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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Blurring the Lines: Impressionist Music

Posted on Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 4:00 AM

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Critic's Pick Release Date: 2010-11-10

Most likely written by Indian prince and Janai monk Ilango Adigal during the dawn of the Christian era, Silappathikaram (The Anklet) is one of five great Tamil epics. Ragmala Dance Theater has smartly infused modern elements into this multi-disciplinary production based on ancient lines of poetry (5,270 of them to be exact). This century-spanning mashup of English narration (by “master storyteller” Zaraawar Mistry), elaborate costuming, Southern Indian Bharatanatyam choreography, and a modern score (created by Prema Ramamurthy and Dr. L. Subramaniam), follows Kannagi ? a widow who won’t rest until the entire city of Madurai has paid for the wrongful execution of her beloved Kovalan. Trivia: Although scoffed at by snooty historians (due to exaggeration and roots in pre-existing folklore), Silappathikaram holds its own as the first Indian epic to be written “simply” and focus on a non-religious, non-royal figure. $31, 8pm, the Carver’s Jo Long Theatre, 226 N Hackberry, (210) 207-7211, thecarver.org.

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