Poernima Pobardhan (NL)

My Pitrs & Kali Mata

My Pitrs & Kali Mata
15 Jul '22
Poernima Pobardhan (NL)

My Pitrs & Kali Mata

Poernima Pobardhan (NL)


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An ancient Indian dance form translated into a contemporary, highly personal dance language

Indian dance - that's saris, long hair, bare feet and sitar music, right? Far from it, Poernima Gobardhan proves. In two solos, one of the Netherlands' great dance talents transforms the South Indian temple dance bharata natyam into a contemporary dance language with a powerful personal message.

Julidans NL
Run time 60 minutes
Location Bijlmerpark Theater

Aftertalk with Poernima Bobardhan

My Pitrs and Kali Mata

A creative jack-of-all-trades, Poernima Gobardhan leaves no stone unturned in highlighting the art of Indian dance in general and her vision of it in particular. She runs her own dance school Pretima Ke Dewashrie in The Hague and has performed several times for an audience of millions in TV programmes such as So you think you can dance, Holland's Got Talent and De Wereld Draait Door.

Her great strength? That she has turned the bharata natyam, one of the oldest dance forms in the world, into something of our time. How does she do it? By transforming the traditional form into the expressiveness of her own body. She draws on the hand movements and facial expressions of the temple dances that tell stories of heroes and gods from classical Hindu mythology. But as a modern Dutch woman with Hindustani roots, she opposes it with her individual motives and life questions.

With the solo My Pitrs, Sanskrit for father/ancestor, Gobardhan pays tribute to her ancestors. Her father and mother are from Suriname, her grandparents from 'motherland' India. Their great journey, in which echoes of centuries of colonialism can be heard, is also embedded in Gobardhan's body. In My Pitrs, the elusive presence of her ancestors is symbolised by long, white cloths above the stage. They represent the ancestral traditions that envelop her like a garment, from which she detaches herself but that she also cannot part with.

For Kālī Mātā, Poernima Gobardhan was inspired by the warrior goddess Kālī Mātā, destroyer of demons and guardian of justice. The female deity also embodies harmony, protection, and gentleness. In the solo, Gobardhan calls for feeling more and not wanting to control everything. This means entering into a struggle and being prepared to face the darkness, that which we do not know.

Besides the bharata natyam, Gobardhan was inspired for Kālī Mātā by kalaripayattu, a martial art from South India. Precise hand gestures, intense emotion and a compelling soundscape take you into this battle between the intellect and the body.


My Pitrs
Korzo Productie
choreography & dance Poernima Gobardhan
direction Leo Spreksel
music John Ozbay en Jorg Schellekens
costumes Jorrien Schoneveld
lighting design Albert Tulling
photos Bart Grietens

-|-Kali Mata
Poernima Gobardhan & Korzo Productie
concept, choreography & dance Poernima Gobardhan
coach Leo Spreksel
music Sam van Eenbergen
costumes Jorrien Schoneveld
lighting design Albert Tulling
photo Gerrit Schreurs