Krishna: Love revisted

March 12, 2014

By contrast the Sutra dance company’s Krishna: Love Revisited was beautifully choreographed and a magnificent tour de force replete with stunning technicolor and surround sound, and its dancers enrapturing. The female lead was a very nubile and alluring Geethika Sree, dancing like Radha incarnate. I could not take my eyes off of her. Every move was purposeful, executed with perfection and it seemed with a little more grace than any of the others, if that was possible in an already very sensual art form. She arches a little more, her extensions a little more, and her eyes quickly darts and kills.

geethika sree ramli ibrahim

But sadly, the master must no longer dance.

As the voice-over describes each scene in the narrative, the iconic Ramli Ibrahim seemed surplus. 2 very competent male leads took turns at each half as Krishna, and the audience understands the inter-play between Krishna and Radha, and them with the other cowherd maidens, but what is the role of the other male, the Ramli role? There is no mention of him by the narrator throughout the performance. Why is there another male in the story of Krishna and Rahda?! Yet, Ibrahim’s “mystery male” takes center, dominating stage. Is it conceit that the aging superstar, who is also the choreographer & artistic director, would covet a role like this, whatever it is, for himself?

As Krishna and “mystery male” mirror each other in their movements, the difference is telling. Ibrahim is imprecise. His positioning and balance questionable. The energy levels inferior. Is it age that his eyes does not dance, and the range of his movements impeded by stiffness? I now wonder if he was ever good, that he achieved his status as a dancer* simply as novelty as a non-native in an Indian art form.

Because his eyes did not dance.

*Ramli Ibrahim is still without question a genius choreographer and artistic director


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