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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 FillouxTaking 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 Lakpiece "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

Image Credit: Sachyn Mital, 2021


Artistic Director/Choreographer: Preeti Vasudevan

Composer: Kamala Sankaram

Writer/Librettist: Catherine Filloux 

Set Designer: Audrey Vuong

Lighting and Multimedia Designer: Robert Wierzel

Assistant to Artistic Director/Choreographer: Ramona Kelley


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