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World famous kite festival comes to MK Gallery’s Sky Room

Posted: 07/10/21 by MK Gallery

Pagrav Dance Company will unveil a major new work, Kattkam Katti (Cutting Through), at MK Gallery today (Thursday 7 October 2021).

The new dance performance will transport audience to Uttarayan, the world-famous kite festival that takes place in Gujarat, North India.

Inspired by the chaos, creativity and colour of the festival, Kattkam Katti brings to life joyous tales of competition, danger, excitement and unity – in a landscape that wonderfully evokes both the solemnity and delight of this hugely important celebration.

Every January millions of people from different cities, religions and social classes come together to fly kites in a unique event marking the transition from winter into spring. Whilst it is a joyous event, Uttarayan is also ruthlessly competitive. The aim is to fly your kite higher than anybody else’s. Competitors coat their kite strings with glass pigment that while beautiful on the surface will also cut the strings of other kites. Wounds to participants are not unknown and penthouseowning rich people make full use their advantages by launching their kites from high rooftops.

Kattam Katti draws parallels with society’s inequalities in India, the UK and around the world.

Tapping into the chaos, creativity and colour of the kite festival, Pagrav Dance Company brings to life the excitement of Uttarayan with lyricism, drama and exquisite technique. The work is created and performed by a new generation of British dancers of Indian heritage, accompanied by live musicians who collectively illustrate the highs, lows, loves and losses of lives that are lived out among the festivities. Kattam Katti is suitable for all ages and backgrounds. It is a neo classical work with a contemporary feel and strong roots in the South Asian dance tradition. It features original music, performed live, by four musicians who interact with and move around the four dancers.

Urja Desai Thakore, founder of Pagrav Dance Company, said: “Today there are many deeply divided societies around the world, I used kite flying and the festival as a metaphor for the inequalities of privilege I see in those societies and in the corporate world. It is also based on my personal observations of the festival and Gujarati heritage in general. I hope that by addressing such universal themes in this way we can introduce Asian dance to new audiences from diverse cultures.”

Maya Pinder, critic and author - The Insanity in Dancing, the Wonderful World of Dance - said: “Striking and exquisite, Kattam Katti is the antidote we all need in the current climate.”

Ian Abbott, author, curator and academic said: “A work of lightness that rides the wind-soaked eddies; the crack team of musicians combine to elevate the work to a higher realm.”

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