Dances of India
Dances of India (FringeTIX - but I'd recommend against it)
VasantaMala Indian Dance Troupe @ The Mercury
6:30pm, Sat 10 Mar 2007
For fuck's sake.
I learnt many, many years ago - the hard way, no less - that any dance that featured Shakti's name was a dance to be avoided. But she got clever; she started ingratiating herself into dance pieces unannounced, tainting the entire performance with her very involvement.
So it was with Dances of India.
Six pieces of dance. 3 featured Shakti as a lead. None featured the hip-swaying stuff we were promised (in fact, as I left there was another woman complaining to staff in the foyer about the lack of Bollywood-style action). Instead, we were treated to slow, ponderous, over-long meanderings with mistakes a-plenty, lighting that was obviously being enacted for the first time, and music that alternately sounded like a 48kbps MP3 of a 1920's gramophone recording, or a first-year Uni "ethnic dance" mashup.
But there was Shakti, with her fucking annoying eyebrow flutter shit, and as much Indian influencing her dance as a chicken balti.
There was one saving grace of this performance, though - I saw my old friend Vera there. We only tend to see each other every (biennial) Festival period, so that was nice.
Look, I appreciate Shakti bringing overseas dance troupes to this country, I really do - but I just wish she'd stop dipping her finger into the pot and fucking them up.
Please. This was embarrassing.