NATANDA Dance Academy’s 10th annual production celebrates the evolution of the ‘Cicada’ By Duvindi Illankoon The ‘Cicada’ is a creature of the earth. From its birth deep underground, its evolution as a nymph feeding on root juice, to its eventual surfacing into the harsh light of the world, the cicada is symbolic of the earth’s [...]

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Dancing throughátheáseasons

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NATANDA Dance Academy’s 10th annual production celebrates the evolution of the ‘Cicada’

By Duvindi Illankoon

The ‘Cicada’ is a creature of the earth. From its birth deep underground, its evolution as a nymph feeding on root juice, to its eventual surfacing into the harsh light of the world, the cicada is symbolic of the earth’s changing seasons. The ‘Cicada’ is also the namesake for the nATANDA Dance Academy’s 10th annual production, to be held on March 21 and 22 at the Nugaya Open Air Theatre (Sri Lanka Foundation Institute). It begins with the Ritual; a prayer in the wake of the long and difficult months of the winter or to appease the dry season. The movements in this piece are of worship, penance and humbleness in gratitude to the natural ecology.

Pix by Kasun Chandana

The ritual performed by all-male dancers breaks the transition of the season calling for rain. The storm begins with a single drop of life-giving rain. The uniqueness of each drop is represented by the movements of the hips and the rhythm in the hands in this piece titled ‘Rain’. At times the rain is virulent, as depicted by the male dancers and at times it is gentle, soft, and soothing as the femininity of the female dancers.

The male solo dancers capture the transition of rain and spring into a summer calling of new life and love. The change in the colour of the body of the dancer highlights a new beginning.áPaving the way – the Cicada comes slowly but surely to the centre stage.

Paduex (the duet) signifies another transition from summer to fall. In this next piece the more dominant role is played by the male dancer in the ending of a beautiful summer whereas the female dancer takes a more submissive role; the bending of the body and the gentle movements indicate the beginning of a new season.áFall represents the uniqueness of the season in the hues that are represented by the falling leaves. The bodies of the dancers are caught in the wind, swaying and turning in the rain. The Trio is a representation of life’s great equaliser, the Yin and the Yang. The dominant male presence is controlled here and is guided by the strong presence of two women. The balance is tested, shifting from one to the other.

The wind once again mingles this time with coldness, with crystalline water-ice, freezing everything to a time capsule. The harshness of it is in the eyes and the face of the dominant presence of this solitary female dancer. Joined again by snowflakes of dancers; all forms of life experience these challenges; to feel the sanctity of life and to start the cycle all over again. Cicada embraces the Seasons.áTickets priced at Rs.2000, 1500, 1000 and 500 can be purchased at the Goethe Institut and the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute.




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