For the tenth year anniversary of Maya Dance Theatre, the company presents Pancha, When the flames blaze the caged body, I surrender my soul, I am… a five-part sequence created and conceptualised by Kavitha Krishnan now in its second year.
Maya Dance Theatre as evolved into a new form of performance atypical to the company but successful in its format, a theatrical one. And delivery, passionate and intense performance from the cast of dancers and musicians.
In these series, the company impersonates an east-west iconic female encounter, between Joan of Arc and Sita both representing strong female individuals subject to the dominant male establishment, with Joan of Arc leading an army of soldiers and Sita walking through fire, rising at the end as heroines against the status quo.
Pancha is a dramatic dialogue between live music, dance and text. Introducing the characters with voice-over, the dancers feel at ease presenting a choreography that looks simple from the outset- providing room for an outpour of emotions elevating the performance to a place of sadness, sorrow and agony.
Tears run through the eyes of the dancers at the climax of the piece, when the two heroines meet one another in the presence of fire. The performance is poetic, in spite of its simple movement material.
Bernice Lee steps into the unknown, full of burden and mystery accompanied by the hypnotic music of Peni Cendra Rini, challenging the cast with staccato precision in a dominant solo.
It is wonderful to see Maya Dance Theatre establishing themselves further in the Theatre terrain, importing choreography and dance culture that only makes for a more exciting and captivating performance.
Pancha, When the flames blaze the caged body, I surrender my soul, I am… realises itself through different emotional states, very clear to both audience and cast members, offering a definite state of mind, with desperation, seduction and enchantment. One leaves the Theatre feeling sensitive, and how pleasant to depart with change.