by Paula Citron.
Moving to Rhythm
Menaka Thakkar Dance Company
At Premier Dance Theatre
Menaka Thakkar is the doyenne of bharatanatyam and odissi dance in Canada. Last year she passed her 65th birthday, and the 2008-9 season is a tribute to her immense accomplishments in this country. The show Moving to Rhythm was all about the young people that she has trained.
Two excellent guest artists came back to honour their former teacher. Niharika Mohanty from San Francisco and Nova Bhattacharya from Toronto performed odissi and contemporary bharatanatyam respectively. The contrast between the classical and modern idioms showed the scope of their teacher’s horizons.
Thakkar herself showed how she can transform the ancient South Indian bharatanatyam vocabulary into contemporary dance through her company. Her remount of Love’s Folly from 2003 was a delightfully coy story of unrequited love. The new work Moving to Rhythm was a fascinating kinetic and physical essay inspired by the structure of Ravel’s Bolero.
Thakkar continues to show what an inventive choreographer she is. It was a most satisfying evening all round.