Angika: Tales of the Romances & Battles of Hindu Gods and Goddesses

Suter Theatre, Nelson

06/08/2010 - 07/08/2010

Production Details

Experience the mastery of the world class performer Vivek Kinra, as he unfolds the mysteries of the Indian classical dance form Bharata-Natyam. As the final celebration to mark twenty years of successful performance in New Zealand, Vivek Kinra will bring members of The Mudra Dance Company to perform with him in this majestic show in Nelson in August 2010.

Vivek has performed twice previously in Nelson always to a very appreciative audience. He is looking forward to taking the Nelson audience on an journey of discovery through dance and music with the production of Agjika which presents epic tales of Hindu Gods and Goddesses.

Writing in the DANZ quarterly in 2007 Ann Hunt wrote: “At times the turn of his head or the lift of a perfectly placed arm, filled the eyes with tears. His arms resembled arrows, never missing their mark, and gravity held no claim on him.”

Kinra first performed in New Zealand in 1990 and since then has built up a reputation as an extraordinary performer and director of his talented and culturally significant company, The Mudra Dance Company. For the past twenty years Kinra has performed every year in New Zealand and his performances have been enjoyed by a diverse audience of all ages and backgrounds.

Made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2010 Queens Birthday Honours for his huge contribution to the New Zealand dance scene, Kinra delights in ensuring Indian dance culture is brought to life in New Zealand. “I have become a vehicle for passing on the knowledge of a great dance tradition to the next generation of New Zealand-born Indians and I feel extremely humbled by this,” Kinra says.

Enjoy the best this dance form has to offer with Kinra and the dancers taking you on a magical and dramatic journey through the wonders of the dance form Bharata-Natyam. This sophisticated, dynamic and rhythmic art form involves dance, mime and drama, together with swift and rhythmic percussive footwork. They will convey complex emotion and thoughts through intricate hand gestures, body movements and facial expressions.

Angika showcases Kinra’s choreography which he performs with the dancers of Mudra Dance Company. In Kinra’s words, “Angika is an exciting dance work using the medium of the Indian classical dance style Bharata-Natyam. The stories of these dances are based on the philsophies of life. Through these resentations of battles and romances of Hindu gods and goddesses, the darkness is dispersed and the righteous mode of living is potrayed.”

Characterized by exotic beauty and charm, Mudra Dance Company’s productions are a visual feast of brilliant sari colours, traditional headdresses of braids and flowers and the sparkle of gorgeous jewellery. 

Kinra commenced his celebrations in Wellington in July 2009 where he performed Anand: Joy In Motion, a spectacular show accompanied by 30 dancers from his Mudra Dance Company. Writing in the Theatreview Dance Critic Lyne Pringle says “ Tears well in my eyes during this dance, I am moved by the exquisite beauty. The final image of the traditional Shiva pose is so beautifully lit and sculpted by the dancer that it is like seeing a moment of stunning transcedent perfection – lucky audience!”.

Take the opportunity to see the Mudra Dance Company live in these stunning performances.

Premiere Performances
The Suter Theatre, 208 Bridge Street, Nelson
Friday 6 August, 7.30pm
Saturday7 August, 7.30pm
Tickets, Premiere Performances
Waged $25
Concession $22
Group 6+ $20
Students $15

Book at
Everyman Records
249 Hardy Street
Nelson 7010
(03) 548 3083 

School Performances
Thursday 5 August, 11.00am – 12.00pm
Friday 6 August, 11.00am – 12.00pm

School Perfromanances
$6 Entry
(Free Entry for 1 Teacher/Helper, for 10 students)
Book at

Workshop Demonstration
Thursday 5 August, 6.00pm – 7.00pm

Workshop Demonstration $10 Entry
Beatrice Pritchard 027 452 4783   

Complex and exotic tales danced with compelling charm and beauty

Review by Moreen Eason & John Jefferies 06th Aug 2010

Nelson is indeed fortunate to have Vivek Kinra and the Mudra Dance Company in performance. After holding a classical Indian Dance workshop, and performances for local schools this week, Kinra, with two members of the Mudra Dance Company (Ramya Bhagavathula and Anuksha Narayan) created an evening of magic in the Suter.

The simple, effective set in reds and golds, with a small shrine, the beautiful traditional costumes and appropriate sound and lighting transport the audience to another place, another time. The songs, in Sanskrit, Telugu, Tamil and Hindi are rhythmic and compelling.

There seems to be an almost collective consciousness throughout Asia – the classical dances of India have echoes in the dances of Thailand, China and Japan – and tales of the romances and battles of Hindu Gods and Goddesses resonate universally. Religions of the world have an unmistakeable synchronicity which is hard to ignore.

The evening begins with an offering of flowers to Lord Gamesha (Pushbanjali) performed by all three dancers, and proceeds through a dance in praise of Lord Rama (Bhagavathula and Narayan), and the superb Vivek Kinra in a dance to Lord Shiva ends the first section.

Vivek Kinra is a master of his art. Every perfect gesture, every exquisite movement of the head, body and the wonderful hands, tells stories almost more clearly than if expressed in words. Movement is deceptively simple but alone, and with his female dance companions, the stories and moves are complex and exotic.

The female dancers return after a short interval, to bring a story of Kamakshi of Kanchi, the most beautiful Goddess with eyes like lotus petals, who destroys evil and grants ultimate happiness to those who mediate upon her. Their timing is faultless, and their use of their expressive eyes adds much to the beauty of the occasion.

The appreciation of the audience at the conclusion of the official programme was obvious, so much so that Vivek Kinra graciously performed a solo encore. The charm and sheer beauty of these performances needs no translation, and should appeal to all.

The season concludes Saturday 7th August at 7.30pm.


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