"Heartbreaking yet uplifting" performance by Aakash Odedra


Audience member and University of Derby graduate Lisa Judson shares her thoughts on Aakash Odedra's double-bill, 'Murmur and Inked'.

"As someone who has just graduated with a first class honours degree in Theatre Arts with Education, I’m ashamed to say that I know really very little about performance based dance as an art form. Tonight, therefore, was a complete blessing & really opened my eyes.

Aakash Odedra is one of the most gifted dancers I’ve ever seen. With a natural stage presence that is both mesmerising and charismatic, he has an agility that defies human biology!

Having only just arrived at Déda in time, I hadn’t had time to read a word about the evening’s performance, yet as the first piece unfolded, it was so descriptive, and I knew instantly what he was telling me without a single word being spoken. Now that’s extraordinary! His depiction of finding out who he was, the internal battle and frustration leading to a complete freedom of oneness with himself & his maker was remarkable. Insert a cheeky squid squirt in the middle of all of this - you had to be there - and you have a truly entertaining piece.

His second performance, Murmur, took me from tears to belly laughs in the space of 30 minutes.  His depiction of living with and embracing dyslexia was both heart-breaking yet uplifting at the same time. Having only been diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 46 myself, he took my breath away with how he managed to perfectly portray how I felt. Using a mix of multimedia, multi-cultural and multi-sensory approaches, he seemed to nail the whole gamete of living with a “diffability”. 

The use of dual languages allowed the natural cadences of sound to describe the situation with no need for an understanding of the words being spoken – so often how it feels for someone with dyslexia when sitting in the midst of a learning environment. The use of projection depicting a mixture of sound waves and moving words took my breath away with it’s simple beauty. Making clever use of this projection when coupled with distorted sound and white noise gave such an accurate sense of sensory overload that it felt like he’d climbed inside my head to show the world how my brain often feels.

The evening wasn’t all soul searching & tear jerking. There was a definite touch of the Commedia dell'arte’s for me when Aakash was buried in paper from on high making me literally laugh out loud. Mesh this with strategically placed fans and the paper vortex that was created and it could have been a visual effect straight out of my brain during the third year of my degree studies.   

The finale of this piece came with the visual addition of the release of a caged bird. Here Aakash displayed his abandon to the freedom and joy of being comfortable in his own skin. Not limited, fettered or stalled by a brain that simply works differently. Instead, embracing the blessing of being dyslexic.  Where being able to see a much bigger picture, thinking outside of the box and always searching out an alternative route to get where you need to be when convention doesn’t allow a straight path is ‘the norm’. As an educator, I simply want to show every dyslexic student I work with this perfectly liberating and beautiful statement. I came away from the performance smiling. I still am..."

Aakash Odedra performed 'Murmur and Inked' at Déda on Friday 30 January. More tour dates at http://www.aakashodedra.co.uk/calendar/

Aakash is supported by Arts Council England, Sky Academy and Curve Theatre, Leicester

You must install Adobe Flash to view this content.



Productions  student  Derby  Déda Refurb  apprentice  T42 Residency  Kathak  mythology  Alice Vale  education  Poet  retro  Sky Academy  Print  Workshops  Dance Career  Inspiring  Hercules  New Year  Back pain  student, work experience   office  Hires  Dance  Deda  refurbishment  Shakespeare  disco  hula hoop  Candoco  Adaire To Dance  Greek  cabaret  Simon Armitage  social media  network  Celebrate  National Centre for Circus Arts  disabled  Summer  50s  wedding  family  Stopgap  young people  ACE Midlands  expansion  Cultural Vision  food  event  professional  ballroom  study  siteline  dyslexia  projection  Rock 'n' Roll  Dance Development  acting  books  U.Dance  Dancing  diversity  inclusive  Hen Party  Midlands  regular  group  Wellbeing  carnival  Outdoor Events  Writing  Audience  Foxtrot  New Dimensions  dance, dancers, Joss Arnott, Derby, Déda, Triple Bill   NCCA  feedback  contemporary  party  Knot  Southbank  Derby University  NCCA  Udance  QUAD  story  Poetry Performance  Discusssion  dancer  Coordinator  Danish+  Hydra  Just Imagine Working Here  Arts Council  research  Udancebythesea  Zumba  Derby Festé  Journalism  partner  volunteer, Deda, dance, arts, Derby, Derbyshire, marketing, 20 years  accessibility  Course  placement  InCompany  Icarus  Plymouth  Déda Bloggers  artist  comedy  learning  birds  Casson and Friends  jive  City centre  Tutor  commercial  Ben Spiller  Nikki and JD  Jasmin Vardimon  veganism, acro, nikki&jd, dance, Déda, Derby  actor  Vale  University  BA Dance  storytelling  Wendy  Building work  ArtCore  vintage  interview  training  Degree  Clare Limb  Festivals  Book Club  Choice  Blog  fun  Community  East Midlands  Dance4  Baby Shower  Michaela Butter  Déda  disability   review  work experience  AGM  celebration  Arts Award  Performace  Competition  digital  Children and young people  words  funding  Regional  socialise  Fresher  Déda Board  Autumn  Creativity  Fifties  Acrobatics   Social  history  offer  Routine  Stompers  marketing  Aakash    Poetry  BBC  New Art Club  meeting  Derby Book Festival  Strictly  University of Derby  Studio  Illuminos  Bounceback  National Youth Circus Event  club  choreography  café  Classes  Tour  reading  Ashtanga  Path  CUBE  DYDC  Plus One  Déda Theatre  Circus  corporate  Stress  DJ  Derbyshire   performance  hubbub  Shows  dance, placement  Youth  Circ Bizerk  Derby Arts  Night at the Theatre,  Yoga  Participation  Studying  Higher Education  variety  Derby Theatre  Planning  Career  Theatre  Sleep  business  development  September  Ballet  Stephen Munn  Brochure  All Dance  photo  facilities