Samsara: the reviews ★★★★★

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"Strangers discover perfect, wordless harmony in exquisite dance" - Sydney Morning Herald

Presented by Aakash Odedra Company and Bagri Foundation, Samsara is a duet created and performed by Aakash Odedra with Hu Shenyuan. The world premiere took place in Melbourne at the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts, Asia TOPA on 5 March.

Here is a round up of the reviews from this much anticipated performance:

The Sydney Morning Herald ★★★★★

“It offered one gorgeous moment after another.”

“The musical composition by Nicki Wells was masterful, featuring live performers. Drummer Beibei Wang’s passionate embodiment of her music was a performance in itself, and Michael Ormiston’s Mongolian Khoomii singing was sonorous.”

“The standing ovation on opening night for the entire Samsara team was well deserved.”

“The marvellous attunement between the dancers was even more incredible considering the two share no verbal language – from India and China respectively, their partnership was enabled by interpreters and bodily understanding through movement.”

The Plus Ones

“The performance was world class. Everything from the live trance-inducing score, lighting, set design and of course, phenomenal dance was first class. From the very first moment, the artists immerse you in their ancient world. The contrast of light and dark, the use of shadows and the breathtaking use of constantly falling sand provide for a sensory feast. In combination, Samsara was a best of bread performance, that didn’t have an audience member sitting after the final drum beat sounded.”

“Their duet created something mystical – sustaining a level of energy, intensity and tenderness over a time period that was almost superhuman”

Time Out ★★★

“Odedra and Shenyuan do draw on the dance traditions of their respective countries to fascinating and often stunning effect. Odedra is trained in kathak and bharatanatyam dance, and Shenyuan in Chinese folk – one of the most remarkable aspects of the performance is how fully integrated, how seamlessly contemporary the ancient dance is made to feel. It pulses with life, often breathtakingly beautiful as a breathing art form – not as mere cultural artefact.”

“The opening is more than arresting, it’s mesmerising.”

“There is so much exquisite dance and so many gorgeous ideas”

Reading these reviews may have made you eager to see Samsara live but with public performances restricted by the Covid-19 pandemic we are yet to know the extent of the impact upon our UK and European tours. Please keep an eye on our social media channels or return to our website for future updates, we’ll be sure to keep you up to date with any changes.

Image: Mark Gambino

Image: Nirvair Singh

Image: Nirvair Singh

Image: Nirvair Singh

More about Samsara

Samsara is inspired by the many monks believed to have attempted the long pilgrimage that eventually led to the classic 16th Century Chinese story Journey to The West. Their journey was both literal and metaphorical, physical and spiritual. With universal themes of self-development, strength, fear and love, Samsara explores the journey individuals take to become themselves. With obstacles to overcome and demons to face, we leave behind many versions of ourselves and learn to love these versions while finding love for others.

Drawing on contemporary dance, Chinese folk dance and the classical Indian dance form Kathak, Samsara is an expression of cultural exchange where epic, mythological storytelling merges with personal experience from two globally opposite perspectives. Samsara traces a path across lands and through time, and explores the idea that if we let attachments go, and allow love or light in, we may find a place of truth and peace.

Visit the production page:


Watch the trailer and view the tour dates