Natya Dance to Present World Premiere of THE SEVENTH LOVE, Nov 2
Natya Dance Theatre, The Seventh Love
Natya Dance Theatre, Chicago's critically-acclaimed and longest running Dance Company rooted in the Indian dance-theater technique of Bharata Natyam, returns to the Harris Theater with the World Premiere of The Seventh Love, an exploration of love in eastern teachings based on the life of the god Krishna. The Seventh Love is conceived by Natya Associate Artistic Director Krithika Rajagopalan in collaboration with David Kersnar, a founding member of Chicago's Tony Award-winning Lookingglass Theatre, and is written and directed by Kersnar and choreographed by Natya Founder and Artistic Director Hema Rajagopalan. Natya presents The Seventh Love in one performance only at the Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph Street, Saturday, November 2 at 7:30 pm.
Following last year's highly successful Sita Ram, an original world musical at the Harris Theater created by Kersnar, Krithika Rajagopalan, Josephine Lee of the Chicago Children's Choir and composer Jai Uttal, Kersnar and Rajagopalan team up once again for The Seventh Love, a humorous dance drama revolving around the life of Krishna and understanding the various aspects of love. Based on the ancient Buddhist discourse known as "The Five Aspects of Love" - which include attention, affection, acceptance, allowance and appreciation - Kersnar and Rajagopalan's narrative story, brought to life through expressive dance and dialogue between a sage and a king, examines the various stories of Krishna's life, from childhood through his adult relationships. Through the lens of Krishna, the sage and the king seek to understand what true love really means and how a person can attain the sixth love, or "perfect love" encompassing all five aspects, before moving on to the seventh love, which is universal, selfless love.
Bringing a real life element to Kersnar and Rajagopalan's story, the sound design includes true stories from Chicago women about their real-life relationships, ranging from anecdotes about arranged marriages and surviving domestic abuse to lessons learned from both successful and failed marriages.
Accompanied by original music from Rajkumar Bharathi, who also composed for Natya's premiere of The Flowering Tree at the Harris Theater in 2011, and brilliant costumes designed by Ruknini Rajans and Krithika Rajagopalan, Hema Rajagopalan's Bharata Natyam choreography - full of percussive footwork, symbolic hand gestures, fascinating geometry in movement and engaging facial expressions - uses 15 dancers to bring the story of The Seventh Love to life in a fresh, contemporary way that sheds new light on the ancient mysteries of love, life and human relationships.