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ANIKAI Dance to perform He Who Burns at Dance Theater Workshop July 13-16

by Wendy Jehlen
July 3, 2011
Dance Theatre Workshop
219 West 19th Street
New York, NY 10011
212-924-0077
ANIKAI Dance Returns to NYC with
HE WHO BURNS
July 13 - 16 at Dance Theater Workshop

"Gorgeous." — The Boston Herald
"Bravissima." — La Tribuna, Italy
"Magic." — Hindustan, India

HE WHO BURNS runs July 13 - 16, Wednesday - Saturday at 7:30pm. Dance Theater Workshop is located at 219 West 19th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues. Tickets are $20 / $15 for students & seniors, available at 212-924-0077 or online at www.dancetheaterworkshop.org/anikai

Internationally acclaimed ANIKAI DANCE COMPANY returns to New York with an encore engagement of HE WHO BURNS beginning July 13 at Dance Theater Workshop. Choreographed by Wendy Jehlen, this evening-length work explores the figure of Iblis, also known Satan, in some Sufi traditions. The performance is rooted in the ancient tradition of syncretism - combining dance and theatre, elements of Islam and Hinduism, and growing out of performance styles as divergent as Brazilian Capoeira, Japanese Butoh, Sanskrit theater, contact improvisation, West African dance and American sign language poetry. Since its premiere in 2006, it has been seen The Kennedy Center, Boston University, The Ailey Citigroup Theater in New York, andat venues throughout India.

HE WHO BURNS is a dance-theater piece exploring the nature of humanity's relationship with the divine, the eternal quest for unity, and the illusion of duality in the human experience. It takes our notion of good and evil, the divine and the satanic, and turns it on its head. Staged as a trio, He Who Burns takes us on a journey from the time before time, through the suffering of Iblis in his separation from his Beloved, and his quest for the same, through to his ecstatic annihilation. The performance at once parallels the Sufi quest, as outlined in the great Sufi text "Conference of the Birds" and the structure of the Bharata Natyam performance. The text, from the Persian, Arabic and Urdu of Al-Hallaj, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Mohammed Iqbal, Al Ghazzali, Hafiz and Maulana Jelaluddin Rumi, is performed in Urdu and English.

HE WHO BURNS will be performed by Jun Lee, Pradhuman Nayak, and Wendy Jehlen with music by Nandlal Nayak and lighting design by Holly Ko.

ANIKAI Dance has been evolving since 1998 in India, Italy, Japan and the US. Moving across, amongst, between and in the space between cultural, linguistic and geographic boundaries are the modus operandi of the company and the choreographer. ANIKAI's performances weave together music, dance and storytelling, folk and classical, modern and traditional, secular and sacred, aural and visual. With each synthesis, a language is created.

Jehlen's unique approach to movement incorporates elements of a wide range of dance styles including Bharata Natyam, Odissi and Kuchipudi, which she has studied for over twenty years, in India and the US; Capoeira (Brazilian Martial Art), West African dance; and American and European Modern and Contemporary dance styles. Jehlen's work has been performed throughout the United States, Europe, India and in Japan, including Forest (2009), a glimpse into unpredictable world of the woods; Birth (2005), which juxtaposes the South Indian story of the creation of dance with modern Chaos Theory; Dragon (2005), based on a Japanese folk tale about a girl who becomes a water dragon; Breathing Space (2003), a collaboration with Japanese choreographer Hikari Baba; Crane (2002), based on images from Japanese Buddhist poetry; Haaaa (2002), a dance inspired by the experience of childbirth; Midnight (2000), based on a poem by Rumi; Job 10 (1999), based on the Book of Job; and Becoming Fire (1998), an evening length work exploring texts from the Sufi traditions of Iran and South Asia. Jehlen has received funding and recognition from Massachusetts Cultural Council (2001, 2003), American Institute of Indian Studies (2001), the Ford Foundation/Arts International (1996), the Puffin Foundation (2001), the Tokyo American Center (2002), the National Endowment for the Arts (2005), the Fulbright program/United States Educational Foundation in India (2005-2006), the National School of Drama (2006) and the Alliance Francaise de Madras (2006), among others.

Photo © & courtesy of Julie Lemberger


Photo © & courtesy of Julie Lemberger


Photo © & courtesy of Julie Lemberger


Photo © & courtesy of Julie Lemberger


Photo © & courtesy of Julie Lemberger


Photo © & courtesy of Julie Lemberger


Photo © & courtesy of Julie Lemberger

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