UPAJ: Improvise

Directed by Hoku Uchiyama, 2013, USA, :50, English


A playful exercise in ‘East meets West,’ UPAJ: Improvise marks the Indian Jazz Suites, a collaboration between Indian kathak savant and guru, Pandit Chitresh Das, and the very American tap artist Jason Samuels Smith: streetwise, freestyle, contemporary. This documentary follows their collaboration and the trials and travails that arise from melding disparate, incongruous dance styles into live improvised performances. The percussive dance performance alone makes this film a spellbinding ride; when taken with the unlikely friendship that emerges between the two artists, UPAJ: Improvise is a timely look into finding universality through difference.

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