Last chance to see EINSTEIN/TAGORE: SEASHORE OF ENDLESS WORLDS. With officially only a 20-seat storefront house, all 3 shows last weekend were sellouts: 31 people Friday night, 27 Saturday night, even the Sunday matinee was a sellout at 23. We have 3 shows left starting tonight. As of this morning the Saturday show is sold out, the Friday show has only 3 seats left, but tonight’s show remains open so if you’d like to see it then tonight is probably your best bet.
Thank you so much for coming to our 2012 Philly Fringe show EINSTEIN/TAGORE: SEASHORE OF ENDLESS WORLDS. As Shiva3 Productions (which started as a lark in last year’s Philly Fringe show and then turned into something real) I’ve served as the behind-the-scenes producer, marketer and graphic designer as well as the script consultant for Einstein and Tagore’s adapted conversations recited during the show. We’ve been truly humbled by the unexpectedly large numbers in attendance for our modest-sized art gallery space. It’s been a thrill for us. The Philly Fringe is primarily theatre-centric, so here we are off to the side in the dance category, and within that we’re something apparently called “ethnic dance” which further reduced our audience expectations, and in a storefront art gallery instead of a theatre. This show was purely art for art’s sake. You have blown our assumptions about Philadelphia out of the water.
With officially only a 20-seat house, 5 out of 6 shows were sellouts hovering around an audience of 30, and we were literally turning more people away at the door. If and when the show returns we promise a larger venue with better sightlines. In the meantime please enjoy ourrave review in the City Paper.
Rave review of EINSTEIN/TAGORE: Seashore of Endless Worlds
by Josh Middleton, Philadelphia City Paper
Taking place in the intimate front room of Twelve Gates Arts gallery in Old City, producer/choreographer/director/dancer Leslie Elkins and Jodi Obeid star in this diamond-in-the-Fringe-rough show…the dancing is why you should put this on your Fringe itinerary. The dancer is a force…this little must-see will take you on a mesmerizing cultural journey you’ll want to take again and again.
“Taking place in the intimate front room of Twelve Gates Arts gallery in Old City, producer/choreographer/director/dancer Leslie Elkins and Jodi Obeid star in this diamond-in-the-Fringe-rough show inspired by the well-documented religion-versus-science discussions between Einstein and Tagore. Though there is some dialog — the dance routines are interspersed with quick, straight-from-the-script readings by Elkins and Obeid — the dancing is why you should put this on your Fringe itinerary. Dasgupta, decked out in gorgeous, traditional Indian garb, is a force, engaging every ounce of her being in routines that run the gamut from energetic and attention-demanding (“Mangalam: Honoring the Elements”) to rip-your-heart-out passionate (“Trance”). Elkins and Obeid, both with backgrounds in contemporary dance, join in on a few numbers, too, most notably the final performance to Bikram Ghosh’s refreshingly funky “Rhythm Speaks.” It doesn’t have the high-flying acrobatics you might find in some of the more-hyped Live Arts dance shows, but this little must-see will take you on a mesmerizing cultural journey you’ll want to take again and again.” Full listing and review at http://www.citypaper.net/authors/josh_middleton/FRINGE-REVIEW-EinsteinTagore-Seashore-of-Endless-Worlds.html
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="266" caption="Tagore Celebration in Kolkata, 5/8/10"][/caption]
Rabindranath Tagore(May 8, 1861 – August 8, 1941) the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, was born 150 years ago this weekend. Celebrations are underway in India, especially in his hometown of Kolkata, West Bengal, and across the globe. Would that I were there
Rabindranath Tagore(May 8, 1861 – August 8, 1941) the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, was born 150 years ago this weekend. Celebrations are underway in India, especially in his hometown of Kolkata, West Bengal, and across the globe. Would that I were there.
I had the pleasure of visiting the Tagore family home, Jorasanko, earlier this year, which continued to turn me on to this Bengali Renaissance Man’s works in poetry, theatre, fiction and music. Today Jorasanko is a museum operated by nearby Rabindra Bharati Universitynamed in Rabindranath’s honor and focusing on performing arts and the humanities. My fellow travelers and I were fortunate to have a personal tour guide at Jorasanko, music faculty Prof. Ghosh. He also took me to visit the campus and meet with the Performing Arts chair and some of the faculty, and I wound up giving an impromptu lecture and Q&A about contemporary US theatre to the bright, informed and eager undergrads in an Ancient Greek Theatre class.
The visit to Jorasanko and the university campus wound up indirectly turning me on to the works of Tagore’s precursors such asIshwar Chandra Gupta(1812-1859), largely forgotten today in Tagore’s long shadow.
I leave you with one of Tagore’s poems:
Leave this chanting and singing and telling of beads!
Whom dost thou worship in this lonely dark corner of a temple with doors all shut?
Open thine eyes and see thy God is not before thee!
He is there where the tiller is tilling the hard ground and where the pathmaker is breaking stones.
He is with them in sun and in shower, and his garment is covered with dust.
Put off thy holy mantle and even like him come down on the dusty soil!
Deliverance? Where is this deliverance to be found?
Our master himself has joyfully taken upon him the bonds of creation;
he is bound with us all for ever.
Come out of thy meditations and leave aside thy flowers and incense!
What harm is there if thy clothes become tattered and stained?
Meet him and stand by him in toil and in sweat of thy brow.
The above poem is very Walt Whitman, eh? It’s from Tagore’s Nobel-winning collection Gitanjali.
[pix taken from indiablooms.com and schoolofwisdom.com; the rest are mine]