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Seeta Patel: Not Today’s Yesterday at The Place | Review

Not Today's Yesterday by Seeta Patel photo by Stephen Berkeley-White
Not Today’s Yesterday by Seeta Patel photo by Stephen Berkeley-White

Not Today’s Yesterday, the solo dance piece by U.K artist Seeta Patel at The Place is gorgeous when describing its starting point of a nirvana of innocence before the fall. After lingering there the show moves on, using a fairytale narrative arc which includes the spoken word, to describe the descent into greed and exploitation initiated by those who came from far away, describing themselves as ‘friends’ bearing gifts, ‘many gifts.’ Wanting to take. What was taken and what was substituted in its place is devastatingly described.

This show has won awards in Australia and there’s a brilliantly conceived scene where, using shadows and movement, through a partly covered pane of glass Seeta Patel transforms into someone else, an old woman who might belong to many races, someone angry.

The soundtrack here is a key component, intriguingly using classical ballet music and opera to suggest the corruption of modern civilisation as gold and oil ( making plastic) is taken from this special place. The ground-based choreography devised for Seeta Patel, a Bharatanatyam artist, by Australian choreographer Lina Limosani enhances this surprising use of familiar music as we are taken from lush to jagged to the surprising to the fantastic surreal.

Seeta Patel holds attention through the transformations of this 50-minute long piece. This enjoyable work informs us about colonial and capitalist exploitation and questions modern perceptions of a prosperous life using beauty and contradictions as its touchstones. Making us look at our familiar in another way.

3 Star Review

Review by Marian Kennedy

Who controls the past controls the future.
Who controls the present controls the past
George Orwell

Not Today’s Yesterday is an international collaboration between award-winning UK-based Bharatanatyam artist Seeta Patel and Australian choreographer Lina Limosani.

Inspired by the whitewashing of history this powerful one-woman show blends techniques from Bharatanatyam, contemporary dance and theatre to create a poetic narrative that has the beauty and disquiet of a Grimm fairy tale.

Not Today’s Yesterday’ – UK dates in October
October 2nd, 3rd London, The Place at 8pm
October 5th Falmouth University
October 12th Brentford, Watermans Arts Centre
October 13th Bradford, Kala Sangam
October 23rd Birmingham Patrick Centre Patrick Centre


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