Commons24: South Asia

Commons24: South Asia

Commons 24: South Asia

25 May 2024, 7pm

Beeja curates an exciting double bill of contemporary classical South Asian dance performances by Payal Ramchandani and Pagrav Dance Company at Stanley Arts.

Payal Ramchandani

Just enough Madness

A solo work in the Indian dance style of Kuchipudi, it questions the popular definition of ‘normal’ in the context of mental health. Through contemporary and mythological narratives the work acknowledges the existence of mental health battles through time. The mind navigates through knotted experiences of motherhood, loss and different stages of grief namely – denial (no), anger (why?), bargaining (what if?), depression (…) and acceptance.

Set against the metaphor of death (to the ritualistic chant of ‘Ram naam satya hai’- God is the ultimate truth) the mind unburdens at each stage of grief in an attempt to reach acceptance. It is still the pallbearer of emotions that envelope the stages that lie ahead. Stigmatised for its unpredictability, the mind becomes but a puppet whose strings are controlled by skewed societal beliefs. What is left of the mind when these beliefs translate into brutal practices of exorcism, ostracization and victimisation?

Production Credits

Choreography and performance: Payal Ramchandani
Music Composition: Bhagyalakshmi Guruvayur, Ramu Raj, Supriya Nagarajan, Duncan Chapman
Percussion: Kiran Gopinath, Prathap Ramachandra
Rhythmic sections: Payal Ramchandani
Flute: Rajesh Cherthala, Praveen Prathapan
Poetry: Payal Ramchandani, Sharad Sharma
Voice over: Dr. Agam Bhatnagar, Priya Kapoor, Sharad Sharma, Rachana Narayanakutty, Payal

Pagrav Dance


Step into a world of abstracted relationships, interweaved complex patterns, rigorous choreography, virtuosic performance and riotous rhythms with Aunusthan.

Conceived with the intention of portraying the multi-faceted nature of kathak (North Indian, Classical dance style), Aunusthan takes the audience on a vibrant journey through infectious rhythm and dance.

Featuring a cast of talented British Asian dance artists who have trained with Pagrav Dance Company, Aunusthan also showcases the bright future of kathak in the UK. These talented performers bring their passion and creativity to every moment of the show, creating an unforgettable experience for all.

Team Choreographer: Urja Desai Thakore
Dancers: Ishira Shah, Mira Salat, Parbati Chaudhury, Vishesh Mehta and Urja Desai Thakore
Live Music: Gurdain Singh Rayatt, Kaviraj Singh, Satwinder Pal Singh
Music Composer: Alap desai and Atul Desaí
Sound Engineer: Camilo Tirado
Lighting Designer: Chriss Copland

Produced by Pagrav Dance Company. Supported using Public Funding by Arts Council of England.

choogh choogh

choogh choogh

All aboard for a delightful train journey through India.

Experience the sights, sounds and smells evoked through South Asian dance, music and theatre; and meet some amazing characters along the way.

Recommended age: 0-7 years, families and train and travel lovers
Duration 25 mins + stay and play

choogh choogh is a performance work inspired by the joy for travelling through India on a train. It combines classical Indian dance with contemporary movement, theatre and play, sharing with audiences a world full of colour, invention and flow. The journey starts with the audience getting a special choogh choogh ticket. Three artists weave a traveling tapestry with three scarves, morphing from one scene to the next as the sights, sounds and smells whiz by. The sound scape is rich with the sounds of the train, hawkers, festivals, musicians, ambient sounds of river, jungles and cities. The artists sing songs which are specially written for children – Chai Chai, Coffee Coffee and Kites Kites everywhere. They interact with the audience, engaging their imagination. Scarves become steam, railway tracks, turbans, train windows, camel, elephant and so much more. It is a journey where audience experience world inside the train, through the train and outside it. Along the way the ticket gets checked, imaginary food is sold and shared, among other interactions. This show is an exploration of just how much we can see and imagine, together, as the train chooghs chooghs on.

Please email us if you’d like to know more about presenting the work.

Current tour schedule
for Choogh Choogh

Mon 1 July


1pm Derby Theatre
Making and Believing Conference
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The Pavilion Atrium, Worthing
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The Point, Eastleigh
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The Theatre, Chipping Norton
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The Garage, Norwich
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artsdepot, North Finchley
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The Horton Arts, Epsom
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Art in Action 14

Art in Action 14

Anusha performed twice at Art in Action 2014. Art in Action was “Inspired by the simple principle that people are fascinated when artists and craftsmen openly demonstrate their skills and discuss their work.” Anusha performed a selection of classical pieces. In one of the shows she performed with her friend Sushmita Gosh. Sushmita is one of the finest exponents of Kathak. She was also the Director of the Kathak Kendra, New Delhi.

Been There Done That Still Moving

Been There Done That Still Moving

Been There Done That Still Moving!

Been There Done That Still Moving! from Suffolk Artlink on Vimeo.

Been there done that still moving!

Suffolk Artlink’s partnership project with DanceEast

‘Been there done that still moving!’ is an inspirational dance film made by three Suffolk groups working with dancer and choreographer Anusha Subramanyam. The groups also worked with poet Michael Laskey to inspire memories, musician Sylvia Hallett and film makers Damian Evans and Heather Eddington towards the film and live performance.

Anusha and dance artists Lucy Blazheva and Mary Davies worked with the groups to bring their memories to life through dance and movement. The film transports the audience through beautifully crafted movement; the soundtrack includes original music and people recalling significant stories from their lives.

The film along with a performance took place at the Jerwood DanceHouse in April 2013, family and friends along with members of the public were able to share in the uplifting afternoon of dance.

The film is being distributed to exercise leaders and groups of people living in sheltered housing, residential homes or attending day centers, inspiring new and creative ways of engaging in exercise and movement.