In the fall of 2014 Interference Arts collaborated with Katha Dance Theatre to create and present their show Rubaiyat – a Life in a Day, a dance theatre production that explored the poetry of Omar Khayyam. Artist Candy Kuehn created digital illustrations, and Craig Harris developed the projection design and served as design dramaturg for the show, which was produced at the Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts November 7-9, 2014.
Rubaiyat – a Life in a Day featured the KDT company dancers and an exciting cast of guest artists, including composer/vocalist Maryam Yusefzadeh, actor/musician David Jordan Harris, composer/multi-instrumentalist Tim O’Keefe, violinist David Stenshoel, guitarist Thomas Nordlund, and flutist Dawn Doerin. Mike Grogan was lighting designer, and costumes were designed by Maitreyee Pahari.
Artistic Director and Choreographer Rita Mustaphi writes about the show:
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam is a collection of lyrical poems originally written in Persian in quatrains (four-line stanzas). When I read the famous translation by Edward FitzGerald, I loved the verses; they spoke to me. To have those beautiful lines running through my mind throughout the day and evening were, in a word, heavenly! Rather than telling a story with characters, these lyrical poems presented the deep feelings and emotions we feel on subjects of life, death and love. The poems have many moods, many colors and often with inner hidden meanings, complicated, as life often is. In creating Rubaiyat – a Life in a Day, I chose 12 verses from FitzGerald’s translation and adapted them for contemporary audience. The whole production is centered around a day in a person’s life as from dawn to night, as well as life in a day as from birth to old age.
Here is a 2.5-minute slideshow of still performance photos taken by Eric Saulitis, with some music clips, providing some highlights of the show.
Video from performances will be available soon.
About Katha Dance Theatre
Founded in 1987 by artistic director Rita Mitra Mustaphi, Katha Dance Theatre (KDT) is based on classical dance of North India, known as Kathak. KDT is providing an essential cultural lifeline to all who wish to learn and perform Kathak through its award-winning Company, School, and Outreachprograms. KDT produces shows that reflect multi-cultural experiences within the community as we as shows that are cross-cultural in nature. The percussive dance of Kathak along with storytelling, poetry, mime, and theater makes it a dynamic multimedia experience – vibrantly sensual, powerful, and pulsating in nature. For more information about Katha Dance Theater visit the KDT web site.