I am a South Asian choreographer, rhythm dancer and visual artist interested in cross-cultural work that tackles my own questions of spiritual and cultural identity while in turn investigating its role in contemporary society. Although I express myself through the different mediums of painting and percussive dance it is movement, rhythm and the spiritual body that remains a constant theme throughout all of my work. This spiritual body stems from a deep connection to my roots in Hindu philosophy and mythology and is ultimately expressed through multidisciplinary practices in jazz and Indian dance, tap and body percussion and mixed media visual art.
Growing up in a suburban white neighborhood as a first generation born Indian-American, my access to classical Indian dance and music was limited. My exposure to these forms came later through my studies at UCLA’s World Arts and Cultures Department. As I began mining my roots, I made an astonishing discovery: Jazz dance originated with Jack Cole, a former Denishawn dancer who studied classical South Indian bharatanatyam dance. His gift for setting the movements of East Indian dance to the swing beat of jazz music, a style which eventually earned the moniker “Hindu swing,” left an indelible mark on American dance. This specific discovery shed light on my devotion to jazz music and dance and has brought forth multidisciplinary explorations with Indian Classical dancers, choreographers and musicians.
I enjoy making collaborative works with other artists that engage and challenge my multi-layered interests. While rhythm and line play an integral role in my choreography, I enjoy bringing together live music, video installation, visual art and dance into one space to blur lines between mediums. For me, art is music to the eyes, music is dance to the ears, and dance is art to the soul.
- Namita Kapoor
Learn about Namita's premiere of Hindu Swing!
www.hinduswing.com for more details!