There are some performances that can have a spellbinding effect on you. The musical drama Romance Under the Umbrella, recently staged at Delhi’s Shri Ram Centre for Performing Arts, was one such show. The musical was a part of Connections 2019, an international performing arts festival, which took place between 12-14 April. This festival included various dance productions and a jazz concert. But Romance Under the Umbrella, directed by Liang Qun from the Beijing Dance Academy, was the real highlight.
Composed by Ding Feng, the musical is an adaptation of the classical Chinese drama Fen Mo. The drama attempts to bring Chinese painting to life by with the use props such as swords, hand fans, Japanese umbrellas and so on. The performers’ dance moves appeared to be taken from ballet.
The pale-coloured and flowing textures of the costumes worn by the performers added to the serenity of the scenes. Towards the end, the music was replaced by delicate sounds of bells. These sounds slowly faded, leading to complete silence in the hall. Now, the quick movements of the dancers gave way to a more relaxed style of dance. And later the dancers performed without any form of music in the background. They didn’t need any more music to dance. They were in a state of trance and in tune with the melodies in their mind.