Gitanjali Kolanad has created four dance pieces with violinist Parmela Attariwala; the collaboration developed out of Parmela’s desire to explore the possibility of movement for the musician.
“Piercing Embrace” In this first work, the movement gave rise to the music, in that Parmela composed the piece exactly as the choreography arose. Gitanjali and Parmela dance together, expressing the tension that resides in many relationships: mother – daughter, mistress – wife, musician – dancer.
“La” Choreographed to Robert Rosen’s vigourous composition for violin and tabla, this piece uses the bharata natyam form in random series of 2, 3 and 4 beat phrases and the stylized mime of koodiattam in long explorations of the melodic line. Gitanjali is illuminated only by the light from a candle inside a brass pot carried and then rolled around the stage to suggest the birth of a fantasical bird.
“Beauty as a Form of Knowledge” This piece explores form as dictated by a mathematical sequence. Rhythmic complexity - the most admired and identifiable characteristic of Carnatic music, is created within the parameters of the Fibonacci series and this provides the structure for Gitanjali’s dance. These are combined with the layered harmonies and textures of a contemporary string quartet. Again, Parmela both plays and dances.
“Tree Spirits” Gitanjali’s movements are influenced by the folk and ritual dance forms of South India. In this site-specific dance Gitanjali uses wooden stilts from the Dummy Horse tradition. Parmela Attariwala plays the violin; the quality of its sound expresses the quality of the tree from which it is made. They are the sister-spirits of two trees who sing and dance at dusk.
Gitanjali choreographed sequences in Rani Moorthy’s play “Dancing Within Walls” for two actresses and two dancers, and performed in the production, which played to full houses and was reviewed in The Guardian, which called the dancing ‘entrancing’.