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Saturday, September 11, 2010


An eastern spin on classic ballet production.

This year’s Shared Histories festivities between India and South Africa dovetail appropriately with the 150-year Centenary marking the first Indian immigrants’ arrival in South Africa in 1860 as indentured labourers.

One of the high-profile cultural exchange productions to be seen in Durban this month, marking this dual event, is Swan Lake, a sumptuous Indian dance drama ‘take’ on the western classical ballet. This will be performed in the Playhouse Drama from September 16 and 19, presented by The Playhouse Company in association with the well-known international impresario, Sanjoy Roy under the auspices of the High Commission of India.

According to the producers of this interesting spin on the Western classic, the Indian version of Swan Lake, while inspired by Tchaikovsky's celebrated composition and Petipa’s famous choreography, offers its own alluring beauty.

“Mohiniyattam, the south Indian classical dance form of Kerala, combines naturally with the lyrical and dramatic music of the renowned ballet. It marks the coming together of two great classical traditions in a seamless flow, appealing to a global audience,” says director Vijayalakshmi.

Recognized as one of the leading performers and choreographers of Mohiniyattam today, Vijayalakshmi has taken the dance form to higher levels by constantly exploring uncharted territories and expanding traditional boundaries.

Inspired by her guru Bharati Shivaji’s path-breaking reconstruction of the repertoire of Mohiniyattam, Vijayalakshmi has explored several new dimensions in Mohiniyattam by presenting innovative choreographies inspired from a pan-Indian and global perspective.

The Indian version of Swan Lake runs in the Playhouse Drama from September 16 to 19 and offers a wealth of aesthetic appeal to lovers of both western and eastern classical dance. Tickets R100 (R60 concessions). Booking is through Computicket on 083 915 8000, or at or call 031 369 9596.