REVIEWS & PRESS
"The clincher for the evening...when Tara Ahmed's Lasandhi erupted onto the stage. Dancers became musicians, musicians became dancers, feet slapped the floor, drums pounded, classical Indian movement was asked to become something else to which it responded beautifully..." Deborah Nash, Dance Company News
"Your performance was stunningly beautiful, and the students were rapt for the entire presentation. It was impressive how you incorporated music, dance, geography, religion, art (architecture) AND storytelling into one presentation. Wow!"
Patty Clark, Music Coordinator, Glen Urquhart School, Beverly
"Perfect balance of dance and lecture/information describing dance...The kids loved it... the teachers thought the program was sophisticated, inspirational, and if given the opportunity, would like to have the program return."
Creative Arts & Sciences, Newton Public Schools, Newton
"You are so talented and such a beautiful dancer and I loved seeing you share... It is such a rich experience for them, and one that represents a culture they don't learn a lot about."
Cary Shugrue, President, North Shore Arts Council, Topsfield
"The group who attended truly enjoyed it... you were great!!"
Tracy Alexander, Children's Librarian, Holliston Public Library
"I loved it when you did the audience participation with the kids/families!"
Johnetta Tinker, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
"...your dancing was wonderful, your interaction with the kids great, educational content solid, all the right things..."
Nancy Garrick, Director of Programs, Young Audiences of Massachusetts
"...Tara Ahmed's feet on the floor and the ringing of bells on her ankles became part of the music... with each part of her body, especially her fingers, hands, wrists, and arms, completely articulate."
Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe
"Tara Ahmed...reigned on the stage..."
Theodore Bale, Bay Windows
"Tara Ahmed danced the role of the warrior/seductress with edgy verve."
Susan Larson, The Boston Globe
"Wit, grace, and raw power... it was Indian-inspired dance and the driving drum music from the Boston group Lasandhi that blew everyone away."
Channing Gray, Providence Journal
"...Tara Ahmed...walked with a spacious assurance, a stress into the ground on every step."
Marcia Siegel, The Boston Phoenix
Tara has collaborated with performers and visual artists to create several original works. She has worked with artists of Indian, Brazilian, Japanese, Greek, Balinese, Nepalese, and American traditions.
Chitra was a fully-staged dance opera. The standard Boston Musica Viva ensemble was combined with the work of Tara Ahmed (Chitra), Balinese singer/dancer/puppeteer I Nyoman Catra (Arjuna), soprano Elizabeth Keusch (Sutradar), and tabla virtuoso Samir Chatterjee. The opera was presented by Bank of America Celebrity Series and played to sold-out audiences in its first run, with performances in New York and Massachusetts.
Tara founded and directed Lasandhi Dance Theater, a performance company featuring a dance & music collaboration. Lasandhi performed at New England venues including the Silk Road Gala (Boston), Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, Holy Cross College (Worcester), the Groundwerx Choreographers Showcase (Providence, RI), ArtBeat (Somerville), and Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival (Becket).
In a dynamic fusion of the ancient and contemporary, Lasandhi dancers merged classical Indian dance and modern choreography, using their classical expertise in Bharat Natyam and Kuchipudi and drawing on their respective movement training: West African dance, Modern dance, Taiko drumming, and Kalaripayat (Indian martial art). The dancers choreographed in conjunction with Indian melodic musicians and Japanese and Middle Eastern percussionists. The musicians created compositions based on the nine major moods in Indian dramatic theory, ranging from amazement to anger. Within the music, a lyricist wove in the poetry of Indian women from varied religions and backgrounds, addressing different themes in the lives of contemporary women in South Asia and the diaspora.
Photos from left to right by: Portia Brockway, John Buckingham, Laura Wulf, Elizabeth Abraham, Carl Rosenstein