The God Within

In Odissi dances, women embody Hindu gods; in Okinawan ones, women play men playing women

Rhapsody in blue: Trinayan in Neel: The Eternal Blue
Photograph by Bjorn Magnea
Rhapsody in blue: Trinayan in Neel: The Eternal Blue


Trinayan Collective
Joyce Soho
October 28 through 30

Okinawa Kumiodori
Japan Society
September 30 through October 3

The disparity between these two productions, whatever it may say about artistic decisions and translations, doesn't much influence the performing. The "boys" speak in high voices, often patterned as three or four syllables on one note and then a slide down to a lower one, and dance with refinement as they pour more and more sake for their rapt onstage audience. As they close in on the reeling Amaoe, their stance widens to tell us that the women playing boys playing girls are now simply women playing boys. Very beautifully.

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