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Fire to Ice - A Provocative Interpretation of Indian Epic
According to the Indian epic Mahabharata, Draupadi is a woman who is given away as a possession by her five husbands in an unfortunate game of dice. In response to this patriarchal oppression, Draupadi transforms herself from a dutiful wife to a vengeful goddess.

In Fire to Ice, Sudarshan Belsare creates a bridge between the fiery spirit of Draupadi and its contemporary relevance. Using an array of media, including puppets and video, Belsare presents an expressive and unique dance interpretation that examines provocative issues like gender and social values. Collaborators in the master's thesis performance include Babson College Professor Laurie Lapides and performer Abby Davis.

As a classically-trained dancer, I am breaking rules here by taking issues that are traditionally laden with the feminist rhetoric and exploring the boundaries and connections of how we value ourselves today, said Belsare. My goal is to invoke Draupadi's presence in each of us, regardless of our gender identification.

Fire to Ice employs technical terms used in traditional Western theater as springboards for dance and theatrical interpretations of particular moods and situations. Draupadi is the second of three components in the performance. The first component explores the ritual of birth and its relation to the Mother Goddess. The third component involves the awaking of the spirit of feminine energy as a creative force in nature.

In the Mahabharata, Draupadi is born from a ritualistic pyre and freezes in Himalayan ice at the end of her life. Fire to Ice is an attempt to capture the spiritual force behind this paradox.

About the Artist
Sudarshan Belsare is a classically trained Bharatanatyam (Temple dance form from South India) performer from India. He has received numerous awards and scholarships, including the government of India's Scholarship for Advanced Training. He has performed at cultural festivals in India and the United States and for the United Nations, the ARPANA festival and the international WAVES conference at UMass-Dartmouth.

Belsare lives in Jamaica Plain, MA and is currently a Master of Education candidate at the Massachusetts College of Arts.

Date: 04/09/2004
Location: Massachusetts College of Arts, Tower Auditorium
Time: 8:00 pm

Cost: $10 general/$5 students

Contact: 781-871-1640

Web: http://babel.massart.edu/~sudarshan

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