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Dance can be much more than pure entertainment, feats of athleticism or expressions of extreme grace. For India’s Courtyard Dancers, who’ll perform tonight and tomorrow, it’s about telling a story — one that searches for answers and relishes in the details of what could have been, but will never be, an undivided India. The concept and choreography come from Pallabi Chakravorty, but the ensemble cast breathes a life into Asunder, this Painted Bride two-night run that would be otherwise impossible. And this is way more than dance; it’s dance theater. Vocal recordings and poetry will be employed, Thumri and Baul songs (traditional courtesan tales set to music) will be tapped, and a whole spectrum of emotions will be explored, from loss to longing.

The Bride does such a lovely job of attracting world-class performance art that celebrates and disseminates the stories of cultures across the globe — something the U.S. could use a little more of, frankly — and when a half-dozen mediums are used to concoct a riveting tale of political strife, its resulting family trauma and spiritual woes, and give it a multi-era coherence, that’s the ideal way to open eyes, hearts and minds. Asunder is such a production. This won’t necessarily be even close to Bollywood, but Bhangra and Punjabiphiles, take note: It all started here.

Fri., June 27 and Sat., June 28, 8pm. $20. Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine St. 215.925.9914. 

 

About The Author

Staff writer

Bill Chenevert went to journalism school at the U of O (Go Ducks) and then interned for Willamette Week, Next and Out magazines, and Flavorpill.com. Now he's the senior music writer for @PhillyWeekly, where he blogs on LGBT stuff, style, art, music, theater, comedy and dance. He's also the staff writer for the @SoPhReview, writing two news features every week for PW's free-and-delivered sister paper.

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