Serving the (He)Arts
Samadhi Dance Company o.l.v. Vraja Sundari is een onafhankelijk hedendaags dansgezelschap gevestigd te Amsterdam en Baarn. Het gezelschap staat bekend om haar fusie van verschillende dansstijlen en bijzondere samenwerkingen met artiesten uit diverse (kunst)disciplines.
De inhoud van Sundari’s werk kenmerkt zich door onderwerpen rondom bewustzijn en filosofische vraagstukken, welk hun oorsprong vinden in zowel oud Oosterse als hedendaagse Westerse culturen en literaire werken.
Deze concepten worden verwerkt met behulp van de emotie-leer bekend als de ‘Navarasa’ oftewel de ‘Yoga van de 9 Emoties’, waaruit een bepaalde collectieve ‘rasa’ of ’emotie’ vloeit tijdens de uitvoering.
In 2012 ontving Sundari’s voorstelling Saranágati de Dans Publieksprijs van 2012 voor Beste Dansvoorstelling van 2011. Van 2014 t/m 2015 creëerde SDC grote zaal-producties als huisgezelschap van Theater de Meervaart in Amsterdam. Hierop volgden SDC’s Benelux Theatertour van Hanuman en de Europese tour van Atma. De voorstellingen Hanuman en Tusta ontvingen ieder twee nominaties voor de Dans Publieksprijs van 2016 en 2014.
SDC’s dansschool Balletschool Marut Jorquera te Baarn ontving in 2013 en 2021 de Cultuurprijs van de gemeente voor oa haar divers en hoogwaardig aanbod van danseducatie.
Het gezelschap heeft tot op heden 21 voorstellingen geproduceerd en uitvoeringen gegeven in Nederland, België, het Verenigd Koninkrijk, Italië, Zweden, Denemarken, Noorwegen, Duitsland, Bulgarije, Colombia, India en Rusland. Ook heeft SDC door de jaren heen een trouwe online fanbase weten op te bouwen met momenteel 80.000+ volgers.
The Samadhi Dance Company is a Netherlands-based contemporary dance company, famous for their unique presentation of devotion and fusion in dance. Original works by artistic director and founder Vraja Sundari Keilman are created and performed worldwide by high quality dancers of various backgrounds. The company is renowned for its collaborations with artists in other disciplines and their innovative fusion of various dance styles. The contents of her work focus on topics around consciousness, mindfulness and philosophy from both ancient Eastern as Western culture, philosophy and literature. The vocabulary of the company is based on contemporary ballet, with influences of Bharata Natyam (traditional Indian dance), yoga, theater, modern jazz, urban and classical ballet, to create a wider range of movements and surpass cultural boundaries.
Founded in 2007, the Samadhi Dance Company quickly captured the hearts of its international audiences by performing intimate yet high energy productions by a diverse and charismatic ensemble of dancers, presenting a profoundly physical and philosophical approach to movement, expression and theatrical dance.
Emphasising the intention of the dancer in his or her movement, Sundari aims to free the performer of its physical identity to share the authentic expression of the soul, connecting with the viewer on a deeper, more universal level, creating a collective energy or in Sanskrit ‘rasa’ with the spectators. This ‘rasa’ aims to absorb both the viewer and performer to bring them into a state of ‘samadhi’, which means “to bring together, to merge.”
The Samadhi Dance Company is a small, independent company described as a dance company “whose work brings a breath of fresh air to local theaters” (Bachtrack), performed by dancers with an “unprecedented technical quality” (Dance Magazine). The company is celebrated as a genuine and devoted group of artistic individuals dedicated to contributing a healthy and wholesome approach to dance and performing arts in and outside of The Netherlands.
Over the last fourteen years Samadhi has produced 21 dance performances and has performed for over 40,000 audience members in The Netherlands, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Colombia, Bulgaria, India and Russia. SDC and Sundari’s social media currently counts 80.000+ followers.
In 2012, the company received the national Dutch Dance Audience Award for ‘Best Dance Production of 2011’. In 2014 and 2016 the company received two official nominations for the national Dutch Dance Audience Award in the categories ‘Best Production’ and ‘Best Dancer’ for Sundari’s productions ‘Tusta’ and ‘Hanuman’.
The Samadhi Dance Company regularly collaborates on fashion, films, photography projects and ad campaigns. Collaboration with photographer Karen Scheffers resulted in a two year global campaign for TAJ Hotels and Resorts, among photographs by Lois Greenfield of the Akram Khan Company and the Martha Graham Dance Company. Collaborations with fashion designer Mandali Mendrilla have been presented in numerous magazines such as VOGUE, Elle, Tatler and Harper’s Bazaar.
SDC provides weekly dance classes for students starting at age 7 to 80 and for (semi) professional dancers at its academy known as the Balletschool Marut Jorquera based in Baarn. The academy currently counts 200+ students and is directed by Vraja Sundari and her sisters Rasarani and Sarada Sarita. In 2013 and 2021 the academy received the Culture Award for its qualitative classes and diverse range of dance styles. Both the company and its academy have been acclaimed by local and national organizations for its valuable contribution to the Dutch dance scene, both in the performing field as in educational dance.
‘When we succeed in becoming so absorbed in something that our mind becomes completely one with it, we are in a state of Samadhi. Samadhi means “to bring together, to merge.” In Samadhi our personal identity-name, profession, family history, etc. completely disappears. In the moment of Samadhi none of that exists anymore. Nothing separates us from the object of our choice; instead we blend and become one with it.’