A yoga-inspired performance of music & movement


12 November 2015
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imports_PIA_unnamed-2-84210_20403.jpg A yoga-inspired performance of music & movement
Entrepeneur, music producer and writer (amongst many other things), Rave' Mehta is the creator of the show FLOW - a yoga-inspired piano performance. We interview him to find out more about this unique piano show, and his background in the music industry ...
A yoga-inspired performance of music & movement Images
Entrepeneur, music producer and writer (amongst many other things), Rave' Mehta is the creator of the show FLOW - a yoga-inspired piano performance. We interview him to find out more about this unique piano show, and his background in the music industry


What stimulated the idea of mixing a live piano concert with yoga for a concert?
I’ve been practising and teaching yoga and meditation for over 15 years, and I have been creating and playing music for considerably longer, so it was inevitable that these two passions would eventually come together, but it didn’t all click until I saw Kristen Schneider - my lead dancer/choreographer for FLOW - practising yoga. She was so graceful that her yoga looked more like she was dancing. So one day I asked if she would do yoga on top of my piano while I played, and she agreed. It looked so beautiful that I took this concept and extended it into a full 80-minute show to include piano yoga, yoga dance, acro yoga, partner yoga, aerial yoga and more. To go along with our 'flow' theme, the show is 50% choreographed and 50% improvised, including my piano playing, and it all comes together so beautifully.

How long have you been playing the piano and who inspired you to start?
My father actually sparked my piano interest by giving me a small Yamaha keyboard for my birthday when I was 10 years old. I never had a teacher, so I would just stand there, plunking keys to the likes of The Godfather theme song until the melodies matched. However, it wasn’t until I was 26 that I actually started to learn to play after I bought a piano for my house. I’m self-taught so every time I would walk by the piano, I couldn’t help but sit down and start playing a rift here and there. But ironically, it was my impatience for learning to read sheet music that drove me to writing and composing my own music because it gave me a sense of instant gratification.  

What style of music can people expect to hear throughout the performance? Or is it a mixture?
It’s definitely a mixture. I love exploring different genres so my music has a blend of classical, new age, jazz, pop and world, including Indian classical ragas. The best way to describe my music is…cinematic. Each piece is its own story.

 

Aside from FLOW, you have another show featuring the piano called ASPIRE. What is that about?
Yes, where FLOW is my piano concert infused with yoga inspired dance and acrobatic performances, ASPIRE is my piano concert curated to a series of TED-style talks about unlocking the secrets to human potential. I created this format because it helps connect the right brain with the left, the creative with the rational, the artist with the thinker, and the dreamer with the doer, all so we can aspire to become the best versions of ourselves. I just performed ASPIRE in October at both the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando, and Theatre80 in New York City. 

How does it make you feel to have your show in the glitzy city of Las Vegas? And would you change anything about the show for this type of market?
Having a show in Las Vegas and New York is very exciting for me!  Both my shows FLOW and ASPIRE are really raw by design. Aside from lighting, there’s no set, props or other things that would distract the audience from the music and performances. The piano is the only instrument and it’s played on stage, so essentially the piano is the set and integrated into the actual performances. Now that I know the core show concept works based on the audience response, I can build on that foundation and add more instruments like some strings and percussions along with more production design elements and visuals to really make the show a fully immersive experience. 

Entrepreneur, music producer, writer……do you have any ‘down time’?
Only when I sleep! Actually, I work in waves where I’ll go-go-go while the flow is there and then when the tide subsides, I’ll decompress, travel, celebrate, recalibrate and then prepare myself to catch the next wave of inspiration when it comes.  

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