Monday, April 20, 2015

Sacred and profane, Indian culture delights in dualisms

By Alastair Macaulay
A Theyyem dancer in Kerala, in southwest India. Theyyem is an example of trance dance and divine embodiment. The makeup takes hours to apply. Credit Eric Lafforgue/Gamma-Rapho, via Getty Images
NEW YORK---New York sees excellent examples of Indian dance each year. On April 25-26, three examples of its classical styles will be on view. Two, at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at New York University, are World Music Institute “Dancing the Gods” performances, each exemplifying a different classical idiom. Bharata Natyam — a genre rich in pure form and expressive acting, deriving from the southeastern state of Tamil Nadu — has a centuries-old matrilineal tradition. On April 25, Rama and Dakshina Vaidyanathan, mother and daughter, perform “Dwita — Duality of Life.” [link]

The Mukteswar Temple, in Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha. Credit Briana Blasko for The New York Times