Sigma produced by the Gandini Juggling Company, explores dialogue between bharatanatyam dance, juggling and percussion.
‘Sigma’ is the letter S in the Greek alphabet: in the upper case, meaning to sum up and, in the lower case, expressing variations in value of a set of data. In performance, Sigma adds together the rhythms, gestures and movement of Bharatanatyam dance with the mathematical scores of juggling. The resulting product is a hybrid in form that compliments both juggling and Bharatanatyam techniques by highlighting difference rather than dissolving both styles into one.
Developed in partnership with Seeta Patel, a specialist in bharatanatyam aesthetics, dancer Indu Panday and Kati Ylä-Hokkala & Kim Huynh - pioneering jugglers from Gandini Juggling - the work investigates classical Indian geometries, mathematics, and rythm by looking at similarities and differences, processes and choreographic architectures. There is also a focus on the parabolic accelerating velocity of objects in the air versus the more subtly changing speeds of the dancer and the underlying Carnatic musical structures.
The human side of the collaboration transcends the pure structure and looks at invented ethnologies and imaginary rituals, when both bharatanatyam and juggling come with a myriad of associated archetypes. Gandini are keen to play with these ideologies, distort them and intermingle them and then inhabit the hybrid landscapes in which they are created.
Director Sean Gandini|choreographer Seeta Patel|Performers Kati Ylä-Hokkala, Seeta Patel, Kim Huynh and Indu Panday
Co-produced by: London International Mime Festival (UK)Supported by: Watermans Theatre (UK)
Sigma premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2017, where it was received in awe:
‘IT LOOKS, AND IS, EXQUISITELY BEAUTIFUL’
★★★★★ The Herald
‘A SHOW THAT IS QUIETLY MESMERISING’
★★★★ The List
‘ASTONISHING SKILLS IN A CLEVER AND ENGROSSING PIECE’
★★★★ The Stage
‘SIGMA IS NOT YOUR USUAL JUGGLING SHOW AND IS ALL THE BETTER FOR IT’
★★★★ Broadway Baby
‘A TRULY ARTFUL MASH-UP OF DISTINCT SKILLS’
★★★★ The Times
Sigma has won the Total Theatre Award for Visual Theatre and the Asian Arts Award for Best Directing.