12 Sep 2010

Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company 'Faultline'

The brilliance of the choreographer, Shobana Jeyasingh should not go unnoticed. My review will be short as I have dental problems and I get sick and tired of trying to explain the importance of certain art works to an audience who don't really give a toss! However, there are those that appreciate high levels of creativity and attempts to comprehend art works in greater detail, and I write for these people as well as for my own pleasure.

So, briefly, I believe it is important to acknowledge Jeyasingh's insight into multiculturalism. Multiculturalism and globalisation (by this I mean the meshing of global cultures as well as economic, intellectual ((sic)), political and other "cultural" phenomena) are today's avant-garde.

Jeyasingh and her dancers reveal the choreographer's comprehension of the current state of intellectual and cultural disparity, that is gradually cohesing and altering our comprehension of ourselves and the way that we interact with each other. Jeyasingh manages to convey this highly complex and uncertain contemporary experience, through a marvelous fluidity of movement and breath taking subtlety. Jeyasingh's choreography merges (principally) Indian, classical dance forms with Western dance forms. However, when watching her dance performances you realise that her comprehension of dance (as a metaphor for cultural disparity and exchange) is highly erudite, mixing Jazz, Contemporary, Ballet and street styles with Indian dance. The Indian dance is most important in the sense that it acts contrapuntally to Western styles, largely through hand and facial gestures, iconic, bodily gesture and rhythmic disparity to Western musicality.

Jeyasingh's choreography acts as an antidote to Modernity and Western, Postmodern, societal stasis and historical reflection. It points towards the end of Post modernity and the beginning of the next cultural period that we will experience.

Finally, it is important to note that Jeyasingh's work is accessible and includes popular dance styles and mixes them with styles that are traditionally deemed to be of more merit, artistically. She creates beyond the restrictions of many choreographers and other contemporaneous artists, creating dance that is not confined to established views. In other words, Jeyasingh creates art that does not merely toy with ideas of multiculturalism, globalisation and the consequent societal upheaval that this will bring. Jeyasingh creates art that genuinely and completely expresses this condition.

Simon Harris