Through her dance company Kalpanarts, choreographer Kalpana Raghuraman makes work of high artistic quality with social significance and for a diverse audience.
Since the beginning of her career Kalpana had the ambition to create a place for Indian dance in mainstream of the Dutch dance landscape.
Her explicit choice to combine traditional Indian Bharatanatyam with principles of modern and contemporary dance, makes it unique not only in the Netherlands but also far beyond. Kalpana is a pioneer, both the Indian as contemporary dance lover feels connected to her.
She is the first and only choreographer in the Netherlands to see her Indian dance style in mainstream venues, and she has put all her knowledge and skills to professionalize Indian dance in the Netherlands.
Kalpana creates performances in which the dance style Bharatanatyam is combined with contemporary dance. With knowledge of the dance codes and clichés that are used in both dance styles, she bypasses them organically. She strips off the narrative aspect of movements and uses dance to say something about the current times in which we live. Through intimacy and identification, she breaks the exoticism that often is linked with non-western dance for Western audiences. Kalpana is a pioneer and her work is not only valued in the Netherlands but also abroad.
By addressing contemporary themes Kalpana shows all her public that her dance is about them. Hence she has emerged as a role model and inspiration.
The board of the Artistic and Cultural policymakers of the city of The Hague:
"In the Commission's view, the artistic and social significance of St. Kalpana are vaste. It supports the idea of St.Kalpana that the choreographer Kalpana Raghuraman contributes on quality and diversity for her artistic work and she also knows how to connect different art forms and audiences together. From the description of St.Kalpana's ambitious missionplan and future activities, it is clear that the choreographer is aware of her role as an ambassador."
Kalpanarts has been incorporated into the official Culture-plan of the Hague which means that it is being supported by the city of the Hague from 2017-2020 onwards. This makes Kalpanarts the first Indian contemporary dance company in the Netherlands and also the first to part of the mainstream arts scene being supported by a city. The pioneering work that Kalpana has been doing for many years is clearly baring fruits in the form of Kalpanarts as dance company.
Gysèle ter Berg & Kalpana Raghuraman (foto Bowie Verschuuren)