Happy weekend peeps! I realise it has been quite a while since my last post, the passed few weeks have been tough! HOWEVER, the highlight was definitely watching the most spectacular performance at the Abu Dhabi Festival 2018. I was invited to attend “We The Living: Innovative Indian Dance by Tanusree Shankar Dance Company”, and believe me, it was like a dream!
I was very intrigued and curious about this performance, since I have always (ignorantly) associated Indian dance with what I saw in Bollywood movies. This contemporary adaptation of the poet Rumi’s Human Being” – blew my mind! The show was choreographed by famed innovator, Tanusree Shankar who comes from a family of choreographers and dancers. Her father in law, Uday Shankdar first revolutionized contemporary Indian dance in the 1920’s, and this performance greatly incorporates the family’s mission to celebrate innovation, while maintaining tradition and classical dance forms.
To fully appreciate the performance, it’s important to understand Tanusree’s interpretation of Rumi’s poem. “We The Living” represents life forms transcending from cultural societies and religion, and just “being”. Tanusree’s interpretation of the poem, through this dance, highlights the progression of life form – from the amoebic shapelessness, into a human body form. The act was split into 3 sequences: Anjali, which welcomed the audience, Pratiksha or “Yearning”, which highlighted the desire to exist, in various stages of human life; and Reincarnation, represented by Dervish style dancing, searching for God and eventually surrendering to life. Throughout the performance, different music styles guide the audience through the acts, as there was no break and not even a pause in the almost 2 hour long show. The dancers beautifully portrayed various human senses and emotions throughout the acts. The captivating performance, filled with a medley of lighting effects, beautiful mysterious music, and handcrafted costumes, left me spellbound.
This incredible show has not only introduced me to a new dance form, but more importantly, has opened a new perspective of Indian dance culture, which I never imagined before. The Abu Dhabi Festival 2018 is still on until the end of the month, please please please, go and see the remaining shows which include the ballet, Don Quixote, performed by Spain’s Compania Nacional de Danza.
Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.
Disclaimer: I was invited by ADMAF to attend this event, however all views are my own. Photographs are © ADMAF.