The art and culture of South India will be the centerpiece of a prestigious music festival held annually at the renowned Lincoln Centre here, with award-wining choreographer Mark Morris curating a 10-part series that will shed light on the universal nature of India’s artistic heritage and dynamism.
The 7th season of Lincoln Centre’s ‘White Light Festival’ will open on October 16.
Morris, who has spent decades traveling to southern India, attending annual festivals, concerts, and dance performances, will curate ‘Sounds of India’, a 10-part special focus on South India, the centre said.
“This year’s White Light Festival spotlights artistic expression originating in and inspired by South India with a 10-part special focus on India…exploring place, culture, tradition, and creativity of this vibrant region,” it said.
Along with members of the Mark Morris Dance Group, artists rooted in centuries-old South Indian classical traditions including Jayashri, the Kerala Kalamandalam Kathakali Troupe, master percussionist V. Selvaganesh, musicians and dancers from Nrityagram, traditional vocal music dynamo T M Krishna, will “shed light on the universal nature of India’s artistic heritage and dynamism.”
The international multidisciplinary festival will have 41 performances in 10 venues over the course of a month, by artists and companies from nine countries.
The festival will open with the US premiere of Human Requiem, an intimate and unique theatrical choral event performed by German classical choir Rundfunkchor Berlin.
The series will also include performances by Bombay Jayashri, who trained as a Carnatic vocalist and became internationally known for the lullaby she sang in Ang Lee’s 2012 film, “Life of Pi”.
The festival will also see performance by the all-male Kerala Kalamandalam Kathakali Troupe, who will perform the ‘Dussasana Vadhom (The Killing of Dussasana)’.
Utilizing elaborate costumes, colorful makeup, refined gestures, ornate singing and accompanying percussion, the all-male troupe will bring to life mythological tales from the Hindu epic Mahabharata, the centre said.
A special performance by the Mark Morris Dance Group will reprise two India-inspired solos ‘O Rangasayee’ and ‘Serenade’ as well as a humorous 1983 duet set to a lively Tamil film score.
The all-female troupe Nrityagram will present the “powerful imagery, compelling physicality, and emotional honesty” of the Odissi dance.