“… A joyous incarnation of how humans are able to negotiate, to give and take respectfully, peacefully, selflessly – without losing their sense of identity or self-worth.”
– Marion Potts
Raghav Handa’s TWO is a new work that interrogates the conventional wisdom underpinning traditional Indian Kathak. Central to the form is the hierarchy between musician and dancer. The musician or tabla (drum) player is at the top. They lead and the dancer follows, and at no point would the musician ever leave their designated platform. Similarly, the dancer must never touch the musician’s instrument during the performance. This is the way it has always been.
But what happens when these roles are reversed? What happens when the musician comes into the dancer’s space? What happens if the dancer sets the rhythm; if the dancer takes control?
In TWO Raghav Handa and his long-time collaborator and Maestro Tabla player Maharshi Raval, lovingly explore the principles of Kathak and challenge them through a highly physical and playful dance vocabulary. Breaking from tradition Raghav imbues the work with elements of “live-responsiveness” and unpredictability; reshaping the relationship between musician and dancer. While respectful of the form, TWO is risk taking and experimental in its approach to Kathak, demonstrating the creative potential of upheaval and collaboration.