Yoga and Bhangra

Just published on the Dholrhythms blog!

Koringa, approx. 1938, W.E. Barry Ltd. United Kingdom; Bradford. Print. Courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

What does yoga, bhangra, Orientalist posters of yoginis, and a bunch of very old statues have in common? The Asian Art Museum, of course! This Friday night Dholrhythms is dancing at the opening of the new exhibit at the Asian Art Museum, Yoga:  The Art of Transformation. Although we won’t be wrestling crocodiles and snakes, and will probably have our hair slightly more under control than our mascot above, we will provide an action-packed, three-set performance. We’ll be joined by MC Yogi, DJ Drez and DJ Sol Rising. If you’re feeling a bit yogini yourself, you can stop in before our 8pm set and join the yoga workshop. Opening night at the Asian will feature not only gallery tours but also cocktails, so you can get your art and your groove on all at the same time.

Jallandharnath flies over King Padam’s palace, from the Suraj Prakash, 1830, by Amardas Bhatti. India; Rajasthan state, former kingdom of Marwar, Jodhpur. Opaque watercolor and gold on paper. Courtesy of the Mehrangarh Museum Trust.

The art is exquisite. I can vouch for it because I saw it last night when we danced for the Asian’s fancy-shmancy fundraising gala. Lisa noted that she’s not usually up for mid-week performances that run late, but she makes exceptions for those that end with Laduree macarons and Veuve Clicquot. While the guests were happily occupied with their entrees upstairs we had the chance to walk through the galleries. The sounds of the jhanjar around our ankles amused the security guards as we took in Mughal miniatures, Buddhist fragments from 150 CE, and some pretty awesome stone dakinis. Osher Gallery (the one with all the big stuff) has itself become a giant mandala, fusing works from across Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh, and Sufi history.

Vishnu Vishvarupa, approx. 1800-1820. India; Rajasthan state, former kingdom of Jaipur. Opaque watercolor and gold on paper. Courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

It’s worth a look-see, especially because Friday night at the museum will be a scene. Last night unexpectedly became a scene; they finally kicked us out of the museum after we spent several hours in the middle of a rather raucous dance party (our own, although we discovered a couple of the Asian Art Museum donors have some serious moves). On the way out we shared an elevator with Jay Xu, the Director. The man is pleasant at midnight, and happy to chat up dancers that showed up to work his fundraiser. Which points to one of many cool things about the Asian Art Museum. Even if you don’t come for the art on Friday night, make it a point to come for the party.