Thursday, November 9, 2017

Dance Review: Bending it like Bharatanatyam

By Siobhan Burke
Preeti Vasudevan (hands covered in flour) talked and danced in “Stories by Hand” at New York Live Arts. Credit Andrea Mohin/The New York Times
“I struggle with English,” the dancer Preeti Vasudevan told an audience at New York Live Arts on Thursday, speaking eloquently in English. “Tamil is my body language, the one I move with,” she continued. And as she began to speak in Tamil, she sprang to life, still seated as before but newly animated and unguarded, as if confiding in friends. Traditionally Bharatanatyam conveys Hindu religious stories, in part through an intricate lexicon of hand positions known as mudras. Ms. Vasudevan — performing solo except for two assistants who help with minimal set and costume changes — makes reference to gods and myths and the history of the dance form, offering witty lessons in mudras and their meanings. But the tales she imparts come from her own life as a woman born in southern India and living in New York. [More]