“Chitrangada” The Indian Dance Ballet Comes to Seattle

PREVIEW                                        PREVIEW

Every so often, Seattle theatre-goers have an opportunity to experience dance programs from non-western societies. Opening on Friday April 28 at ACT Theatre is “Chitrangada” an Indian dance ballet based on a story by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, India’s most cherished writer.

Tagore wrote the love story that is central to this dance in 1892. Yet the issues it addresses are probably more pertinent today than they were in his lifetime. He took a story from the great Sanskrit epic, “The Mahabharata,” and then added his own fiction. It’s a love story with a strong message against gender stereotyping. It’s a call for male/female equality, a saga of love and a woman’s struggle to attain the life she wants. The Pratidhwani dance group of greater Seattle presents it as a dance/drama with English narration.

The forty dancers are all volunteers but have a long history of Seattle performances. Their presentations are marked by elaborate costumes and scenery. If you like color and elegant dance forms you’ll find both in “Chitrangada”. The flowing costumes are vibrant. The dances feature the stylized movements typical of Indian classical dance as well as its folk dances. Their performances speak to issues of universal significance as portrayed within the culture of India.

April 28-May 20, ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., Seattle, 206-292-7676 or www.acttheatre.org.

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