Kalika Dance Company

Rakini Devi’s Kalika Dance Company, Perth, Western Australia 1990-1998

Throughout the nineties, during my time as artistic director of my cross-cultural dance company Kalika (1990 to 1998), I continued my own dance research practice of western dance and body awareness methodologies. Through collaborations and participation in other directors’ work, these encounters and experiences were influential in the development of my evolving performance practice. My process also evolved through choreographing for my company Kalika dance (1990-1998), when I created several major dance productions using mainly contemporary western dance trained dancers. I integrated many of the western movement techniques with Indian dance vocabulary, including contact improvisation, release-based technique, and contemporary dance styles, including the Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham techniques.

Graves Slaves and Kalika

1990 Artrage Festival, Customs House, Fremantle

Rakini Devi (Choreographer/Performer)

Dancers Warrick Williams, Garry Finch, Chris Walsh.

Live music Diego Bosco ensemble.

Daughters of Daksa

1991 PICA (Perth Institute of Contemporary Art)

Rakini Devi’s Atman Project

Rakini Devi (Choreographer/Performer)

Dancers Warrick Williams, Bremini Ganeson, Gabby Miller, Imelda King.

Live music Diego Bosco ensemble.

“Rakini’s devotional piece explores the duality of our relationship between the spiritual and the non-spiritual. It is also a celebration and affirmation of life.” David Hough, Dance Australia, Dec.1992.


1992 Artrage Festival, PICA

Rakini Devi: Solo Dance theatre.

Live Music Composer and Flautist: Cat Hope.

Masks and prop Cecile Williams.


1993 Artrage Festival, PICA

Kalika Dance Company

Rakini Devi (Choreographer/Performer)

Dancers Bremini Ganeson, Renata Smenda, Dawn Jackson.

Film Super 8 film by John Harrison and Ashley de Prazer.

Radha & The Elements of Worship

1994 PICA

Kalika Dance Company

Rakini Devi (Choreographer/Performer)

Dancers Bremini Ganeson, Dawn Jackson, Renata Smenda, Billie Cook.

Live music Carnatic Vocals: Jeya Ponnuthurai, Drums: Reg Zar, Didgeridoo: Stephen Compton.

“After bold choreographic experiments with contemporary dance theatre since 1990, Radha and the elements of worship is Rakini’s definitive statement. It is a delicate blend of dance, art, poetry and music, masterfully balanced and beautifully presented”
Lynn Fisher, The West Australian, August 1994.

Kali Digambar

1995 PICA

Kalika Dance Company

Rakini Devi (Choreographer/Performer)

Dancers Dawn Jackson, Renata Smenda, Billie Cook, Hylton Jaggard

Live Music Carnatic vocals: Jeya Ponnuthurai, Percussion: Reg Zar, Didgeridoo: Stephen Compton

” In trying to explore the mythology behind this great goddess, at the same time pursuing her interest in cross-cultural dance, Rakini has interspersed the choreography with a haunting film sequence shot in macabre, shadowy monochrome, created by John Harrison. In contrast to the shadowy film, the dancers are alive with menace, dressed in black, red and gold. The four women- Dawn Jackson, Renata Smenda, Billie Cook and Rakini-have the distinctive kohl- lined eyes and their foreheads are painted red above the thick curved eyebrows. In the centre of the brow is the third eye. Their waist-length hair tied back with red flowers, they drip with jewels from ears, neck, arms, waist and ankles. Their feet and hands are stained and decorated with red dye. It is visually electric.”

“…Rakini is a superb dancer whose ability to seemingly dislocate her neck, arms, hands and feet from her body, thereby telling the narrative through a myriad of simultaneous movements and eye-rolling perspicacity, is awe-inspiring”.
Rita Clarke, The Australian, May 26,1995.

“The dancers spend a lot of time off their feet, which will horrify the Indian dance purists but but being upside down, balancing on each other’s bodies and lying flat on the floor are elements that work in Kali .I found the recurring image of pairs of upside down faces particularly dramatic. The artistic qualities of Kali are very fine. A vivid red triangle painted on the floor is repeated in the dancers’ costumes and in their red-painted foreheads.”
Lynn Fisher, The West Australian, May 26,1995.