Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: Bent Bollywood

A gender-bending mashup of ballet and Indian dance styles with a queer bent.

A gender-bending mashup of Indian dance

Reviewed at Gluttony on 15 February 2019

Presented by Karma Dance

Gender-bending Raina Peterson is described as a classical Indian dancer and queer performance artist, joined by a nameless pet twink in a curious dance presentation that combines modern Bollywood-style dance routines with ballet and traditional Indian choreography.

It’s a mashup that works seamlessly, with each dance presenting its own story of love, lust, sadness, or moments of happiness.

The two dancers are fluid and erotic, scantily clad, faces adorned with feminine makeup, and torsos accentuated with light body paint – Peterson falling somewhere between genders while the pretty twink ripples with lean muscle and a wonderfully expressive face.

The introductory number is far too long: the music is hypnotic and the slow, graceful movements are intriguing but, for such a short show, it takes up too much time. Comedy and pace are introduced from the second routine but, by then, some punters may be tuned out.

Dance breaks down all language barriers, and the Indian music provides place and context to the scenes being played out. Even so, Bent Bollywood isn’t, perhaps, as accessible to a broader audience as one might have hoped or expected, but the niche crowd it attracts should come away satisfied.

Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Twitter: @StrtegicRetweet

Venue:  Empire Theatre, Gluttony, cnr East Terrace & Rundle Street, Adelaide
Season:  15-24 February 2019
Duration:  45 minutes
Tickets:  $21-$27


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