“The Cloud Messenger” is a Bharatanatyam piece is about a yaksha (or demi-god) who is exiled and separated from his beloved. When he feels like all hope is lost, he finds solace in a young raincloud and tries hard to convince her to embark on a difficult journey, to ultimately take a message of love to his beloved. This magical and unconventional romance shows why loves journey, though risky, is indeed something beautiful.
My goal for the piece was to be able to translate my emotional response to the narrative, into Bharatanatyam. This vision dictated the music composition, the choreography, and lastly, determined what parts of the narrative were to be included in the final presentation. Even though various verses of the poem inspired the pieces, in large part the work is lyric-less; I wanted the musical phrases and the choreography to tell the story. I hope this non-traditional approach to the narrative will make the story and its message accessible to a diverse audience.
In our collaborative interpretation, the raincloud acts as a go between for two lovers. Her character is the solace that we seek in our everyday lives, especially when we feel like we have nowhere else to turn. This piece is an interpretation of how we seek that solace, or maybe even how that solace seeks us.
To me, this work is about keeping the faith in something good. It is about new beginnings. It is about staying hopeful and optimistic. If we, as directors, as dancers, as a company can make people in the audience feel like there is something good in their lives, then I think we (ALL of us including our contributors) will have done a great thing. We want this story to inspire viewers to personally reflect and meditate on their own life experiences, and ultimately find hope as well.
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