Thursday, February 11, 2010

That's Entertainment

We were thinking that we might be in India for two years and never get to a cultural event. We did see some children performing at a big outdoor program when we were sight seeing at an old church associated with St. Thomas. Then our friend who happens to be an auto driver started talking about street performers coming soon to Chennai. It is a special government program to support the arts. Performers came from all over India. Each was paid 800Rps. a day ($15.00) which doesn't seem like much, but the economy is not too good and entertainment is the first to be neglected. The "gig" went on for 15 days.

Our friend picked a day when he thought it would be less crowded. He dropped his wife and daughter at the park and then came for us. She called him and said that all the seats were taken so he borrowed two chairs from the security guard and took them to the park for us. He placed them right up front and the show began.

As fancy and as daring as other acts were these dancers of eight woman and eight men were my favorites. They all danced in a circle and then the women lined up across the back. Four men came from one side clear across dancing all the way. As they faced the four men on the other side it was easy to see that the challenge was on. With dance steps they quickly returned to their side. The other four approached the first four with different dance steps then quickly retreated. This went on over and over, back and forth. Each time the opposing group of men came across the stage with a more vigorous an inventive step than the last.

The audience was amazed.

We thought it could go on forever, but then on one swoop the other team did not follow and these men tapping back into place were declared the winners!

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

I'm glad you were able to see a cultural event before you come home. It looks like quite the experience.