Different and unusual in form, the dancer and her choreographer have laid down a stimulating challenge…
VERY DARK in places, Seeta Patel’s ‘Not Today’s Yesterday’, is a far more subversive and radical piece than it might appear on paper.
With superb set design and thrilling choreography by co-collaborator Lina Limosani, and imaginative music and soundscape, ‘Not Today’s Yesterday’ is something special and pushes the boundaries of a dance form which is more often associated with the classical and ancient.
This is anything but and has real intent – as it dives deep into the morass of fake news, or ‘whitewashing’ – and histories that have been sanitised or altered to fit prevailing power structures.
Part of Patel’s mission, if it can be termed as such, is to upturn traditional notions and in the post-show discussion with playwright Tanika Gupta (chair), academic Gurminder Bhamra and ‘alternative’ art historian Alice Procter, she expanded on the ideas contained within this multi-layered and powerful piece.
You can see why it won awards at the Adelaide Fringe Festival – this really isn’t bharatanatyam as you know it and deserves a wider showing outside ‘traditional (Indian) dance’ programming.
In fact, it is quite far removed from anything given the same name – it is fresh, exceedingly modern, dynamic, and unashamedly political. But if you just wish to experience it as a (dance) spectacle, it is just as enjoyable and engaging. (Sailesh Ram)
ACV rating:**** (out of five)