Gigs, dance, art

November 14th, 2007: Shantala Shivalingappa – Namasya

@theatre des abbesses

No Kuchipudi this time, it was only solo pieces of a contemporary bend. I thought there would be three of them, turned out there was a fourth one, which was good news indeed. It was a short event, less than one hour, but it more than made up for that in quality. Easily my favorite in the season so far.

The first solo was authored by Ushio Amagatsu of Sankai Juku fame. The connection was obvious, and really interesting in and of itself. Shantala Shivalingappa was dressed in white, but in trousers and she didn’t have any of the usual Sankai Juku make up. That was a great costume, as it echoed the original in a minimalist way. And the dance itself was similar: most gestures were familiar, but probably more understated, and without most of the dramatic element. A really good piece in its own right, made even more compelling in its relation to Sankai Juku. I had the feeling they had really met artistically, that this performance was the result of a fruitful conversation. My favorite solo of the evening.

The second piece was done with input from Pina Bausch, and it showed as well, even the choice of music could have been in one of her works. The whole solo could have, actually, as it had that familiar offbeat sensuality and flowing feel. It was probably longer than what would be customary in Bausch’s own work, but that’s a good thing, because it could expand a bit more and reach more of that sense of freedom that is often hinted at there.

The third piece was authored by the dancer herself, and I was transfixed by the motion of her hands and arms. It was the most abstract solo, at least for me, with geometric figures meshed with flowing movement. Maybe I should have paid more attention to the bigger picture, but I didn’t want to break the spell.

In the fourth and final part, she remained close to the ground and turned her back to the audience most of the time. I had an impression of a kind of pulse, expanding from a core then retreating. Near the end her outstretched arms went into a quickening wave-like motion that was made even more captivating by the lighting. I’m not sure I heard the author’s name right but it sounded like her mother’s.

I really loved it, and it was well worth the 8-mile walk I had to go through after that courtesy of the current transportation strike.


November 15, 2007 - Posted by | Dance | ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] I probably had a better seat as well, farther from the stage and almost dead center. I read what I wrote back then, and instead of repeating that, I will just add a few other things I noticed this […]

    Pingback by November 26th, 2008: Shantala Shivalingappa - Namasya « counterfnord | November 27, 2008 | Reply

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