Performance: Bridging the Gap

Choreographer/Director: Sarita Venkatraman and Alpana Kagal Jacob
Companies: Indique Dance Company and American Baroque Opera Co.
Video: Cameron Smith Randy Stephan
Sound Engineer: Joey Golan
Music: Le sommeil d’Ulisee (c: 1715) and Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre (1665 – 1729)

Indique Dance Company
Sarita Venkatraman as Ulysses
Alpana Kagal Jacob as Neptune/Minerva
American Baroque Opera Company
Eric Smith Artistic Director
Rebecca Choate Beasley, soprano
James Andrewes, violin
Janelle West, traverso
Eric Smith, viola da gamba and cello
Brad Bennight, harpsichord

Filmed at Sammons Center for the Arts in Dallas, TX

Artist’s Statement: Culture and tradition are important aspects of a community’s existence binding one generation to the next. They aid in forming the necessary structure and foundation which are vital to reinforce values such as faith, respect, coherence, ethics, and good morals. Today’s world is a conglomeration of innumerable cultural groups which can be brought closer together through collaborations. Art has the power to seamlessly strengthen and bind cultural communities by bridging the gap. When harnessing the power of collaboration, we as artists have the ability to further connect to our own uniqueness, while educating and embracing other cultures leading to a beautiful marriage of two unique cultures. Bharatanatyam, an ancient story-telling art form, blends together graceful body movements, intricate hand gestures (Mudras) and facial expressions (Abhinaya). This project is a unique collaboration between the beautiful art form of Bharatanatyam and the French Baroque opera music. 

Sarita Venkatraman and Alpana Kagal Jacob are dance instructors/directors at the Arathi School of Dance in Dallas, TX. They have been teaching and sharing their love and passion for the ancient classical dance form,  Bharatanatyam for several years. They have performed at venues both national and international. They have taught master classes as guest artists at universities, workshops, and dance conventions. They were both featured in ‘Moving Cities’, an internationally acclaimed short film project by visionary British Director, Jevan Chowdhary that celebrates the marriage of dance in transportation in major cities around the world. This project was commissioned by Visit Dallas and supported by Dallas Art scene staples like Dallas Black Dance Theater, Bruce Wood Dance Project, Dance Council of North Texas, and TITAS. They are co-founders/principal dancers of Indique Dance Company in Dallas. They are both alumni of Business Council for the Arts. They are the directors and co-founders of Mudras in Motion.

Indique is a Dallas-based contemporary Bharatanatyam dance company striving to connect with audiences beyond the Indian classical dance purview. Established in 2008, IDC has set its course to achieve an artistic composite of what is Indian and what is unique using the story-telling artistry of various classical dance forms. The group represents a synergy of years of experience in a variety of Eastern and Western classical dance forms.

Established in 2017, the American Baroque Opera Co. presents to Dallas audiences intimate staged productions of operas from the Baroque era. In addition to presenting works of well-known composers including Handel, Vivaldi, and Purcell, their mission is to resurrect the operas of lesser-known baroque composers, famous in their day, whose operas have fallen into obscurity. ABOC performs on period instruments with authentic historical performance practice and is excited to educate and entertain new audiences with these masterpieces of the baroque.

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