This crowd-funded dance-theatre-musical is based on Alice in Wonderland
The Martiya Dance Community stages this production titled Alice based on the classic by Lewis Carroll.
Dancer Kavya Vishwanathan doesn’t remember exactly when she first read Alice in Wonderland, but it is a story that has always stayed with her. “I wanted to explore this book through the medium of movement and dance. I thought it was time to let my body tell stories, ” she says. This weekend, her bellydance school, the Martiya Dance Community, stages a dance-theatre- musical production titled Alice, based on the classic by Lewis Carroll.
While the school focuses on belly dance, this production has elements of jazz, Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Flamenco and movement that cannot be classified into any one genre. Without any dialogues, it tells the whole story through dance and visual art. The production has eight dancers portraying the main characters. Kavya picked this particular book because she feels the quirky characters, each with their own essence, lend themselves well to the stage. “It’s also a book that almost everyone has read at some point and it hasn’t lost its appeal in the past 150 years that it has stayed in print,”she adds.
But bringing the production together was not easy. “The challenge for us was getting the funding,” Kavya tells us, adding, “This is a non-commercial production and we opted to get the production crowd-funded. And we are happy that we have met our targets.”
Kavya came to Bengaluru in 2006 as an architect and took up belly dancing as a hobby. The Martiya Dance Community today has about 100 students per year. “Over the years, I’ve realised what this dance form does to women,” She tells us. “Since it is so connected to the female anatomy, I’ve seen women gain confidence and express themselves better after learning this form,” she reveals. There are a lot of misconceptions about belly dancing, says Kavya. “The name itself is a misnomer. The dance form actually is an amalgamation of various folk dances from the Middle East, but when it caught the attention of Victorian Britishers, it was stereotyped. The “belly” movement became more highlighted than the rest,” she explains. Kavya plans to refine this performance, and get more sponsors to perform it across the country.
Rs. 250 upwards.August 5, 6.30 pm. At Ada Ranga Mandira, JC Road