Ragamala Music and Dance, Cudamani: Dhvee (Duality)

A dovetailing of two vibrant cultures in one sizzling spectacle, Dhvee (Duality) brings together Minneapolis-based Ragamala Dance, which performs the classic South Indian dance form Bharatanatyam, and the Balinese ensemble Cudamani. Using the Hindu sacred text The Ramayana as a baseline, performers riff on the differences in characters between their two cultures' versions of the epic by conversing through dance. Take Hanuman, the monkey king, portrayed as a funny, gibbering fellow in Bali and as a serious, loyal retainer to Lord Rama in India. Twenty-five performers, a gamelan, and an Indian orchestra mingle music and dance from both cultures as dancers sing, singers dance, and traditions infiltrate one another with buoyant élan. If you saw these two groups perform Sethu (Bridge) in the Walker sculpture garden in 2004, you experienced the synergy that incited Walker's performing arts curator Philip Bither to commission this new work. Whereas Sethu explored stories from the entire Ramayana, Dhvee will focus on the tale of the abduction of Sita, Rama's wife, by the demon god Ravana. Prepare for divine sensory overload—but also for a foray into the duality of man's nature, the age-old tussle between his (or her) animal and spiritual selves. (Photo by Ed Bock)
Oct. 1-3, 8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 4, 2 p.m., 2009

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