South Asian Dance Tel: 020 8372 3268

Beeja 'Sacred Sketches' Photographer: Vipul Sangoi
Type of work
Bharatanatyam / Contemporary

Company description
Beeja means ‘seed’ in Hindi. It also carries with it a sense of transformation and the start of life. In keeping with its name, the company Beeja aims to generate new ideas, new understanding and fresh creative forms. Its work is based in Indian classical dance, bharatanatyam, and offers a range of options — performances, workshops, residencies and regular dance classes.

Beeja artists have performed in mainstream venues to critical acclaim. The company regularly performs in non-conventional venues like museums, hospitals, schools, village halls and other public spaces. Beeja aims to make bharatanatyam accessible to a wider audience and encourage interaction with the artists and the dance form.

Anusha Subramanyam, an Artistic Director of Beeja, is seen as one of the most exciting exponents of bharatanatyam working ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ of its tradition. Her work is trans-cultural and intergenerational. Anusha has choreographed a wide range of performances and has collaborated with artists from a variety of disciplines to create work that is accessible, entertaining and challenging. She is an inspiring teacher who, for more than 20 years, has focused on integrating dance, education, somatic and contemplative practices into her work. Anusha is a bharatanatyam subject leader at Momentum CAT in Birmingham. She has been awarded a Lisa Ullmann Travelling Scholarship (2009) and a Bonnie Bird Choreography Fund award (2010).

Production Highlights
Murugan Margam (2010)
A full length performance of classical bharatanatyam repertoire exploring Murugan – child, lover and god.

From the Heart (reworked in 2010)
This choreographic work challenges notions of normal and abnormal, and draws inspiration from choreographer Anusha Subramanyam’s therapy work with people with physical and mental challenges. The work presents a range of raw and sincere dances and uses the emotive and gestural grammar of bharatanatyam and combines it with movement that is both contemporary and classical.

Mritunjaya (2009)
An exploration of myths and legends of Shiva, Mritunjaya was created in collaboration with Sushmita Ghosh, an acclaimed kathak dancer and choreographer based in New Delhi, India.

Colour Contacts (2004)
A multi-media dance performance commissioned by the Museum of London for the London voices exhibition. Colour Contacts imagines the city of London through the eyes of its inhabitants, exploring the memories, voices impression of all those who live work and visit here. These voices were drawn from the oral history collection of the museum of London.

A bharatanatyam performance about the shades of love. Priyam illustrates the longing of a devotee for god as an erotic expression between lovers.

The Milk White Ocean (2004)
Beeja collaborated with the Wonderful Beast Theatre Company to tell the Indian creation myth of the churning of the ocean. This storytelling dance performance was presented in the Nehru Gallery at the V&A, the main hall in the Natural History Museum and toured in North London.

The Draught of Fishes and other stories (2004)
Another collaboration with the Wonderful Beast Theatre Company, this site specific performance is an encounter between Indian classical dance and the most celebrated surviving artworks of the Italian High Renaissance. Anusha performed in front of two of Raphael’s monumental cartoons depicting biblical scenes. Performed in the Raphael Cartoon Gallery at the V&A during the Encounters’ Exhibition, 2004.

Shankara (2003)
A performance of classical bharatanatyam repertoire in praise of Lord Shiva, the creator of truth and destroyer of ignorance. Premiered at the October Gallery in April 2003 and accompanied by live music and narration.

Dust (2001- 2002)
A collaboration with the Pittsburgh-based company Dance Alloy and Arangham Dance Theatre from Madras, India. Dust, a blend of American modern and traditional Indian dance, is a work based on the writings and story of Alexandra David-Neel, a female explorer from the 1920s who was the first European to venture into the forbidden city of Lhasa in Tibet. The premiere of Dust was performed at the Byham Theater, Pittsburgh, USA, in May 2001. Dust travelled to India in November – December 2002. It was premiered at New Delhi, Hyderabad and in Chennai as part of The Other Festival in December 2002.

From the Heart (2000)
It is an exploration of those moments during creative or therapeutic workshops and group sessions when participants created dance, irrespective of their physical and mental abilities: revealing inner truths and deriving a sense of creative achievement, hope and strength. Anusha used bharatanatyam and creative movement vocabulary to reflect the way a normal audience sees those that are differently ‘abled’, to challenge the notions of normal and abnormal, ‘abled’ and ‘disabled.’ From the Heart toured India in 2000.

Beeja offers workshops and residencies for performance professionals, schools, hospitals, special needs groups and corporate employees. In each, it uses dance, music and theatre to connect directly with audiences and participants, of whatever age, skill and background. Beeja’s work inspires people to interact and participate. Beeja currently runs regular bharatanatyam classes for adults at The Place in London, Euston.

Permanent Staff
Artistic director, choreographer, dancer and teacher: Anusha Subramanyam
Communications designer and photographer: Vipul Sangoi
Musician: Prathap RR

25 Umfreville Road
London, N41 RY
Tel: 020 8372 3268 / 07739 319566


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Photo credit:
Sacred Sketches Photographer: Vipul Sangoi

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