Rising (Tour – Salford)

Julia Taylor is hypnotised by the sheer showmanship conveyed in the dance piece – ”Rising” at the Lowry.


British South Asian dancer, Aakash Odedra, is so flexible in terms of style that he can perform solos which convey negative expression just as well as symbolising animals.

The word flexible applies to his body, too, contorting it to impossible positions. The animal impressions in his most striking performance, The Shadow of Man, come to life in a creation by Akram Khan.

Aakash crouches making grunting sounds. Who know what exotic animal he is replicating when he howls, a haunting, wolf-like sound whilst arching his back in a display of beastly acrobatics, his arms flailing like wind turbines.

But he doesn’t just rely on other choreographers. He, himself, has created Nritta, a far more traditional genre illustrating his classical background in Kathak. The sound of his bare feet smacking the ground becomes part of the music.

Contemporary dance is where he is heading especially in Cut, choreographed by Russell Maliphant who collaborates with Michael Hulls to make the lighting become a second dancer. The light and contrasting shade blend in smoothly with the dance. Aakash’s spins accelerate like a humming top on horizontal strips of light on the floor.

Thanks to Willy Cessa, lights also feature in Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Constellation. This is a constellation of dangling light bulbs rather than stars. The dancer chooses one which burns brighter than the rest. Odedra’s movement blends well with Olga Wojcieowska’s music. He seems to end it in prayer.

It is a privilege to see Aakash Odedra’s performance. His styles vary and his dancing is sharp and articulate.

Rising is at the Lowry until 29 November.