Dissecting the Blossom
Dissecting the Blossom
One of the first dances traditionally learned in the classical South Indian dance form of Bharatanatyam, Alaripu is a meditative opening up of mind and body in preparation for the rigors of the dance practice and presentation. Alaripu means “blossom” in the Tamil language and there are many versions of the dance, however, all follow a similar, basic structure. In this screendance work, a three-beat, or “Tishra Alaripu” is danced throughout the environment of an apple orchard during a springtime bloom, connecting the symbolic essence of the dance with the burgeoning and intoxicating life force of the ephemeral peak days of the orchard bloom. The film opens with a gradual transition from winter into spring, followed by the dancing of Alaripu itself, dissected and reconstructed with multiple perspectives of its movements, including close-ups of mudras (hand gestures) and footwork. Dance images are cut with illustrative diagrams of archival orchard-layout plans and bud/blossom anatomy cutaways. Juxtapositions of the dancer and biological imagery create tripartite montages, alluding to the 3-beat metric of the dance and the threefold nature of the ‘gunas’ in Indian philosophy: creation, sustenance and dissolution – universal to all life.
Biological and natural cycles - from the pollination to the fruit - are celebrated in this dance sited in a cultivated environment. The location is an organic orchard in Midwest America, where these cycles are worked with using non-chemical and non-invasive methods of fertilization and pest management. The presence of bees, important protagonists in this film indicate a healthy eco-system in a truly sustainable agricultural environment. Without bees, we would have no food.
Directed, Produced & Performed by: Cherie Sampson
(Based on a South Indian classical dance piece called “Alaripu.”)
Version of Alaripu choreographed by: Prasanna Kasthuri,
Soorya Performing Arts, St. Louis, MO. USA.
Choreographic arrangement of Alaripu for the camera: Cherie Sampson.
“Solkattu” (rhythmic recitation): Cherie Sampson.
This is the traditional solkattu for “Alaripu” with slight variations by the artist for the production.
Video & Audio Post-production: Cherie Sampson
Camera: Brian Smith (Scanline Video), Daniel Kelly, Cherie Sampson
Costume Design: Kerri Packard
Bharatanatyam training with:
Prasanna Kasthuri (St. Louis) and Anjali Tata-Hudson (Kansas City, MO)
Dissecting the Blossom
Choreography : Basé sur une pièce de danse classique du sud de l'Inde appelée "Alaripu" - Version d'Alaripu chorégraphiée par : Prasanna Kasthuri, Soorya Performing Arts, St. Louis, MO, USA - Arragement chorégraphique d'Alaripu pour la caméra : Cherie Sampson.
Interpretation : Cherie Sampson
Original music : "Solkattu" (récitation rythmique) : Cherie Sampson - Il s'agit du solkattu traditionnel pour "Alaripu" avec de légères variations de l'artistes pour la production.
Video conception : Réalisé, produit par : Cherie Sampson - Post-production audio & vidéo : Cherie Sampson - Caméra : Brian Smith (Scanline Video), Daniel Kelly, Cherie Sampson.
Costumes : Kerri Packard
Other collaborations : Formation au Bharatanatyam avec : Prasanna Kasturi (St. Louis) et Anjali Tata-Hudson (Kansas City, MO).
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