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You are my hero, Enacte tells collaborators

You are my hero, Enacte tells collaborators
March 14
11:03 2019

ARCHANA ASTHANA

The magic of live theater consists of the moment when labor of love comes to fruition after months of patient rehearsals, and the full ensemble of caste, crew, props, dialogue, music and lighting come together, and is finally staged. The producers and directors of such events at Enacte Inc. expressed their gratitude to all those that made this possible at their second annual Gala event at the Mexican Heritage Plaza on a balmy California weekend.

Enacte, headed by its visionary founder and artistic director, Vinita Sud Belani, in its six-year journey has managed to create a community where actors, directors, collaborators and audience all feel part of a family that supports, funds, promotes and appreciates live theater. Enacte’s mission is three-fold – telling global stories, nurturing talent in all aspects of theater, uniting communities with diverse backgrounds through art.

The evening kicked off with Keith Stevenson, a well-known thespian himself and the master of ceremonies, inviting community partners to comment on their support. Representatives from SEWA, ICC, MAITRI, Noorani Dance, and SF Shakes, spoke of the highly viable collaborative efforts enriching the community. Other community partners include schools, universities and museums. Additionally, there are production and presenting partners that complement Enacte’s efforts. A sumptuous meal was followed by an auction for fundraising that exceeded the goal of $200,000, with participation from 225 audience members.

Those attending were then treated to a performance, “Snake and Ladder”, a Navarasa Dance Theater Production, which is inspired by the film, The Seventh Seal, by

Ingmar Bergman, as well as by Adi Shankaracharya’s Advait philosophy, not quite the subject of most modern performances. The Warrior Prince returns from war when Death arrives to take him and a traveling artist. As Aparna Sindhoor, the founder and artistic director of the theater company, portraying Death here, twirls and soars in stunningly visual aerial props, the Prince challenges her to a game of Snakes and Ladders to buy time. Death chooses this game over chess, which requires talent to play, and her claim is that chance will trump talent.

Viscerally stimulating opening scene with its colored screen, actors frozen in time, and props that swing to life, set the stage for putting the audience in a contemplative mood, as they struggle to come to terms with the final reality of Death. The choreography by Sindhoor and Anil Natyavedya set to an original, creative score weaves the right artistic blend that through myriad meanderings permits us to entertain a feeling of hope and redemption, even while contemplating death and destruction through war. As the two central characters move along in this whimsical, spiritual journey, written by S.M.Raju, they encounter people in various stages of being – a young couple with a child, a woman accused of being a witch, a mother mourning her child lost to war… circumstances that bring into question the existence of God. A question uttered by Death sums it up: “Is Fate the Definition of Death?”

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