Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Dance like a Man - Dr. Sunil Kothari

It was indeed with bated breath that I was looking forward to watching ‘Dance like a Man’ play at Meadowvale Theatre in Mississauga on 16th October. For the simple reason that Bharatanatyam exponent Lata Pada was to make her debut as an actor in this play directed by none else than Mahesh Dattani, who was in Mississauga for more than three weeks conducting  rehearsals.
I was familiar with the story, having seen the play many years ago in which Lillette Dubey plays the role of Ratna, the mother of young Lata who she wants to push further as a classical dancer and even uses all her tricks speaking sweetly with the Minister asking him to include her daughter to be sent to Festival of India. Therefore it was interesting to see how Lata Pada was enacting her role as a senior Bharatanatyam dancer, who with her husband also a Bharatanatyam dancer, does not make a successful career with a tragedy which strikes them, under the excellent direction by Mahesh Dattani.

Jasmine Sawant and Shruti Shah, the artistic directors of the Sawitri Theatre group which invited Mahesh Dattani to direct the play have this to say in their statement: ‘The story of two Bharatanatyam dancers, Ratna and Jairaj, their dreams, hopes and ambition, their sacrifices, their love for the art form, and for each other; the eternal inter-generational conflict, gender discrimination and patriarchal manipulation; the jealousy and bitterness and imperfections of human nature, the usefulness of diversity in the society, going beyond tolerance to acceptance, compassion and respect. And in typical Dattani style, the difficult questions- what constitutes a man? What constitutes an artist? Can a prostitute be a dancer? Can one be a man and still dance?’

Read the review in the site

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