Indian Embrace

23 Aug

If you’re reading this, you’ve won the lottery of life.

You could have been living at a time prior to the technological culture that makes this blog possible.

Or you could be living in a part of the world that still does not have access to this culture.

This culture, within two short centuries, has doubled our life spans.

Indian Embrace by Carol Dance is a fascinating exploration of the responsibilities that come with winning the lottery of life.

Photo by Chris Lundie

Photo by Chris Lundie

It’s the story of three Anglo Australians who visit India. It’s a family reunion – in more way than one. It’s a play about appreciating the connections we have with a wider humanity.

It explores how aid can help developing countries. It explores how business might do the same thing. (It doesn’t answer these questions, but it raises them. And, in an Australian play, that’s too rare.)

Yes, the play is set in India. And, yes, it’s an Australian play. This is an exciting theatrical choice. We should write – and think – big. ( The politics of identity should not become a tool of reactionary ideology. Remember when the most important question was ‘What is to be done?’, rather than ‘Who am I?’)

And, in Dance’s play, the Indian characters are beautifully realized. They’re living in a society not yet entirely overwhelmed by the culture of technological materialism. But they know its allure, and its danger.

The scene between Roopa (Ambika Asthana) and her father-in-law Vikram (Shashidhar Dandekar), in which they argue their ties to India, is pure theatrical gold. Dandekar’s later monologue about loss and resilience is deeply moving.

Director Lenore Robertson draws some good performances from her cast, eliciting both tears and laughter from the audience.

The final monologue, delivered with powerful understatement by James Herrington, completes an engaging night of theatre. It asks not just ‘who are we?’, but more importantly, ‘what is our role in the world?’

Veronica Kaye


Indian Embrace by Carol Dance

til 25 Aug at Riverside, Parramatta

One Response to “Indian Embrace”

  1. Gina August 23, 2013 at 11:54 pm #

    Reblogged this on In my own opinion.

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