The Necessary Stage takes on dance

The Necessary Stage takes on dance
Dancers Raka Maitra (left) and Jereh Leong in a publicity image for The Necessary Stage's multi-disciplinary production Gitanjali [I Feel The Earth Move].

In Gitanjali, arguably Rabindranath Tagore's most famous collection of poems, the Indian poet writes: "Do you not feel a thrill passing through the air with the notes of the far away song floating from the other shore?"

The late Nobel laureate, who wrote these verses in Bengali before they were translated into English, was a key source of inspiration for playwright Haresh Sharma and director Alvin Tan for The Necessary Stage's upcoming production, also titled Gitanjali (I Feel The Earth Move).

The call of distant shores and the push and pull of past and future abound in this multi-disciplinary production, which the duo say is one of their "most ambitious" yet.

Sharma, 49, says: "There are all these elements of leaving home and starting anew, being tied to your homeland or to tradition, whether in dance, family or culture."

The play stars Padma Sagaram as the elderly owner of a classical dance school in India who is looking for a successor.

Her son (Ebi Shankara) insists on leaving the country and her protege (Raka Maitra) moves to Canada to start her own dance school fusing Eastern and Western traditions.

Desperate, she puts out a call for an arranged marriage that might help her son remain in India, and gets a response from a young Singaporean Indian woman (Sharda Harrison).

This complex web of relationships is perhaps also a metaphor for the plethora of genres that Gitanjali takes on, fusing dance, drama, music, literary elements and multimedia in a kaleidoscopic show that will run at the School of the Arts Drama Theatre from Sept 26 to 28.

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