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Navtej Singh Johar (New Delhi, India)

Based in New Delhi, Navtej Johar's work is unique in that it freely traverses between the traditional and the avant-garde. Drawing on plural vocabularies of yoga, Bharatanatyam and physical theater, Johar is recognized as a cutting edge choreographer whose work is sensitive, compelling, witty and layered. Apart from classical Bharatanatyam his work includes contemporary performance pieces, street-theatre, performance-installations, site-specific events and spectacles.

Johar's approach to choreography is fluid and adaptable; merging yoga asanas with traditional and contemporary dance. Regardless of discipline, the primary focus of Johar's work remains an exploration of desire and spirituality within modernity. Johar often collaborates with composers and installation artists to create consistently unique and awe-inspiring works. 

The programs features live musical accompaniment of India's top Sufi instrumentalists/vocalists, creating a mystical, hypnotizing, once-in-a-lifetime experience. This artist and his work are truly extraordinary. A glimpse into India's depths.

"The enmeshing of different musical genres, all emphasizing Sufi mysticism . . .enabled the inner dancer to speak. . . Ecstasy and surrender come easily to Navtej whose mobile face mirrored every emotion." - Leela Venkataraman, The Hindu.

Touring Programs
Tours with 2 dancers and 6 musicians / solo program also available

Fana'a: Ranjha Revisited
Drawing on plural vocabularies of yoga, Bharatanatyam and physical theater, Fana'a is a male-duet that attempts to understand existence through the contemplation of desire. Two archetypal love-legends, one from the north and the other from the south of India, are retold through two male dancers who assume and shed characters and identities in a dream-like trance, weaving tantalizing images that are both ascetic and erotic. Evoking a plethora of ethno-centric references and virtuosic movement, it is an extremely complex and fascinating work with multiple entry/exit points for performers and spectators alike. Featuring a live orchestra of six soulful musicians, the work seamlessly intermixes and juxtaposes the two texts, one Punjabi and the other Tamil, as well as the diverse musical traditions, resulting in a rare musical treat! Johar will be touring Fana'a Ranjha Revisited in the USA with full live-orchestra in April-May 2009 and April-May 2010.

This classical solo is a paean of praise to Meenakshi, the fish-eyed, green hued goddess of Maduari. Adhering to the classical geometry of the Bharatanatyam technique, Johar interprets this votive poem, celebrating the feminine principle, by theatrically illustrating the magical attributes of the Devi, and lyrically evoking her mystique and eroticism through the use of meditative and ritualized movement.

Sheer Fall
A contemporary solo in which notions of pure movement, stylized movement and style-specific movement lose their moorings in a stream of consciousness that pays homage to the spiritual origins of modern art, encompassing myriad movements from different traditions. This work internalizes various aesthetic vocabularies in an exploration of consciousness as it is happening. Its form, rhythm, and time structure are determined by an elastic center, where the unity of body, mind and spirit become the only reference point of validity.


Dance Workshops
Johar methodically delineates the technique of Bharatanatyam and offers a working knowledge and appreciation of this ancient form. Using its rules of articulation, the workshops are designed to allow participants a license to explore, adapt and borrow from this rich form and express themselves in ways that push the limits of their acculturated dance expression.

Yoga Workshops
Deeply inspired by the teachings of Sri Krishnamacharya and Sri Desikachar, Navtej Johar conducts yoga workshops throughout the world including Ansana, Pranayama, Ritual, Meditation, Vedic Chanting, as well as the philosophy of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.

Johar offers lectures on the history and aesthetics of Bharatanatyam, a traditional dance that was once part of temple ritual, and its continual redefinition within modernity.

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Main Roster
  Michael Mao Dance

  special projects


BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance

Thodos Dance Chicago

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