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Aakash Odedra & Aditi Mangaldas Companies - Mehek - The Lowry, 16th April 2024

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I was privileged indeed to see the performance of Mehek at The Lowry on Tuesday evening.


Mehek is the story of a forbidden love between a younger man and an older woman.  The cast consists of Aakash Odedra, Aditi Mangaldas, 3 musicians and a singer.  The set consists of hanging pieces of what look like mirrors but are perspex pieces, the lighting is mostly used to pinpoint the dancers (and is extremely effective) and everything is an integrated whole.


The performance starts with Aakash Odedra sitting at the front left corner of the stage playing with a piece of "mirror" sending rays around the auditorium.  Gradually he is lit up by spotlights.  Back into darkness and Audit Mangaldas is highlighted behind some of the "mirrors".


Gradually the 2 meet and there is the most intense duet of kathak moves from slow and gentle to whirling across the stage.  At times they join together.  The movement of their hands was mesmerising as was the slapping of the feet that gave such a percussive sound.


The three musicians appear in front of Aditi Mangaldas and try to keep her away from Aakash Odedra but love seems to win out.


I found this performance intense, mesmerising, sensual and, in parts, profoundly moving.


These are truly great artists and it was such a privilege to see them.

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