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    Choreographer Annette Leday on her Indo-French dance production, Mithuna

    French choreographer Annette Leday brings together ballet and contemporary dance with Kathakali, Theyyam, Krishnanattam and Kalaripayattu for her latest fusion project, Mithuna. After performances in Delhi and Thiruvananthapuram, it will be performed in Pondicherry tomorrow, as part of their India tour, followed by Chennai. Leday, who was introduced to the Sanskrit word—which translates to ‘a pair’—at a conference in Paris, feels it involves a “pondering on gender: of words, moments and beings.” The artiste, who had travelled to India in the 1970s and studied Bharatnatyam and Kathakali in the city before moving on to Kerala, says that Mithuna is a reflection of her experience and goes to the essence of what she has been working on all through her career, which has focussed on blending Indian and French dance and theatre traditions. The piece, performed by dancers Hélene Courvoisier, Kalamandalam Unnikrishnan Nair and Sadanam Manikandan, will be set to the music of Suites pour violoncelle from JS Bach, by Pieter Wispelwey, and chenda percussions by Unnikrishnan. The former French actress and current director of La Compagnie Annette Leday/Keli, says, “We used a Kathakali percussion instrument which brings a contrast to the baroque style and adds a level of dialogue to the global challenges of the piece.” Meanwhile, for lighting, Leday has kept it simple and minimal, to go with the choreography. The text which will be incorporated in the narration uses an extract from Bengali writer Lokenath Bhattacharya’s Les Marches du Vide. “(He) has been associated with the French literary field since the late 70s. His poetry very much resonates with our work,” she concludes.

    October 12. Rukmini Arangam, Kalakshetra. From 7 pm. Details. Eventjini.com

    —Simar Bhasin

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