'Samsara' is a harmonious blend of cultures

Ma Yue
British choreographer Aakash Odedra and Chinese dancer Hu Shenyuan will present their joint effort "Samsara" in Shanghai this weekend.
Ma Yue

Aakash Odedra, a British choreographer and dancer, and Hu Shenyuan, a Chinese dancer, will combine forces for the Asian premiere of "Samsara," a contemporary dance created and performed by the duo.

The dance explores the life journey that people take on the path of self-recognition and development, drawing inspiration from the traditional Chinese tale "Journey to the West" from the 16th century. With obstacles to overcome and demons to confront, the path is both literal and figurative, physical and spiritual, during which individuals learn to love others and themselves.

'Samsara' is a harmonious blend of cultures

"Samsara" is inspired by the story of "Journey to the West."

This weekend, there will be two performances of "Samsara" at the Shanghai International Dance Center Theater, which is also part of the China Shanghai International Arts Festival.

"Samsara," a piece that the Dance Center Theater commissioned, combines contemporary dance, Chinese folk dance, and the classical Indian dance form of Kathak. It does this by fusing epic mythological narratives with individualized experiences from two different global perspectives.

Odedra's impeccable Kathak performances have garnered him worldwide acclaim, whereas Hu is regarded as one of China's most promising performers of his generation.

Given the language barriers, the pair communicates through body language and explores the ineffable boundaries between them.

China and India share historical trade routes and philosophical ties, and the two artists demonstrated great cultural comprehension and respect during their collaboration.

"Samsara" promises an emotional, exquisite, and harmonious performance with a live performance of a brand-new composition by Nicki Wells, a visual landscape by Tina Tzoka, and a lighting design by Yaron Abulafai.

In August 2022, "Samsara" was invited to the Edinburgh International Festival. It earned Hu two nominations at this year's British National Dance Awards: Best Modern Choreography and Outstanding Male Modern Performance.

'Samsara' is a harmonious blend of cultures
Ti Gong

The Shanghai International Dance Center Theater commissioned "Samsara."

Performance info

Dates: October 21, 7:30pm, October 22, 2pm

Tickets: 180-880 yuan

Venue: Shanghai International Dance Center 上海国际舞蹈中心

Address: 1650 Hongqiao Rd 虹桥路1650号

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