Malaysian born dancer Mavin Khoo has gone viral with his unique was of conveying the Story of Ravana.
He gathered 8 male Bharatanatyam dancers from Temple of Fine Arts Inner Space Dance and choreographed a beautiful expression of the Ramayana. Along with an all female team of musicians, the ensemble performed at the prestigious Darbar Festival, an Indian classical music and dance festival that takes place annually over three months in London.
The spectacular performance explored three scenes from the epic; the abduction of Sita, the building of the bridge by Rama’s army of monkeys and the killing of the demon God Ravana.
The band of brothers who performed comprised of Azmie Zanal Abdden, Hariraam Tingyuan Lam, Karthik Shetty, Keiscwar Genapathy, Kishore Kumar, Lingesh Gangatharan, Mohammad Khairi Mokthar and Sushant Krishnan.
They were accompanied by female musicians, namely vocalist Chitra Poornima Sathish, mridangam player Rajna Swaminathan, nattuvangam maestro Lakshmi Krishnan and renowned violinist, Pangasaasanii Gowrisan.
This was an interesting take on the usual way Bharatanatyam is performed, with a majority of female dancers and male musicians. And boy, did it work.
Mavin and his team successfully melded the South Asian origins of the epic with the Southeast Asian version. The viewer is transported from one region to another in a matter of seconds, thanks to the sounds and the movement. That, coupled with the precise expressions and energy, make The Story of Ravana an outstanding performance.
We hope this piece of art will one day be performed on Malaysian soil.
Watch this snippet to see the sheer amount of talent on stage during The Story of Ravana.
Keep up with Mavin on Instagram here.