This Saturday, Natya Dance Theater departs from its signature style to pay tribute to Bollywood film composer A. R. Rahman. Rahman was made internationally famous with his score for “Slumdog Millionaire” and has provided sufficient inspiration for Natya artistic director Hema Rajogopalan to open the choreographic process up to her dancers, blending hip-hop, flamenco, African dance and Bollywood stylings into Bharata Natyam, the company’s signature classical form, marked by ritualistic-feeling gesture, rapid footwork and broad facial expression.
“The movement, while within the parameters of classical dance, will have a flavor of the movies. It’s a great opportunity to see what Bharata Natyam is and still have fun with it,” Rajogopalan told me. The seven or so short, fast-paced pieces are set to a wide range of Rahman’s catalog (I’m particularly looking forward to seeing what they do with “Lagaan,” from the film of the same title—a movie that served as my introduction to the candy-sweet goodness of Bollywood) including “Jai Ho,” the bouncy, singalong finale to “Slumdog.” (Sharon Hoyer)
At the Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State, (800)838-3006. Saturday, September 12, 7:30pm. $25, $15 student and senior.