In a festival context, it’s often shorter pieces, grouped together, that feel unfinished. But here, the shared evening — featuring Parijat Desai, Angie Pittman and Paz Tanjuaquio — proved one of the most fully realized.Ms. Desai, who moves with a lush attack informed by her background in classical Indian dance, opened that program with her solo “O.O.F. (studies in the opposite of fear).” Surrounded by potted plants that she would later reconfigure, she gathered momentum as the phrase “go back to your country” emerged from a soundscape by Samita Sinha, Seth Warren-Crow and Hemant Chauhan. What followed seemed to be a rejoinder, both physical and verbal, to that sentiment. In an interlude that added some levity, she proposed the addition of a new vowel to the English language, so as to prevent the mispronunciation of words like “namaste.”
What was new about her blending of the Indian classical dance form of Bharata Natyam with Western modern and jazz dance was its departure from the usual look of ritual. And she has found the perfect interpreters in her [five] dancers, whose seamless blending of the new and old was filled with funny and touching nuances of personality...
And Parijat Desai’s marriage of modern dance with Indian attributes was immensely refreshing. She performed a kathak-contemporary bird dance costumed in a striking red chiffon halter top and culottes with an attached winged bustle made from pages of newspaper.
That dance can be a healing art was proved again at Skirball Cultural Center….Making felicitous use of the Mark Taper Courtyard in the site-specific series, choreographer Parijat Desai, in collaboration with Liam Clancy, Iddrisu Saaka, and Denise Uyehara, performed…an elegiac take on the notion of peace.
Rhythms Crackle in this “Quiet/Fire”….her new collaboration with composer-percussionist Kenny Endo matched thematic relevance with technical sophistication…. Desai’s trio ‘Rewired’ and the solo piece ‘Padam’ cleverly juxtaposed idioms to physicalize the complexity (and humor) of multiculturalism…
Desai, in “Listening, Part 2,” proved lithe and graceful, incorporating yogic moves with spins and leaps, her delicate hands weaving patterns in the air. In…”Mudakarath: Invocation of Lord Vinayaka”…a radiant Desai again offered solid rhythmic footwork.
...finding hope in chaos.... whirlwind of sensations...Accompanying the beautiful choreography is a spectacle on par with other performances in The Waste Land Project, all of which have been stunning. Haunting, original guitar music changes to suit each scene, ranging from bluesy funk to distorted space-age noise, and clips from T.S. Eliot reading his own poem interject periodically. Lights play into the equation, too, resulting in a sensory experience that complements each segment of the choreography: as a pair of dancers moves together, the stage is dappled in soft circles of blue light as the sound of raindrops plays; the tinkling of dancers’ anklet bells is accompanied by a maelstrom of swirling flashlight beams as dancers run from an explosion. [Direction: Tony Kramer, Choreography: Tony Kramer and Parijat Desai]
…Movements suggested a practised abandon…fluidity belied the precise hand movements that seemed to slice through the air. The magnificent thing was the use of space within which the exploration of body and soul crossed many themes….
Parijat Desai and group had the entire audience stunned with their remarkably fresh and strong presentation of contemporary dance. Quiet/ Fire, a musing upon the different spiritual perceptions of the role of a warrior, had the freshness of a dream. Dressed in elegant cream costumes and executing martial movements, the dancers established the atmosphere of intense physical discipline and austerity.
Parijat Desai…amazed the audience with her astounding flexibility and deft movement. Drawing from modern dance, yoga and classical Indian styles, Desai integrated her style with...[a] speech by a Buddhist monk and peace activist named Thich Nhat Hanh…