Spanda, a group that presents works conceived and choreographed by Leela Samson, explores group dynamics in bharatanatyam. Launched in September 1995, and later registered as a Trust, it has an evolving repertoire.
Spanda, which means a vibration or pulse, is symbolic of the enduring and perpetual energy that is the life force of the universe. It acknowledges prithvi, the earth, as the central source of energy in the universe, and finds resonance in the nabha, the womb or core, as being the energy centre of the human body.
Bharatanatyam is an art-dance that connects with the earth, taking life from it and returning energy to it. The focal point of the dancer is the abdomen. Its potential to enhance the core values of bharatanatyam is sought to be explored and expressed anew.
The need to rediscover learnt vocabulary challenges and excites Spanda. While retaining the geometry, the variety and grammar of this ancient form one can reduce movement to its truest expression. Speed and virtuosity tend to take away from the beauty and grandeur of this dance style and its vital textual and musical tradition.
Spanda deliberates text, musical traditions and movement vocabulary and exposes the dancer and viewer to the stillness within them. The dancer in a group has necessarily to be more acutely aware of the space she occupies and of that occupied by another.
Spanda seeks to establish a relevant dialogue between dance, music and stage craft.