Chi Udaka

Moving and memorable, a masterful work of beauty and power.
Chi Udaka

 Image: Chi Udaka photograph courtesy Riverside Parramatta. 


Chi Udaka brings together Japanese traditional percussion, shakuhachi (Japanese flute), Indian classical vocals, cello, Indian classical dance forms and martial arts based choreography. Out of this unlikely mix comes a performance that is quite simply stunning. Taikoz with Lingalayam have come together to create an astonishing work. A remount of the 2014 Sydney Festival show, this 2016 show has new movement sequences and new music sections, and the work brings a fresh and exciting dimension to the sense of the enormous potential inherent in intercultural performance.

It is truly a privilege to see artists of this calibre perform together. The dancers are wonderful, and in addition, the costumes and the lighting are perfect. Riley Lee’s masterful shakuhachi playing creates a space of focus that seems to allow the artists to hear, see, and respond to each other with intense clarity, and to begin to cross boundaries in a way that, while respecting the tradition and the origin of individual disciplines, allows something innovative to be created. The combination of different cultural forms becomes simply breathtaking, creating synergies and juxtapositions of sounds, rhythms and images that are unique and original.

 The highpoint of Chi Udaka comes at the end when the extraordinary performer Anandavalli herself comes to the centre of the stage and with simple expressive gestures conveys the openness, the generosity of spirit, and the meeting point in shared humanity that lies at the heart of this performance, and many audience members found themselves moved to tears.

Chi Udaka features musicians and dancers of the highest possible calibre and acts as a celebration of the human ability to transcend cultural boundaries and find a shared language of rare beauty and power. Chi Udaka is wonderful - evocative, moving, and truly memorable. This show is not to be missed. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Chi Udaka

Taikoz & Longalayam
25 June Riverside Theatre

Direction: Ian Cleworth, Anandavalli and Tom Royce-Hampton
Choreography: Anandavalli
Composition: Ian Cleworth, Riley Lee, John Napier, Aruna Parthiban and John Cleworth
Dramaturgy: Tom Royce-Hampton
Taikoz Choreography: Anton Lock
Stage Design: Bart Groen
Lighting Design: Karen Norris
Animation: Bartek Reszelski
Costume Design: Alissa Bruce
Soloists: Riley Lee - shakuhachi, John Napier - cello, Aruna Parthiban – voice
Taikoz: Ian Cleworth (Artistic Director), Sophia Ang, Kerryn Joyce, Anton Lock, Tom Royce-Hampton
Lingalayam: Anandavalli (Artistic Director), Vineetha Menon, Asha Mistry, Ritika Ramaswamy, Brindha Thiru, Abirami Vallal

Upcoming Tour Dates:
15 July Canberra Theatre Centre
22 July NIDA Parade Theatre Sydney
23 July Bathurst Memorial Hall
27 July Capitol Theatre Tamworth
29 July Glasshouse Port Macquarie
5 & 6 August Brisbane Powerhouse

Katie Lavers

Monday 27 June, 2016

About the author

Dr. Katie Lavers is a writer, director, producer and researcher based in Sydney.