Deborah Abel Dance Company’s ‘Calling to You’ was a mix of music, movements and message
What makes art good? Is it what it stands for independently or the merits of its music, dance and message? Or is it how it makes us feel? If it is the latter, then Deborah Abel Dance Company from the U.S. has an emotional connect when it performed ‘Calling to you’ at Kalakshetra’s Rukmini Arangam recently. The pleasant ambience and the quiet setting offered the perfect backdrop for this “tale of ancient wisdom in the modern world”.
With a live orchestra featuring haunting flute and violin tunes, besides the tabla, bongos and guitars, the performance began with a modern-day couple’s conflict and inability to come together; the dance reflecting their need to find their own space.
The performance traced a parallel story from ancient India, that of Viveka and Prema, their long-lasting bond is a mystery to everyone around them. But the are separated from each other due to circumstances. But years later they go in search of the true meaning of their bond. Viveka’s search takes him to a forest where he is attacked by ‘Tiger spirits’, represented by a fiery dance performance accompanied by Sanskrit chants, while Prema’s journey takes her to the ‘Mother’s Temple’ where all things are revered. Prema’s journey featured music that reflected a feminine beauty with the chanting of the names of goddesses.
Prema finally finds Viveka and the two come together again. Inspired by this tale, the modern couple overcome their differences and unite. The narrative and music were all about love and a beautiful mix of traditional and modern values.