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Dance impressed by a novel on Buddha’s life, Arts News & Top Stories

Classically skilled bharatanatyam dancers transfer to a jazz beat in addition to Indian ragas in Mara – The Mastermind, a up to date manufacturing helmed by American siblings Mythili Prakash and Aditya Prakash.

The work, impressed by a novel written by Deepak Chopra, exhibits on March 24 on the Esplanade Theatre and is introduced right here by occasions administration company Arte Compass, in affiliation with native dance troupe Apsaras Arts.

In Buddhist custom, Mara is a determine of temptation that tries to cease the Buddha from attaining enlightenment. In Chopra’s 1976 novel, Buddha: A Story Of Enlightenment, Mara seems all through the Buddha’s life to symbolise inside battle.

Dancer Mythili, 35, says on the phone from Los Angeles that, fairly by coincidence, she and her musician brother Aditya learn the e book on the similar time and got here to the identical conclusion: Mara was the unquiet thoughts, which could be a individual’s biggest enemy.

Using that as a place to begin, they developed a up to date efficiency following a made-up character, Jeeva, and her interactions with Mara by way of the course of her life.

As “jeeva” in Sanskrit means “living entity”, the efficiency is a common story about making an attempt to tame the thoughts and is one thing the creators hope the viewers can relate to on a private stage.


  • WHERE: Esplanade Theatre, 1 Esplanade Drive

    WHEN: March 24, 8pm

    ADMISSION: $36 to $76 from Sistic (name 6348-5555 or go to

Traditional bharatanatyam performances typically comply with narratives from Hindu mythology. Audience consideration typically shifts from the symbolism indicating a larger narrative to the main points of the parable, Mythili says. “Even now, some people are asking why we’re doing a show about Mara, since Mara is a negative character. But this is a completely made-up story.”

Mara is performed by 4 dancers, together with Mythili, who additionally dances the a part of Jeeva. To illustrate the battle throughout the self, she as Jeeva performs in opposition to herself as Mara by way of the magic of multimedia developed by American artist Kate Johnson.

Music is offered by the Aditya Prakash Ensemble, a fusion group that features Julian Le on piano, Owen Clapp on bass, Sumesh Narayanan on percussion, Brijesh Pandya on drums, Easwar Ramakrishnan on violin and Mahesh Swamy on flute and vocals.

The ensemble began with a bunch of scholars jamming collectively years in the past, when Aditya, now 29, was doing his ethnomusicology diploma at UCLA.

The siblings skilled in India and the United States. Their mom is dancer Viji Prakash, who helms a dance college and troupe together with her husband.

The siblings have impartial careers, however carry out collectively on stage across the world, together with a number of exhibits in Singapore since 2010.

Mara is the primary “equal partnership”, the place each are equally concerned in script, music and choreography, says Mythili. “Yes, we fight all the time,” she provides, laughing.

Aditya says some fights come as a result of the siblings would possibly take one another’s time with no consideration and be unfastened on deadlines.

But sharing the identical language and an analogous love of the humanities signifies that inventive conversations occur on a deeper stage. “We push each other to go further, like with Mara,” he says.

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