If you’re in Edinburgh this week, head over to The Lyceum to watch two extraordinary dancers tell a legendary story. Samsara is an exquisite performance bringing together contemporary dance with a powerful score to conjure up an imaginary world.
This new dance piece marks Aakash Odedra Company’s debut at Edinburgh International Festival. And it’s a collaboration between dancers Aakash Odedra and Hu Shenyuan, who are two of the world’s finest exponents of dance from their countries of origin, India and China.
The story of Samsara
Samsara tells the story of the legendary pilgrimage to India, undertaken by the monk Xuanzang who returns to China with the central tracts of Buddhist philosophy.
And it’s a visual feast as it takes place in a desert landscape peopled with eerie human statues, created by set designer, Tina Tzoka. Yaron Abulafia’s lighting conjures the imaginary world where the two dancers, Odedra and Shenyuan, come together. They create exquisite patterns in their dance duets which represent challenge, reflection and exchange.
Mongolian throat singing and traditional Chinese percussion are part of the powerful score. These are specially commissioned for the show from Odedra’s regular collaborator, Nicki Wells.
Samsara has been made possible by the generous support of the Bagri Foundation, a family foundation dedicated to promoting the arts and culture of Asia. It aims to challenge, engage and inspire, giving artists and experts from across Asia, or those inspired by the continent, wider visibility on the global stage.
The two dancers
Aakash Odedra has already attracted global attention for his virtuoso Kathak performances and his contemporary choreography. While Hu Shenyuan is one of the outstanding dancers of his generation in China. He was the standout performer in Yang Liping’s Under Siege in 2016. And that’s when Odedra first saw him and decided he wanted to work with him. The pair met in Shanghai in 2017 and, with no mutual spoken language, went on to create Samsara, a powerful story of cultural exchange and shared philosophy.
If you’re wondering what else is on in Edinburgh at the moment, check out our Fringe suggestions!
When: 18th – 20th August 2022
Where: The Lyceum, Grindlay Street, Edinburgh EH3 9AX
£: Tickets cost £21 – £26 with concessions available
More info: www.eif.co.uk