Hindu Deities Conjure Magic In Movement Downtown

August 18, 2010

Author: Alastair Macaulay

Source: The New York Times


As surprising New York juxtapositions go, none surpass those provided each August by the Erasing Borders festival of Indian dance in its contributions to the Downtown Dance Festival. Here is a downtown plaza surrounded by skyscrapers , with people coming and going at lunchtime and a soundtrack that includes the harbor and city traffic; and here in the open air are dancers in full Indian costume performing traditional forms that derive from the opposite side of the world. 

In 2008 and 2009, there were marvelous examples of Bharatanatyam, Odissi and Kathak dance that made passers-by stop passing by. But in sheerly visual terms nothing has been more astonishing than this year’s Kathakali performance at 1 New York Plaza on Tuesday. Kathakali — rarely seen here — was performed by Guru Radha Mohanan & Troupe, which had come from India for this show as well as one held Saturday in Battery Park.