Forsaken draws on parallel themes of Verdi’s Otello in the Indian epic the Ramayana. Specially commissioned for the Deloitte Ignite Festival 2013, the dance starts from the abduction of Princess Sita by the demon king Ravana to the subsequent questioning of her chastity because of her time in captivity in another man’s house. Sita is revered in India as the ideal, pure and chaste woman. Despite her fidelity and rescue by her husband Prince Rama – a paragon of morality – she is ultimately forsaken by him. Although loving Sita deeply, and knowing her to be innocent, Rama sends her into exile because his judgment is questioned by the gossiping citizens of his kingdom for taking her back as his wife. This abandonment ultimately leads to Sita crying out to her Mother, the Earth, to open up and take her back into her womb and release her from a cruel and unjust world.
The dance is performed to three arias from Verdi’s opera Otello with its themes of lust, doubt, love, sacrifice and death echoing the story of the Ramayana.
CHOREOGRAPHY & CONCEPT
‘CREDO IN UN DIO CRUDEL’, ‘ERA LA NOTTE, CASSIO DORMIA’, AND ‘AVE MARIA’ FROM GIUSEPPE VERDI’S ‘OTELLO’, ARRANGED BY HARI SIVANESAN
HARI SIVANESAN, PRADEEPA SIVASANTHIRAN
YASMINE NAGHDI, SANDER BLOMMAERT, NICOL EDMONDS
as part of ‘Deloitte Ignite Verdi/Wagner’ curated by Stephen Fry and The Royal Opera