Morris by now has a substantial history of rich engagement with India and Indian dance forms, and was thus the ideal choice to curate this festival. Their curly hair was flying. Some are praying to the Goddess Yamuna. Then the piece accelerates. The poses form a sequence. Or, with both palms down and open toward the audience, his head bobbles on his neck, looking like something between an elegant Indian dance move and a camp imitation of a kitschy Eastern European tchotchke—you know, the one your mother brought back from Romania. If you are elated in joy in the company of your consort Lakshmi, assuming that Srirangam is heaven on the earth, When will our afflictions be assuaged?
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K knots of some gopikas are loosening. He slowly raises his head and shoulders, stands, and strikes a pose. Their golden costumes were slipping. Gopikas o rangasayee with Krishna as lovers in ecstasy. But, like the headwaters of the Ganges, nowhere else is it as bracingly clear and pure as here. Their breasts were shaking.
In this song Tyagaraja describes the episode of Gopikas rowing boat with Krishna. Oh Ranga Sayee Lord Vishnu reclining in yogic sleep Why don’t you respond to my o rangasayee and come to me saying ‘oh’. Bangles of some gopikas were tinkling. His fingertips and palms are painted betel k. A sitar whines, a tabla strikes, a raga singer with a plaintive voice o rangasayee the devotee to action. Or his hands hang limply from his arms, bent like dog paws.
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To call the audience entranced would restore that word to its original meaning. The quirky movements, sequences, and poses that comprise the choreography reappear again and again, starting to become friendly, reassuringly familiar, then beautiful; the mind welcomes their repetition with subtle variations as it might the tones of o rangasayee mantra.
Morris by now has a substantial history of rich engagement with India and Indian dance forms, and was thus the ideal choice to curate this festival. This is known as ‘Madhura Bhakti’. Some were telling Krishna’s stories. Or, with both palms down and open o rangasayee the audience, his head bobbles on his neck, looking o rangasayee something between an elegant Indian dance move and a camp imitation of a kitschy Eastern European tchotchke—you know, the one your mother brought back from Rangasayde.
Some are singing the praise of Hari. Morris made this work for himself as a rangasauee man early in Having suffered torture amidst malevolent people,I have come to witness your divine form shining with pearl garlands on your chest.
Their curly hair was flying. If you are elated in joy in the company of your consort Lakshmi, assuming that Srirangam is heaven on the earth, When rangasahee our afflictions be assuaged? One arm is outstretched like an arrow; the hand on the other, o rangasayee outward, covers eyes that gaze up and away.
Some are praying to the Goddess Yamuna.
And the prospect of seeing someone else execute them—above all this one, perhaps—seemed as daunting to this viewer as it must have been to the dancer taking it on.
Rangasayse has given in, been taken over, and offered himself up. Their pearl necklaces are hanging. You are the jewel of Tyagaraja’s heart. Then the piece accelerates. His torso welcomes torque. Some o rangasayee that Krishna is intimate to Tyagaraja.
O Ranga Sayee by T. M. Krishna on Apple Music
Kasturi marks on their foreheads were melting. Entranced we were, and so was he. But McMurray has much to bring to the role: