Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dance weekend

I had been so out of the loop from the events of the last few weeks that I'd quite forgotten that my Bollywood dance teacher's students from his various classes were staging a charity show on Saturday. Got myself a last-minute ticket and got down to it. It was a lovely evening of various forms of Indian dance -- Bollywood, fusion, kuchipudi, bharatanatyam, bellydancing and also a yoga display. And all amateur too. I also thought it was rather ironical that the kuchipudi troupe was all Chinese, and from Hong Kong too. If these weekend dancers could master kuchipudi then I have hope for tackling Bollywood fusion.

Sunday was the night of the professional. I went to Sree Katha, a bharatanatyam dance performance which depicted three heroines from the Ramayana. Indo-American Mythili Prakash's one-woman show gave me a whole new feminist perspective of the epic, and basically validated me for always having thought that Sita was a bit of a doormat. She also gave a new insight to Shurpanakha, the demoness who was mutilated for daring to make a pass at Rama. Prakash's point was that Shurpanakha was a woman who knew what she wanted and made an attempt to obtain what she wanted, and not bow to societal norms of beauty. So basically, it's better to be a fugly demoness who knows her mind than a longsuffering wife. I hear you, sister. Interestingly, from the post-performance dialogue with the artist, the people who disagreed with her weren't the elderly gentlemen in the predominantly Indian audience, but the elderly ladies.

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