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.