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La Bayadere - A talk by Rajika Puri

Sat, 15 Dec 2018 3:00PM - 4:30PM
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Rajika Puri on the ballet La Bayadere 'The Tempe Dancer' 

A slide presentation with video and demonstration of ballet mime

"Dancer-storyteller, RAJIKA PURI, who was invited as coach for the mime-sections in a recent production of the ballet La Bayadere (the temple dancer) in Berlin, presents an overview of the ballet originally choreographed in 1877 its history and the travelers legends it arose from - in a slide lecture presentation with photographs and video footage of that production - in performance and rehearsal.
The creator of this iconic work was the legendary choreographer MARIUS PETIPA, whose birth bicentennial is celebrated this year. Considered the oriinator of classical ballet, La Bayadere introduced the very idea of an all white act - such as is seen in the ballets Swan Lake, Giselle, Les Sylphides - which took the world by storm.
Petipa is also known for telling his stories through long sections of mime. The new Berlin version is a brilliantly reimagined reconstruction - from notation and extensive notes made by Petipa in 1900 - by the star choreographer of ballet today: Alexei Ratmansky. Rajika, who was invited to Berlin as coach for the mime-sections, discusses and demonstrates the gestures of ballet mime and compares it to the use of hastabhinaya in Bharatanatyam."

RAJIKA PURI an exponent of Bharatanatyam and Odissi - is especially known both for a form of danced storytelling she has developed (Sutradhari Natyam) and for her onstage pre-performance slide lectures that make connections between a range of aspects of Indian dance music, theatre, cultural contexts and so on. She is often invited as Narrator Sutradhar for Dance festivals in New York, many of which she herself co-curates and, even, co-presents.

In 2016 she performed at LshVa a slide lecture in which she sang and danced the texts of miniature paintings on Ragamala, Dashaavatara, Rasikapriya, and Gita Govinda. A rasika of ballet since she was 5 yrs old, she has been lucky enough to see some of the great ballet productions of the last 50 years and continues to do so as member of the NY Dance and Performance Awards Nominations (The Bessies) committee).

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Shoonya - Centre for Art and Somatic Practices 4th Floor, Rear Wing, Brahmananda Court, #37 Lal Bagh Road (On the left side, before Lal Bagh Passport Office) Bangalore 560027 Bangalore India 560027
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We all are half done, we all are incomplete. Mohan Rakesh's Aadhe Adhure is what true theatre is. It is pure drama written with a very nuanced and methodical understandings of human psyche. It repeatedly draws often the theme of our expectations and reality. Are we happy with what we have? Can we ever be happy? What is happiness?

In Aadhe Adhure, Mohan Rakesh takes an ordinary family where the family relationships are already crumbling. The wife is the only earning member in a family of 5, the husband has lost all his self-confidence. The elder daughter eloped and married but is still struggling to find happiness, her younger brother has reached of age but yet to find a job and the youngest teenager has coming of age problems coupled with a need to get attention. The wife is tired of taking care of everyone and has her own desires and ambitions.

Rakesh wastes no time in setting up the tension, but he never lets go off it. This is a story where everyone is at fault and yet no-one is. Rakesh unfolds the story brilliantly and his command over his audience is splendid.

TOYO - Theatre on your own, uses minimal props to render the story. At some points, it feels mere a dramatic reading of the play yet the actors render their roles with a gloom that stays with you even after the play gets over. There is also a minimal use of shadow effects yet it adds exponential flavoring.

Aadhe Adhure is a must watch play. You can take your parents to this one and it will be a discussion point for the way back home.

- by Arvind for TOYO(Theatre on your own) organized by Shoonya - Centre for Art and Somatic Practices .

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