Inside the Pillow Lab: Aakash Odedra


In this Pillow Lab residency, Aakash Odedra and Rani Khanam seek to explore and research form that upholds the sanctity of traditional Sufi Kathak, a classical style imbued with profound spiritual nuance and deeply rooted in the dance traditions of the Indian subcontinent, while also investigating its possibilities when viewed through a modern lens. With music composed and directed by Rushil Ranjan and Orchestral Qawwali, the project is an immersive dialogue between traditional classical Indian dance and music, renowned for its precise rhythm and storytelling, and the innovative perspectives of contemporary forms and processes. About Aakash Odedra Aakash Odedra is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher. Born in Birmingham, England, Odedra trained in the classical Indian dance styles of Kathak (Nilima Devi, Leicester and Asha Joglekar, India) and Bharatanatyam (Chitraleka Bolar, Birmingham and Chhaya Kantaveh, India). Odedra formed Aakash Odedra Company in 2011 as a vehicle for commissioning solos and to develop his own choreographic work, and as a soloist has performed over 300 full length performances in 40 countries in the past decade. Notable commissions include James Brown: Get on the Good Foot (Apollo Theater) and the opera God’s Little Soldier (Theater Freiburg), The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, and the closing of the London Cultural Olympiad. Odedra has received numerous awards including the Amnesty International Award for Freedom of Expression; Best Dance at the Eastern Eye ACTA Awards, 2018; a Dora performance award (Canada); Danza&Danza award (Italy); and a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s 2021 New Year’s Honours for his services to dance. INSIDE THE PILLOW LAB Aakash Odedra Company RESIDENCY DATES: December 9-17, 2023 "Songs of the Bulbul" Performed by Aakash Odedra Choreographed by Rani Khanam Music composed and directed by Rushil Ranjan Musicians: Aaman Ali and Shuheb Hasan Assistant: Dhirendra Tiwari NEL SHELBY PRODUCTIONS Nel Shelby, Producer Ashli Bickford, Editor Benjamin Richards, Graphic Animation Sonia Bartolomeo, Project Manager Additional support for this residency was made possible by the Vivienne Jones Endowment Fund at Jacob’s Pillow created by Christopher Jones, Chair of Jacob’s Pillow’s Board of Trustees and his wife, Deb McAllister, in honor of Jones’s mother. The Fund was established to enhance the reach of the Pillow Lab by supporting a residency for a company based outside of the United States. THE 2023-2024 PILLOW LAB RECEIVES LEADERSHIP SUPPORT FROM: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation © 2023 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Inc.

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