• Monday, March 04, 2024


Aditi Mangaldas’ dance show on female sexual desire is pathbreaking

Mangaldas mixed up spectacular dancing with raw passion, powerful pauses, emotive gestures, and stunning stage mastery

Aditi Mangaldas

By: Asjad Nazir

ADITI MANGALDAS may be known for boundary breaking work, but with Forbidden she has gone a step further and thrown dynamite at the rulebooks with an explosive dance production that can best be described as pure sexual fire from start to finish.

The globally acclaimed Indian dancer and choreographer delivered arguably her most eye-catching solo work to date, with a spectacular show at Sadlers Well Theatre in London, which combined Kathak with contemporary dance.

The show, shining a light on female sexual desire, was divided into three distinct parts of Awakening, Playing The Game and Burning. All blended together seamlessly to produce a piece of visual art filled with eyecatching moments.
Just like a powerful poem that can be interpreted in different ways, the hour long show offered different dimensions of a taboo topic and tackled it in a way not done before.

At the centre of everything was the accomplished performance skills of Mangaldas as she mixed up spectacular dancing with raw passion, powerful pauses, emotive gestures, and stunning stage mastery. The fantastic lighting design and multi-layered music added extra dimensions to the show, which made it visually, musically, and artistically appealing. The music in particular was hypnotic in places.

The many mesmerising moments included Mangaldas using just her breathing, movement and dance bells to ignite a passionate fire on stage. There was also dancing bells falling onto the stage, a poem that didn’t shy away from the sexual subject matter and dance movements not often seen on stage.

The only criticism is perhaps the show’s greatest strength, in that it wasn’t long enough and left the audience desperately wanting more of a maestro, redefining classical Indian dance in a way few have had the courage to do. It is no surprise Forbidden got a standing ovation and announced itself as a potential gamechanger for Indian dance.

Eastern Eye

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