In Plain Sanskrit


A most amazing dance performance, with chanting and taiko drumming, had six of us mesmerised on Saturday 9 April.  We took our Japanese guests Alex and Tomoko, and our Congolese friends Lema and Amani, to this fundraiser for Shakti at Q Theatre, put on by Karma Dance Australia.

The two dancers, Raina Peterson and Govind Pillai have woven   3000-year-old Indian dance traditions with contemporary politics and performance styles to create an exquisite, thought-provoking  experience.  In the discussion afterwards they explained how they honoured their classical dance and religious traditions, and also deliberately pushed some boundaries, such as gender roles, through their work.

Together, the dancers are an amazing combination – sometimes quietly graceful, sometimes vigorously gymnastic – and very different in their lives outside professional dance: Govind a senior accountant, Raina a choreographer, director and writer and one -third of the feminist cabaret group LOCA (Ladies of Colour Agency.)


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