Eastern touches flowing freely at Thirroul

By Jodie Minus
Updated November 5 2012 - 8:14am, first published November 29 2008 - 11:55pm
Bejewelled dancers Sanatini and Sivanganjali. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

The old adage that the best things in life are free was played out yesterday when an international dance, music and theatre troupe gave a free performance at Anita's Theatre in Thirroul.Le Carnaval Spirituel, which describes itself as "mystically blending ancient eastern spirituality and truly contemporary theatre", was established on the French Riviera in 1979.The troupe, which is now based at The International Society for Krishna Consciousness in New Delhi, has since travelled around the world performing a unique mix of traditional performance, martial arts and yoga.On their second tour of Australia, organiser Indradyumna Swami Maharaja said the increased popularity of India as a destination and culture had created a greater interest in their troupe.One highlight of yesterday's 21/2 hour performance was a trio of athletically minded "jungle drummers" from Manipur in north-east India, who jumped and leapt about the stage while keeping impeccably timed beats.The troupe's 27 performers come from 12 countries, including the Ukraine, Burma and New Zealand.Each performer specialises in three types of Indian dance: Katak from south India, Odissi from east India and Bhanat Natyam from the north. "We also have martial arts from northern India, which is more like a defensive martial arts," Maharaja said. "Usually, martial arts is more on an aggressive platform, but in India it is usually used for defence to protect the monks and the monasteries, so it is very artistic."Le Carnaval Spirituel will perform at the Peats Ridge Sustainable Arts and Music Festival over the New Year, as well as dozens of dates across the east coast until February.

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