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Shakti’s Nutcracker is a creative celebration

December 23
22:12 2011

Viji Prakash is a visionary of her time. She transforms the classic European Nutcracker Suite into a breathless fast pace, irresistible romp through world genres of music and dance, making it an unforgettable theatrical, musical and dance experience. It was an explosion of color, Christmas trees, 67 dancers, high stepping soldiers, madly extravagant costumes, Hawaiin islanders, Bollywood glitter, Santa Claus, snowflakes, and a collage of music ranging from Tchaikovsky ,Indian , Middle Eastern to Duke Ellington.
In short-wizardry, storytelling magic, and the stuff that dreams are made of. Viji Prakash, producer/choreographer Shakti Dance Company was like an inspired magician pulling out surprise after surprise for two hours. It was non-stop fun and joy for everyone. The children were entranced and the adults were spellbound.
The venue was the James Armstrong Theater, Torrance, and it is the Christmas/Holiday season. Perfect for a story spun around intrigue, revenge, glamour, love, and fantasy.
Viji Prakash, the internationally acclaimed dancer, Assistant Professor at World Arts and Culture UCLA, two time recipient of the Brody Choreographic Fellow ship and Best Guru Award from the Madras Music Academy, Chennai , India 2001, has had an illustrious career. In this production, she spans the fields of Western classical music, theater, contemporary dance, mime, making it exciting, creative and vibrant.
Stunning, innovative dancers like Olga Shamiram Kramarova, Kenji Igus, B’Jon, Prince Andrew, d.Sabela Grimes brought an intense physicality with their energy, passion and compelling performances while Keali’I Ceballos and H’Lau Keali”I, O N’Lani, introduced elegiac grace with their chants and movement.
The music surprised us with its variations, the Bharata Natyam dancers in the lead roles mesmerizing and the Toy Animals, Ballerinas, Mouse King, the Prince, Nutcracker, the Sugar Plum Fairy and Court Dancers beguiling.
An extraordinary groundbr-eaking evening with Viji Prakash who has the ability to make us believe that preconceptions of music and dance can be overturned and that there can be a new enchanting interpretation collaborating with impeccable technique. A creative celebration.
Prem Kishore

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