Sep 2018 | Q&A with Navala ‘Niku’ Chaudhari

Our latest outdoor work, Amaranthine, premieres in the UK as part of a trio of free pop-up performances in Manchester on Thu 13 Sep and Sat 15 Sep.

Ahead of the pop-ups, we find out more about the making of the piece with co-choreographer, Navala ‘Niku’ Chaudhari, who created Amaranthine with Kevin Edward Turner, our Co-Artistic Director.

1) Great to have you working with Company Chameleon Niku. We’d love to know more about you, please tell us!  

I am originally from London, with mixed Indian heritage.  I began training competitively in Shaolin Kung Fu at the age of six.  I gained my degree at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD) from 1999-2002.  Since then I have been working as an international freelance dancer, teacher and choreographer working in diverse fields of dance including film, theatre, and music videos.  In 2010, I joined Eastman, the company of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui in Belgium. In this role, I’ve been working as a dancer, teacher, rehearsal and movement director and choreographic assistant, as well as working on my own projects.

2) Amaranthine is a joint choreography between you and Kevin. How did the two of you meet and how did the choreography come about? 

Kevin and I were both studying in the same class at the NSCD.  After graduating we pursued our thirst to dance in different dance companies across the globe.  We met again in 2008 for the Place Prize competition.  At the time I was co-director of Company Decalage and I invited Kevin to dance with us alongside Michael ‘Marso’ Riviere.  We made Breaking Pointtogether which reached the semi-finals. Under this direction we began to research the themes for Amaranthine.

3) What are challenges of co-creating and developing a choreography with another artist?  

Amaranthine was a special collaboration as it was made on our own physical bodies.  We were both working with other dance companies at the time and we would meet at the weekends to create and finish the piece.  This was challenging on the body as we did not get much time to recuperate.  The collaboration went smoothly as we both had a common artistic vision and a natural physical connection.  Our desire was to create powerful interdisciplinary duet work together.

This year we met again after not seeing one another for five years and we created a whole new section to the existing repertory.  Here choreographing from the outside, it felt like we had seen each other only yesterday and that time had not passed.  The challenge to create with another artist is that both your artistic voices are heard and envisioned.  With Kevin it felt like we were on the same page and it was a pleasure to work with the company dancers that brought our vision to life.

4) Does Amaranthinetell a story? What are the themes in the piece?  

Amaranthine explores the timeless cycle of conflict and resolution between two people.  The message that it expresses is that when all is said and done all we have are the people we cherish. An unspoken bond which cannot be broken.

5) Why is Amaranthine great to watch from an audience perspective?  

It is a piece which a lot of people can relate to, as it looks closely at the male and female human relationships.  The movement is also very powerful and risk taking.

6) Describe the movement style in the piece.  

The style is an amalgamation of the techniques which Kevin and I both studied.  The movement was very instinctive to how we wanted to express the story and was born out of the experiences we both had.  In a broad sense the piece has a lot of influences from martial arts, capoeira/b-boying, contemporary dance and partner work.

We hope you can join us to watch Amaranthine in Manchester…

Thu 13 Sep, 6:15pm
The Foundation Coffee House, Lever Street, Northern Quarter
Performance in main bar area. Arrive early and join us for a complimentary drink beforehand.

Sat 15 Sep,1pm
Tony Wilson Place, First Street
Performance outside in the square, in front of HOME.

Sat 15 Sep, 3pm
St Ann’s Square
Performance outside in the square, in front of Barclays Bank.

Free, no need to book
Performance duration:15 mins

Amaranthine is choreographed and directed by Kevin Edward Turner and Navala ‘Niku’ Chaudhari. Performed by Theo Fapohunda and Juliana Javier. The seed of the idea grew out of the research made under the direction of Marso ‘Mickael’ Riviere.

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England Manchester City Council

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