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Swaha: Rituals Of Union (Fringe Festival 2010)

by Antonio Miniño on August 22, 2010

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One of the best things about the Fringe Festival is how it embraces diversity – it becomes one of the best summer reminders as to how culturally rich and fascinating this city can be. In Swaha: Rituals of Union Trinayan Dance Theater mixes tradition, with dance, storytelling and ritualistic precise movements that will evoke your senses and successfully accomplish the  elephantine task of getting you out of your head, no verbal dialogue required.

If you visit the company’s website, you will learn that “Trinayan” means third eye, the nexus of divine energy in each one of us. Their mission is to create evocative interpretations of Odissi dance through multi-layered performances (check!); a pastiche of music (check!), movement (oh yeah!), story telling (yeap!), filmic images (3D look out!), and sound which culminates in a richly embroidered and nuanced experience. Need I say more?

Whether individual numbers or the more complex ensemble ones, each Odissi dance contains such precision, that each facial expression, bat of an eye, and stomping of a foot was an integral component to the story. You can check the program for specifics as to what each dance number exactly means, but this show contains the true elements of storytelling, although you may not know the exact specifics, the enfolding story is transmuting, transforming and transporting a powerful message to the audience.
This show is prayer in movement, and each of the dancer’s bodies is a moving temple. You read a lot about the limitations of Fringe, how you have only 15min to build your show in the space, of shaky performers because they’ve had little time to get accustomed to the theater, etc. This show has no such excuses, it is ready to be performed and to share their message out on the streets under the torrential rain (such as that which dropped the day of the performance I attended) if they had to.

I left hungry for knowledge. Eager to learn more of Odissi dance, to quickly Google their website and find out what each movement, each ornament in their garments and bodies meant.

With all the buzz about the new book turned into movie “Eat, Pray, Love” I beg of you, get thee to the Fringe! Check out Shawa: Rituals of Union, let that be your PRAY, and then join some friends for some EAT and LOVE around the neighborhood.  Only one more performance left – so go!


Swaha: Rituals of Union
Trinayan Dance Theater
Director: Taiis Pascal-Charles and Leena Mohanty
Choreographer: Guru Durga Charan Ranbir, The Late Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, Taiis Pascal-Charles

1h 10m
VENUE #1: Dixon Place
Click link below to purchase tickets

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