Events in Chennai

Torobaka by Akram Khan & Israel Galvan @ Chennai, India

I went to Torobaka, a fusion dance performance by Akram Khan & Israel Galvan. It seems, it’s a fusion between Kathak (Indian) and Flamenco (Spanish) style of dancing. This concert was highly recommended by many, hence I went to see their performance @ Lady Andal auditorium, Chennai, India. It’s a huge auditorium and a surprisingly large number of people had assembled there to watch this performance.

Before I write my thoughts, I should mention that I have not gone to dance performances before. I have only seen a few of them in Temples and on TV. But recently I am taking active interest in experiencing different types of art forms, so I went. 

Frankly, I liked Akram Khan’s performance better probably because I am exposed more to Indian classical dance, than Western forms. But even his part was not Kathak, it was more of a fusion. Somehow I found myself looking for structure, symmetry, rhythmic hand-leg coordination, grace, discipline, etc. that we find in Indian classical dance forms. So Akram Khan’s style met my expectations in a better way. Israel Galvan’s style was more free form, which I am not exposed to much here in India.

I loved the part where Akram Khan dances solo with boots on his hands. To me, that was the highlight of today’s performance. I also liked the climax duet where both artists danced to some lively music. You should’ve seen Israel Galvan dancing while standing on a chair — amazing!

I wonder if there is any narrative/theme behind the performance. Were they trying to tell a story and was it lost on the dance-illiterate me, am not sure. One strange thing I noticed was, dancers were constantly trying to close the other dancer’s mouth 😛

The concert was quite long — around 1.5 hours. I feel it could’ve been 30 minutes shorter. I wonder how the dancers remember their steps. Guess they should’ve had a lot of practice. Still I feel it’s difficult to dance for such a long time. With my energy and stamina, I am sure I wouldn’t have lasted more than 10 minutes 😛

The coordination between steps, hand movements, lighting, music and voice was simply superb. I wonder why the dancers wore black . . . have never seen traditional dancers here dance with black dress.

The crowd was applauding at all the right places and in the end they even gave a standing ovation. I guess I should watch more such performances by people from across the world. For now, I am curious 🙂

Here’s a short trailer of Torobaka, for you to get a feel of the fusion dance style I saw there ~

Destination Infinity

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