Can a Shakespearian play be performed on stage without its words? The power of Shakespeare lies in his most expressive poetic and piercing words as blank verse.
Especially the dramatic and blank and white theme of Othello demands the power of words to poetry the complex characters. But dance on the other hand can some- times can transcend the words and touch sensitively the spectator’s heart. Veteran dancer and choreographer Ravibandhu Vidyapathy now ventures to achieve this in his new ballet Othello based on Shakespeare’s tragedy. Othello is Ravibandu’s third attempt to interpret Shakespeare in oriental dance, the previous two being Romeo and Juliet in 1989 and Macbeth in 2009 respectively.
This oriental ballet version of Othello is built around the four main characters Othello, Iago, Destiomona and Emalia, and omits other minor characters as being more effective and suitable for the ballet medium. But the strong use of the dance chorus (as in Greek theatre) enhances the dramatic situations and the unfolding of more complex psychic conditions of the characters. The choreography is based on Sri Lankan traditional dance idioms, and their legitimate extensions.
Jithendra Vidyapathy son of Ravibandu has composed the score for this hour-long ballet with emphasis on drums and percussion. Choreorgraphy, costume design and direction are handled by Ravibandu Vidayapathy while lightingis handled by Upali Ariyasiri. The cast includes Dayan Kahandawala as Othello, Vanamal Silva as Destimona, Nupathi Nilambara as Iago, Dinusha Ranathunga as Emalia and Geeth Premachandar as Cassio and ten other members of the Ravinbandhu – Samanthi Dance Ensemble.
The performance will be at the Lionel Wendt Theatre on August 23, 2015 at 3.30 pm. and 7.00pm. Tickets and box plan are available only at the Theatre. Show will be coordinated and organized by Jude Srimal. As Shakespeare’s Othello” is now in- cluded as a textbook for GCE Advance Level examination, this will be a good opportunity both Drama and Dance students.