An Indian Swan in Amsterdam
Image Credit: Djaiënti Sewdihal
Satish Dance Company
Muiderpoort Theatre, Amsterdam
On the day of the preview for An Indian Swan in Amsterdam it is freezing cold. We wonder if the promising full house will actually be realized. We even wonder if all the dancers will be on time at the venue, but everything seems to go ahead as planned. The group, consisting of ten young women and men trained in bharatanatyam, are made-up and in costume way before the beginning of the show. Each of them has checked if all of their costume changes are hanging in the right order.
An Indian Swan in Amsterdam is inspired by the famous ballet Swan Lake but choreographer Satish Myrre-Makhan added much of his own story into the narrative which gives it an interesting twist. The music, the dance material and even the costumes are a mixture of European and Asian and the setting is Amsterdam, Satishs’s place of residence. His fingerprint can be seen in every part of the performance except for the period of time. It is set in 1877, the year of the premiere of Swan Lake.
The dancers have followed the choreographer without hesitation in his experiments and it has challenged them to develop the skills new to them. It is the first time Satish has created a dance drama and this kind of performance needs acting which is quite different from the usual bharatanatyam stylistic form of expression. To connect to the emotions in the piece needs courage and the ability to become absorbed in it. They have this effect and the audience is noticeably moved as sniffs and tears can be heard in the hall during the masked court dance at O Re Piya and the death scene of the White Swan.
There is more to come. This preview consisted of only a few parts of the complete performance, lasting about an hour. More scenes will be included: like the birthday party of the prince, a mesmerizing solo by the White Swan, the evil enticement of the Stepmother and the smashing Grand finale of de Corps the Ballet. The full performance is expected on stage in Spring 2013.
Meher Khan Muztar