, Brisbane and London. Set against the narrative of the Hindu epic Ramayana, but with Aboriginal and Indian influences, Mens Rea explored the concept of “shape-shifting” and featured three mythical characters – one a computer-generated 3D projection based on my movement – each with a stylistically diverse dance language. I am currently developing my first ensemble work, Silent Trio Beats, which explores how diverse artists and body types respond to extreme rapid movement and periods of stillness using the Kathak technique of “dynamic shift”.
As a performer, I have collaborated and toured with many of Australia’s leading Indigenous and non-indigenous choreographers including Marilyn Miller, Vicki van Hout, Sue Healey, Danielle Micich and Martin Del Amo. Most recently, I collaborated and performed in Healey’s award winning On View and in the development of Force Majeure’s You Animal You (the first performance season of which has now been scheduled for the 2018 Sydney Festival). I have also performed at the Dunedin Fringe, the Woodford Dreaming Festival, the World Dance Alliance and the Adelaide Fringe.