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Dancehouse stands on what always was and always will be Aboriginal land. We pay our respects to the traditional owners of this land, the Wurundjeri peoples of the Kulin Nation, to their Elders past and present, and acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded.

Ānanda: Dance of Joy

by Christopher Gurusamy

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Ānanda : Dance of Joy (2024) by Christopher Gurusamy. Photo - Natya Ink by Sudha.
7pm, 25 — 27 July 2024
Sylvia Staehli Theatre

COZZIE LIVS TIX: $20
(all shows, 20 per night)

Fan: $45
Full:
 $35
Concession: $30
Members/Locals: $25
MobTix: $20
Companion Card: FREE

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Event Duration: 120 minutes (including interval)

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— Redefining Bharathanatyam, finding freedom within the framework.

From Sydney to Chennai, and now Melbourne, experience the ecstatic repertoire of critically acclaimed soloist Christopher Gurusamy, one of Australia’s foremost international exponents of Bharatanatyam.

The Sanskrit Ānanda means “the place in which one finds bliss”. And for Gurusamy, dancing itself is the incomparable and universal path to joy.

Whether performing the bliss of spiritual devotion, or the sensuous yearning of a lover, Ānanda: Dance of Joy bursts with complex rhythms, explosive movement, verve, and virtuosity.

This captivating collection is influenced as much by Hindu philosophy, Indian poetry, and Carnatic music as it is love, desire, and Western pop culture.

“To watch the Bharatanatyam dancing of Christopher Gurusamy is to see an age-old genre recharged, brilliantly revitalized from within.” – Alastair Macaulay, New York Times

Performer/Choreographer: Christopher Gurusamy
Guru/Choreographer: Smt Bragha Bessell (Chennai)
Recorded Musicians: Adithya Madhavan (vocals), Madan Mohan (violin), Anirudh Athreya (ghanjira), Rakesh KP (nattuvangam), Kiran Pai (mridangam), MT Adithya (sound)

Join Christopher at 6pm, Tuesday 23 July as he explores the importance of finding one’s artistic voice and shares from his vast body of work at his lecture demonstration, Outside In. Free entry, pre-booking recommended.

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Christopher Gurusamy is a leading Bharatanatyam soloist, regarded as one of the trailblazers of his generation having performed extensively within India and globally. His dance is marked by adherence to the grammar of the form, strong aesthetics, and contemporary sensibilities. Christopher is recognised for reflecting fresh perspectives that both revisit and deconstruct the traditional repertoire, drawing from lived experiences in Australia and India.

Born and raised in Perth, Western Australia, Christopher moved to India at age 18, and is the first Australian to study at renowned dance and arts institution Kalakshetra. He trained at the college from 2005 to 2011 during the tenure of Leela Samson as Director, receiving his first-class post-graduate diploma. From 2012 to 2017, he performed, toured and worked as a principal dancer with Leela Samson’s acclaimed Spanda Dance Company. For the past decade, he has been working with eminent guru Bragha Bessell in abhinaya (emotive dance).

​A highly popular soloist, he performs annually in Chennai’s prestigious December Season including for the Madras Music Academy, Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, and Narada Gana Sabha. He has been invited to speak and present his work at major conferences around the world.

He has received widespread critical acclaim including being named Best Dance of 2017 (New York Times), HCL Best Performer (Madras Music Academy, 2015) and was conferred the 2018 Kalavahini Fellowship for Choreography by leading dancer Malavika Sarukkai. Christopher has been commissioned to create several new works, including Dream in Sand, Sky and Sea (Natyarangam Festival, Narada Gana Sabha 2023). Since 2022, Christopher has been based between Sydney and Chennai.

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