Ommanipadmehum has been commissioned by EurAsia Partner Kolkata Centre for Creativity, India, in collaboration with EurAsia Partner DANCEHAUSpiú´ of Milan, Italy, and with Berlin Dance Institute in Germany.
OMMANIPADMEHUM is a part of the EurAsia Repertory directed by Stefano Fardelli.
During the company’s tour in Brazil, the photographer Marco Pires made a photographic report on the gestural work of the arms and hands and thus on the study of the Asian mudras that are one of the choreographic codes of this piece, Ommanipadmehum.
The dancers of the E.D.C. – EurAsia Dance Company taught these sequences to the dancers of IORM-Instituto Oswaldo Ribeiro De Mendonca, EurAsia Partner in Brazil.
This collaboration has been supported by the Italian Cultural Institute of São Paulo.
OM-MANI-PADME-HUM which in Sanskrit literally means “honouring the lotus jewel”, focuses on the history and rituals of the Tibetan Buddhists of the Yellow Hat Order with a particular focus on their connection to the Shaolin monks and thus the study of their training. The idea for this new project stems from the need to continue the exploration and examination of the connection between spirituality and ritual through movement, already begun with the previous solo NAMU: the Sanskrit word namu – or namas – means ‘devotion’.
Throughout the creation period, the four dancers of the company followed the training of the Shaolin monks, studying their meditation and combat techniques. The next step was to translate, through the ‘contemporary code´, their sequences and movements by bringing them into space and making them abstract, thus maintaining their essence but making them functional to the staging. The same process was followed for the creation of the costumes and atmospheres of the piece.
The encounters with the Buddhist monks and the martial arts students, the study of their practice and ceremonies are the foundation of the choreography. When the bell starts to play the rite begins, the dancers enter what could be a temple and lead us in another dimension and place, accompanied by the Francesco Ziello original music.
Hats, cloaks, a sun symbol of the divine, and the gold of temples are often rendered abstract by an aseptic architectural use of space and by string or orchestral music that creates contrasts between oriental images and western sounds.
To conclude, a multicultural cast that translates the movements of the Shaolin monks with different nuances that reveal the origins of the various dancers and thus a quality of movement linked to the traditional dances of the performers that influence, and give character to, the entire piece.