This past Sunday, I saw a film about two masters of percussive dance. The film is the documentary, "Upaj: Improvise", and focuses on the collaboration of Jason Samuels Smith and Pundit Chitresh Das. Smith, as many of you know, is one of the great tap dancers out there today and Das is the master of kathak, the classical dance of North India. In this film you see the meshing of two cultures and the relationship of two men passionate about what they do. The film follows them on their journeys performing in India and here in the states. It is quite interesting and informative, with moments that just may touch you in surprising ways. After the screening there was a short live performance of the two men that was incredible to watch. Surprisingly, they have performed their full show almost everywhere in the U.S. except New York City! The event was held at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts in front of an enthusiastic crowd. Next Monday, January 20th, the film will be shown on PBS as an episode of Afropop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange at 8pm, so check you listing. I believe in the NYC area it will be on WLIW21. Set your DVR! Watch the Afropop preview below:
At the end of the month I plan on seeing "Tap or Die", a documentary that will be shown at the Dance On Camera dance film festival. I've heard some things about the film, so I want to see it for myself. If you want to see it, Jan. 31st is the date at the Waler Reade Theater, by Lincoln Center. Screening is at 3:30pm. Maybe I'll see you there!