L'Orient: Search for the Real Lakmé
"Award-winning choreographer Preeti Vasudevan is an exponent of classical Bharatanatyam creating new provocative contemporary works from the Indian tradition."
— New Music USA
A panel of judges gazes down on the beautiful bodies of five women as they strive to perform their increasingly demanding audition pieces. The bodies are brown, or black. Or non-binary. Or all the above, or none...the erotic in an explosive mixture with the exotic. So which one will be chosen for the role…?
Or...are the flesh-exposing gyrations of these aspiring performers a relic from a bygone age: the sexualized gaze, the unchallenged province of high art for so many centuries, now strictly tabù…?
These are the questions explored in L’Orient, a thrilling new dance-opera from choreographer Preeti Vasudevan, composer Kamala Sankaram, and writer/librettist Catherine Filloux. Taking as its starting point Lakmé, the 1893 opera by Léo Delibes, the new work is set in the cut-throat world of reality television. A public search is on for “the real Lakmé”—a performer with the star quality to bring the hide-bound opera into the twenty-first century. A grueling series of auditions has whittled the short-list down to five...
L'Orient: Search for the Real Lakmé piece "Speaking in Pointe" at Flea Theater
Premiered November 2022
Image Credit: Andrés Mercado, 2022
L'Orient: Search for the Real Lakmé at Lincoln Center Restart Stages
Performed September 2021 on THE GREEN