13 August 2004

When lines drop from the sky

Lines don’t always flow from left to right like this one. Sometimes they just drop from the sky or, more precisely, from the ceiling of an auditorium. Like they did at Nrutarutya’s Prayog, a contemporary dance show staged last Sunday evening in Bangalore.

A bunch of four energetic dancers dangled from ropes to hard rock music in such electric symphony that had the audience touched. “People can have different views. And we need to read between the lines. That’s what I thought when I was choreographing this piece,” said the choreographer.

The show opened with a piece that was a very close imitation of insects’ movements, with dancers dressed in gaudy golden brown costumes. The stage was illuminated here and there with pools of light and the music made you feel like being a part of a dark night in the insect world.

But one item that I found particularly austere and stiff-necked was the Kolaata. Folk dance is usually alive in every sense of the word. You expect fluid movements from dancers quiet at ease with their bodies, and also want to be part of the rhythm. But in this piece, the dancers’ almost zombie-like faces made you wonder if contemporary dance also meant a self-conscious moving away from the traditional ‘bhaava.’ Felt like a desperate attempt to make their piece a distinguishably contemporary one.

No comments: