The diagonally positioned lights descending from above the stage were a delightful pre-show distraction. The inspiration was taken from the lighting presentation witnessed in temples across India. Furthermore, it provided an additional radiance as the dancers performed their pieces at the 2018 Darbar Festival curated by the distinguished choreographer, Akram Khan.
Two classical Indian dance sequences were prevalent on the second evening of the festival. The Odissi (origins founded in the Hindu temples of Odisha and performed in symbolic costumes) was performed by Sujata Mohapatra, with a plethora of wrist movements that the most technical of Indian cricket batsmen would have been proud of! A story of the festival of light, Diwali, is told in a dramatic manner with pulsating music.
Meanwhile, the Kathak (story telling namely through facial expressions), performed by Gauri Diwakar is a more technical dance masterpiece, where the instrumentals fluctuate in beat and rhythm in a very pre-meditated manner.
At the end of every sequence, all performers acknowledged the crowd with an infectious laser-like hand gesticulation where all members of the audience were targeted for appreciation, concluding in a traditional ‘Namaskara’ greeting.
Should you ever find yourself travelling within the Indian subcontinent by train, the instrumentals of Darbar would ensure that this a soothing experience in blissful surroundings