About Divya Ravi, Marta Guerra Doblas (dobladanza) and Matthew Howard

Abandhana by Divya Ravi

Abandhana (Pāli - ‘Unfettered’) is a dance-theatre-musical immersion into the heart-breaking honesty, beauty and depth of Therigāthā (Songs of Theri-s), the earliest known anthology of women’s literature.

Virtuosic and expressive Bharatanatyam movement vocabulary is used to draw parallels between the unapologetic choice of the Theri-s to ‘renounce’, and the nuanced choice of contemporary women to ‘renegotiate’ all that impedes them.

Live musicians are woven into the earthy spatial narrative, aspiring to expand the frontiers of Bharatanatyam’s form and content. Complex percussive structures reflect challenges, confusion, and trauma. Evocative pre-modern poetry in Pāli language serves as a conduit that clears the thorny path. Melodic cello passages layered atop a visceral Tibetan soundscape of chants, hymns, and gongs symbolize the healing destination.

Abandhana hopes to be an artistic reminder of our potential to pursue agency and freedom, inspired by the single-mindedness of Theri-s to release fetters that held them back.

About The Artist

Divya Ravi is a Bharatanatyam performing artiste, choreographer and educator. Driven by a keen interest in translating the lyrical, the poetic and the abstract, into gestures, emotions and stories, Divya’s choreographic practice has culminated in critically acclaimed solo works presented to full houses and sold-out theatres in India, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Kuwait, Hong Kong, UK and China. Backed by rigorous formative training in India for over 2 decades, Divya expands her solo practice in the UK, mentored by Mavin Khoo. She has worked with Akram Khan Company, Dance East, Akademi, SAMPAD, and is the Lead Tutor for CAT Yuva Gati.

Divya Ravi

Cast and Credits

Concept, Script, Research, Choreography and Dance: Divya Ravi
Music Composition & Vocals: Sharan Subramanian
Rhythms & Multi-percussions: Prathap Ramachandra
Cello: Liz Hanks

Pali Resource Scholar: Suhas Mahesh
Creative Inputs: Mavin Khoo
Lighting Design: Ali Hunter
Photos: Mithun Pai, Maya Yoncali

Commissioning Partners: SAA-UK, SAMPAD, Kadam Dance
Supporting Partners: Arts Council England, Pagrav Dance, East London Dance, Akademi

Manifiesta by Marta Guerra Doblas - Dobladanza

'Manifiesta' is a journey into the very essence of what dance means to Gen Zs. It is an interactive contemporary dance piece, heavily influenced by urban styles and inspired by the vibrant world of "tiktok dance" culture that thrives among Gen Zs. The piece questions the purpose and utility of dance in the lives of the “lockdown” generation. It explores where dance finds its home now that we've moved into a digital space that seems to be much more valuable and profitable than the real world. 'Manifiesta' opens conversations about identity, crafted personalities, authenticity, and the ever-evolving world of dance.

About The Artist

Dobladanza, founded in 2019 in Malaga, by Marta Guerra Doblas, is an emerging dance company based in London. Dobladanza aims to create dance that feels relatable to all audiences, with a special focus in supporting emerging dance artists and creatives. Dobladanza believes that dance is for every body, their work reclaims the many joys of movement and it aims to build safe spaces for all. With a full queer, Gen Z and international creative team, Dobladanza aims to provide the dance scene with a sense of novelty and innovation, voicing the interests and needs of the upcoming generation of dance artists.


Cast and Credits

Choreographer: Marta Guerra Doblas
Producer and Performer: Diana Sofia Oliveira
Performers: Madison Mckenna, Eoin Ó Fíannachta, Filipa Santos, Katariina Korsimaa, Marta Gimeno Nafria and Mafalda Neiva Leal
Light Designer: Mikkel Svak
Photographer: Ivana Dramisino
Dance Technique Trainer: Tom Timothy Yugen

Poem of Rua by Matthew Howard

Beyond the form and materiality. Two bodies in unbroken motion, moving simultaneously through a continuously shifting landscape.

Poem of Rua
is a multidisciplinary performance that combines two distinctive cultural movement identities. It seamlessly combines contemporary and Eastern dance styles, along with real-time interactive projections that use a motion capture system. The performance is enhanced by ambient and electronic music that has a cinematic touch.

A relationship forms between the performers, garments, movement and interactive projections as all come together to create a visual synergy. The performers are concealed by the costumes, which have become an extension of their original form and movement, hiding their true identity. A harmonious balance is created where two opposite cultures, bodies and languages meet, spiraling in a poetic duet.

About The Artist

Matthew Howard is a movement artist and costume designer working in the fields of theatre and fashion. As an artist Matthew is focused on investigating and exploring ways of concealing the human form through different design methods to enhance the performative body. Whether this is through the use of movement, costume/garments or other performative design methodologies. These ideas and forms of concealing the human form often take shape from the social, architectural and historical aspects of the cultures I have explored, mythology, and the natural world. Matthew completed his studies at Central Saint Martins, graduating from his MA in Performance Design and Practice.


Cast and Credits

Director and Designer: Matthew Howard
AV Designer: Amiangelika
Dramaturgy and Assistant: Carlota dos Santos
Assistant: Yağmur Taçar
Performers: Donna Kim and Fan Jiayi
Music: Magnus Westwell, Reworked by Panna Hyun