Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Dances of India Will Stage "Beauty and the Beast" For Their Annual Charity Show in October

Unlike Disney India's stage version of Beauty and the Beauty, which does add a lovely Indian flavor via design and choreographic changes, Dances of India use authentic Indian classical and folk dance for their annual charity show.

From their Facebook page:
Dances of India is an annual charity show featuring Indian classical (Kathak and Bharatanatyam), folk and popular dances performed by the students of the Kathak and Bharatanatyam classes of the Los Alamos Family YMCA and guest artists from Los Alamos and beyond. This dazzling performance features a family friendly story (Cinderella, Snow White, Aladdin) performed as a dance-drama and is filled with beautiful costumes, thrilling music and energizing dances. Intermission brings a bazaar with delicious Indian snacks as well as clothes, jewelry, spices and other items for sale in the lobby. Best of all the show is FREE to the public. The organizers however welcome donations from individuals and organizations in support of a designated charitable organization.
From the little information we can find on this production it would seem this is an adaptation of the well known French tale, rather than a somewhat 'Westernized' adaptation of the Indian version of Beauty and the Beast, The Monkey Prince. The emphasis for these annual shows is on storytelling and being family friendly so it's very likely this version includes many nods to the Disney version so it's easy for younger audiences to follow along. What isn't clear is whether this version incorporates any elements of the Indian version of the tale, but either way, it makes a wonderfully different lens through which to experience the tale. The combination should be very memorable! (Note re the Kathak style: the word 'katha' means 'story' in Sanskrit and 'kathak' means 'storyteller'.)

Dances of India presented their version of Cinderella,
titled "Doll Story" in 2015
From the press release:
The (Los Alamos) community (in New Mexico) is invited to this year's production of Beauty and the Beast presented by Dances of India, 4-6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16 at Duane Smith Auditorium in Los Alamos. 
Admission is free but donations in all forms (cash, check) are much appreciated (suggested $10 per head, $5 for children 10 and under). There also will be an Indian bazaar held during intermission. 
This year's proceeds go to one international and one local entity:
  • The Los Alamos Y Teen Center therapeutic intervention programs for girls (who are referred) going through a traumatic period in their lives.
Dances of India will perform Beauty and the Beast on October 16, 2016 in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

This is not the first Indian classical dance version being staged this year. In June Shivapriya presented a popular adaptation "Roopa Viroopa", in Austin Texas, which is a show that has been performed in various places and by various companies around the world in the past few years. In this adaptation the setting is an Indian village:

It story lines follows how a lovely young village belle falls in love with savage tribal - who by the way is a handsome prince who was cursed for his conceit. The story uses various Indian dance forms, particularly the temple dances to tell the story of true love and how it can transcend all other considerations.
The presentation of the Beast Prince looks intriguing in this version! There are photos of this performance available online HERE.

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