Friday, September 13, 2013

Dance of the Devadasi by Maayavi at Madinat Theatre

Maayavi Dance Drama Concepts' Indian classical dance spectacular Dance of the Devadasi was a through entertainment experience, from start to finish. I'd never before seen a combination of drama and Bharatnatyam, and the plot of this dance drama, centered around the tropes of youthful ambition, budding love, jealous scheming, dashed hopes and tragedy overcome, was heartwarming and familiar, and propped up the dance sequences well.

I did feel that there was a bit too much going on with the lights; I would have preferred something more subtle in that department. Some of the music was embellished with contemporary percussion and effects; I would have preferred more classical music, but the event seems to have been marketed as a fusion thing, so I should have probably expected this to happen. Also, the dialogue was pre-recorded and dubbed into the play, which was a little awkward and unnatural-sounding at times.

As far as what we came for, namely the dancing, the dancers performed well, especially lead dancer Bhakti Harish as the titular devadasi. The scene in which she performs for the visiting prince was, I think, particularly grand and well-executed, including a nice duet dance.

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