Parampara launches at the Berry Theatre

Kala The Arts, a South Asian Dance Organisation based in Basingstoke, launched their Parampara project film, dance performances & exhibition at Hedge End’s Berry Theatre today.

Backed by £26,900 of funding from The Heritage Lottery fund and further supported by Hampshire County Council, the Basingstoke Discovery Centre and the Asian Welfare & Cultural Association, the Parampara project explores the heritage of Odissi dance, across Hampshire.  

Odissi is one of eight classical dance forms to originate from India and comes from the eastern state of Odisha in Eastern India. It is thought to be one of the oldest surviving dance forms in existence.

Parampara looks at the unique link Odissi has to temple rituals in Odisha. Although the way in which it is presented and performed outside of the temples has dramatically changed, Odissi remains strongly connected to its heritage.

Kala The Arts has worked with a number of community and school groups across Hampshire, sharing the traditions of Odissi. Groups take part in dance and music workshops and have the chance to see traditional clothing and develop an understanding of why and how each item is worn.

Participants are invited to perform at Parampara events, giving them the opportunity to share what they have achieved with their family, friends and members of the public. Some of the older members share their experiences and memories of Odissi Dance at celebratory events and festivals.

As The Mayor of Basingstoke & Deane, Cllr Martin Biermann, observed;

“Projects like Parampara bring about a cultural understanding of the art of Odissi and if further pursued, can possibly become life time enjoyable experiences.”

Running in parallel with the dance performances and the project film, certain sequences of which were shot at the Point in Eastleigh, was an exhibition showcasing traditional Odissi costume, jewellery, images and sculptures.

The Parampara project is also developing a DVD and information booklet, which will be available to all schools and community groups in Hampshire. This DVD and booklet (available free in early Spring 2013), will share the history of Odissi and the heritage that is to be found within Hampshire. To request these resources, email parampara@kalathearts.co.uk

The Parampara project moves to the Willis Theatre in Basingstoke next spring.

Kala the Arts also plan to take it to London, in the Autumn of 2013.

Ray Turner

Formerly a Civil-Servant and IT Specialist at ONS, Ray is now semi-retired and spare-time self-employed. He contributes to Eastleigh News on a voluntary basis and is also an administrator for the site.