Swan Lake With an Indian Twist at Rommen Scene

Press Release from Indian Rhythms

A love story of an Indian Prince who falls in love with the beautiful Indian Swan, and swears his allegiance and undying love for her. As a result of a curse by Prince’s evil Stepmother, the Indian Swan can only take human form between midnight and daybreak. Can true love break the spell? 

In 2013, Satishkoemar Myre-Makhan, a Bharatanatyam choreographer created an Indian dance adaption of Swan Lake in Amsterdam and Netherlands. He left Satishdancecompany, in the Netherlands and moved to Norway to find a collaborator.

“Satishkoremar had already put up the play in the Netherlands with this dance company. It was beautifully received. It felt right and like my prayers were heard for bringing something new and different to the community here,” says Richa Chandra, a Kathak dancer and Founder of Indian Rhythms, who is now collaborating with Myre-Makhan.

The Indian Swan Lake is coming to Oslo and will be performed at Rommen Scene on 12th March. The dance is carefully choreographed Indian classical dance forms, Indian folk dance and a hint of contemporary.

“This dance drama is a statement and proof of combining the best of two cultures and art forms. We can get a beautiful expression of inclusion and diversity. Without compromising the identity of the art forms or making a mockery of any community or expressions,” says Chandra.

Ragnhild Bergheim, Mayor of Lørenskog saw the dance in September 2019 says, “When you take Swan Lake, a play that we all understand and know, and then put Indian music and dance, it makes it so much more interesting and inviting to get to know other cultures.”

The company consists of several enthusiast dancers who are partly trained in the North Indian Kathak and South Indian Bharatanatyam dance style. Both styles are distinguished by combinations of strength and elegance. Chandra and Myre-Makhan use these forms of dances as the base for this performance.  This allows the audience to experience both traditional and contemporary Indian dance.  

Bharatanatyam is over 3000 years old and is a pure classical dance form. The techniques, rituals and dance numbers are derived from the old Vedas: the ancient scripts and verses. They are drenched with themes of life such as love, struggle, hate and envy.

“Bharatanatyam is art to me. It conveys basically a feeling of tranquillity and aesthetics. When the audience first experiences this kind of art they feel drawn into a state of receptivity. If people get more exposed to this kind of dance art they often experience an emotional response that is a reflection of one’s inner self. As practitioners of this form of art, we are the medium, an important intermediary to the audience,” says Myre-Makhan.

Kathak is a North Indian classical dance form, and it is traceable to 400 BCE. Kathak comes from the vedic word Katha, which means “story, conversation, traditional tale and through their expressions dances communicate stories of ancient mythology. The unique elements of Kathak are footwork and spins which sets it apart from the other 8 Indian classical dance forms.

“Kathak is my way to meditate and connect with the source of energy. If I can express myself through dance and I can make the audience feel what I feel, then I have been honest with my art. And art is a powerful tool to connect with others,” says Chandra.

Date : 12th March 2022
Time: 2 pm.
Venue: Rommen Scene, Karen Platous vei 31, 0988 Oslo

Adults 150 kr / person  
Child (6-16 years) 75 kr / person
Buy: https://rommenscene.no/program

Ka Man Mak

Ka Man is an investigative journalist, documentary photographer, and social entrepreneur, as well as the founder of The Oslo Desk. She is a British-born Hong Konger residing in Oslo, Norway. She holds a Master in Environmental Geoscience and have taken numerous diplomas including child psychology, and a course in big data analytics at OsloMet. Made numerous publications in newsletters, magazines and Norwegian newspapers. Interested in edtech, constructive journalism, women in migration, Cantonese language, alternatives to capitalism and asylum policy.