With dance, song and computer graphics, Les Chants De l’Umaï addresses femininity and divinity
Femininity and dragons. Ancient chants and holograms. Carnatic inspirations and contemporary dance. It may seem dichotomous, but in the experienced hands of Marcia Barcellos, a choreographer with the French company, Systeme Castafiore, the varied elements merge to create a performance that is an ode to the woman. “Les Chants De l’Umaï was created in 2012. There is no real story, but its five sequences, set in a surreal Indo-Arab context, create an imaginary, dream-like state where Marcia is Umaï, the womb of the universe, or a female dragon (symbol of power and divinity) from the fictional land of Gravbekistan,” says Karl Biscuit, the director-composer.
Barcellos was inspired by Carnatic songs and gestures from Indian dances when she conceptualised the piece. In fact, the one-hour solo has five songs in languages like Sanskrit and Persian, and draws musical inspiration from India, Ethiopia and others. “The performance flirts with Dadaism (an avant-garde movement that flouted convention and produced works marked by incongruity) and reflects the madness of our world through an experimentation with movement, projections and sound installations,” explains Biscuit.
Fanciful, occasionally humorous and often thought-provoking, a chorus (like in Greek plays) is also employed to explain the show to the audience.
On February 10, at Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Hall, from 7 pm. Free passes available at Alliance Française. Details: 28279103
Surya Praphulla Kumar