The Garage International
Shakti is the Japanese/Indian driving force behind The Garage International that travels from Edingburgh to Avignon, Montreal and now Adelaide Fringe Festivals. Her Japanese mother introduced Indian Dance to Japan in the 1950s, and now Shakti continues that tradition with her passionate style of dance.
Originating from Tamil Nadu (Chennai) India, Bharata Natyam is an ancient form of dance, using sign language-like hand gestures, eye movements, and intricate footwork to express the mood of the dancer. Traditionally a religious Hindu dance, it was banned by the British Colonial Government in the early 20th century, but protests saw it revitalized and modern performances such as this one, are not necessarily rooted in religion. This performance was very much in that modern direction, pairing the complex arrangements of Beethoven to this ancient dance style. The performance was absolutely stunning in its execution, with poetic hand movements and contrasting changes in pace well matched to the dramatic soundtrack. The costumes were not merely decoration, but part of the performance, and especially captivating was the pleated skirt during the lunges and kicks. Being a novice though, at times I felt a longing to see how this original choreography would look immersed in classic music to which Bharata Natyam is usually performed – and that’s no criticism at all of the quality of this stunning performance, but more of a self-reflection on my own inexperience and curiosity.
A beautiful performance for fans of classical music and dance.