Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Draupadi: A fiery woman in a crowded theater
Being offered a part in this project came as a bit of a surprise. But knowing that Draupadi - The Voice of Dignity involved the Malhaar Choir, Loom Ensemble, and Third Half Theatre, it was not hard to say "yes". It also helped that I was several weeks into a Mahabharata mythos geek trip.
Although I, as a cast member, repeatedly witness their performances, the choir has me rapt each time we do a run-through. The instrumental array features Indian classical music instruments together with electric guitar, synth keyboard and cajon, producing hypnotic music that straddles West and East. The singing is rousing and spellbinding (a couple have become the earworms of the month), and the dancers make their well-practiced skill seem almost effortless in mesmerizing choreography; listening to the choir and watching the dance makes the countless hours of rehearsal feel not as long.
Thanks to Third Half Theatre and Loom Ensemble, these song, music and dance segments are interspersed and framed with an English-scripted philosophical/magical story that references the epic, along with contemporary dance and physical theatre.
As for my role, I don't want to give away details, except that watching fidgety me hold still for minutes at a time is in itself a spectacle. I have never done anything in this particular style of theatre, but we have a supportive and enthusiastic team. Therefore, I have high expectations of a grand performance, especially extrapolating what I have glimpsed of the production aspects.
The play stages on May 23rd/Fri and 24th/Sat, 7:30pm, at Madinat Theatre. There are a few tickets still on sale, and they can be purchased at timeouttickets.com or at the Madinat Theatre's offline box office.