Repertoire

Solo Works

A journey into the solo art of Bharatanatyam, where the art is manifested in its full form- from the intricate footwork to eloquent abhinaya. Margam meaning “path,” is a journey the dancer takes from the simple to the complex, from devotion to love and finally to bliss.

Running time : 90 Minutes | 1 dancer | Live orchestra or studio recorded music

Solo Works

The videos are excerpts of performances at The Music Academy Dance Festival, January 2015, Lucid Body House Showcase Feb. 2018, Kartik Fine Arts, Chennai, 2014.

The Four Horsemen (2019)

An evening-length dance production that explores the human metaphors of the four horsemen of conquest, war, famine and death, through the very real stories of female protagonists. Challenging the notions of Indian classical dance content and technique, these intimately relatable stories bring the never-ending cycle of despair and hope vividly to life.

Running Time: 60 minutes | 1 or 4 dancers | Studio recorded music

The Four Horsemen (2019)

The Four Horsemen is an innovative Indian Classical dance production, exploring symbolism from the story of the Apocalypse through Indian classical dance, music and Sanskrit poetry. The work centers around four vignettes of life and death through four female protagonists who stand for universal human experience. The stories – a woman shackled to the life of a courtesan (conquest), a woman reminiscing the night she spent with her lover who is at war (war), a mother searching for nourishment for her child in the midst a sandstorm (famine), and finally a woman at the end of her life recalling memories that span youthful joy to hardship and loss (death) – are touchingly timely. The new work challenges the notion of Indian classical dance content and technique and moves beyond the traditional to incorporate a cross-cultural analysis of female experience.

The work highlights original choreography by Sonali Skandan and Maya Kulkarni with music commissioned to the celebrated composer Rajkumar Bharathi (Chennai, India) and Bala Skandan (NYC) with sound design by Sai Sharavanam of Resound, India. The show features a cast of four dancers.  The project is supported by funds from the inaugural Dance/NYC Dance Advancement Fund, and the NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs. The initial choreographic ideas and dramaturgy were developed in residency at Queens College through the CUNY Dance Initiative from 2017– 2018.  The script was written by Shiv Subramanian and narrative guidance from our Dramaturge Kate Farrington from Pearl Theatre and Queens College. 

From Heaven and Earth (2017)

A selection of solo items where the earthly become the divine, where ritual and daily life merge, and the Gods and Goddesses walk the earth. Sonali presents classical pieces and original pieces with the theme of devotion and desire as their crux, and offers parallels and contrast between the two themes.

Running time : 45-60 minutes | 1 dancer | Live orchestra or studio recorded music.

From Heaven and Earth (2017)

A selection of solo items where the earthly become the divine, where ritual and daily life merge, and the Gods and Goddesses walk the earth. Sonali presents classical pieces and original pieces with the theme of devotion and desire as their crux.

Mayura:Blue Peacock (2014)

The evening-length work uses classical poetry and literature to weave vivid images of the peacock from Indian myths and legends – from the powerful ancient Mayil Virutham which praises the peacock as Lord Muruga’s vehicle, to the lilting epics of Kalidasa describing the peacock in the rains, as a reminder of Ram’s longing for Sita, to the love songs of Andal and Mirabhai. Original music score by Rajkumar Bharathi

Running time : 75 minutes with Intermission | 4-6 dancers | Live orchestra or studio recorded music.

Mayura:Blue Peacock (2014)

The evening-length work uses classical poetry and literature to weave vivid images of the peacock from Indian myths and legends – from the powerful ancient Mayil Virutham which praises the peacock as Lord Muruga’s vehicle, to the lilting epics of Kalidasa describing the peacock in the rains, as a reminder of Ram’s longing for Sita, to the love songs of Andal and Mirabhai. Original music score by Rajkumar Bharathi and Choreography by Sonali Skandan.

The video is a trailer for our acclaimed dance film short, “Urban Nritta.”  The full video can be viewed here

 

 

Swarupa: Infinite Form (2011)

Through the poetic movement and storytelling of the Indian Classical Dance form of Bharatanatyam, we encounter the dynamic forms of Shiva – from his dance of bliss to his dance of anger and destruction, to the love, longing, desire, and devotion felt by all those who seek him. Swarupa is an evening-length work that presents a suite of solos, duets and dynamic group pieces that speak of the all-mighty dance of Shiva – and the fear, joy and love that he manifests through his dance. The result is a richly evocative and soulful experience of classical music and dance.

Running time : 100 minutes with Intermission | 5-6 dancers | Live orchestra or studio recorded music.

Swarupa: Infinite Form (2011)

Swarupa is an evening-length work that presents a suite of solos, duets and dynamic group pieces that speak of the all-mighty dance of Shiva – and the fear, joy and love that he manifests through his dance. The result is a richly evocative and soulful experience of classical music and dance.

 

The video was taken at the Sun to Stars Festival in NYC in 2012

Rasa/Laya (2009)

Rasa, or flavor, mood and Laya, or rhythm combine in a joyful expression of group dance where classical items are presented in dynamic group formations and interactions. With live music or recorded music. Can be presented as a shared performance with the critical-acclaimed Akshara Music Ensemble

Running time: 60 minutes | 4-5 dancers | Live orchestra or studio recorded music.

Rasa/Laya (2009)

The video was taken in February 2018 at the Salon Series at Salaam Bombay curated by Parul Shah, and featuring Jiva Dance with Akshara Music Ensemble.