Richard Lutz watches dance fusion between east and west.
Igor Stravinsky stunned the ballet world wth The Rite of Spring more than a century ago. This month, Indian choreographer Seeta Patel re-works the Russian composition using Indian classical dance.
The result at The Patrick Centre in Birmingham is a continual train of movement- fluid, sweaty, elegant, evanescent. It is a short but a highly charged work that uses Stravinsky’s musical muscle to drive the dancers forward.
Six performers, in flowing robes, are nature’s sprites who feel the pulse of birth and death. Stravinsky himself said his piece was based on Russian pagan rites and Patel’s dance re-incarnation reflects this- admirably.
The Rite of Spring was preceded by another short Patel piece. Called Dance Dialogues, this was Indian based rather than being rooted in western music. A troupe of young dancers used Talvin Singh’s rippling score to illustrate Ms Patel’s use of constant quiet movement of the South Indian dance style Bharatanatyam. This segment too shone.
In all, a dance evening that is confident vivid and moving, thanks to the rising talent of one of Britain’s finest choreographers. The company is on tour and visit Nottingham if you want to catch them.