Just went last night. Beautiful.
During the first scene, I have to admit, my mind wandered a little. But I was completely drawn in by the second scene, and this lasted through the end of the show. I think mostly this was me getting used to the style (also, partly, the fact that the first scene is the busiest and least clear). So if you’re going tonight, give your eyes some time to adjust. Oh, and read the program notes, so you know the story.
Dhvee culminates in a battle between good and evil, between Rama and Ravana. Normally we try not to see things in such black-and-white terms, but there’s an undeniable compulsion about that struggle. Rama and his brother Lakshmana (Ashwini Ramaswamy and Amanda Dlouhy) looked like embodiments of rightness from their forthright faces to their open gestures, from their clear steps to their white costumes. Ravana (Tamara Nadel, I Gusti Ngurah Serama Semadi, and others–hey, he has 10 heads) was the opposite, with his stamping, his crimped fingers, and his awful echoing laugh. Even though I knew who would win, I felt in suspense–on the edge of my seat, even.
I loved that the ending took us back to the beginning–it left the story, for me, in an eternal present tense.
If anyone wants to follow up with discussion, here are some ideas:
• the dance/theatrical form here (perhaps considering how it broadens our ideas of dance)
• the story–why is the battle of good and evil such a compelling story for us, even now?
• cross-cultural comprehension (or lack thereof)
The Green Room: From on stage, back stage and the theater seats, the Performing Arts blog illuminates the intersecting worlds of dance, theater, and music.