Dar Ling

You think you already know whether you like Indian classical dance, don't you? Whatever else you're pondering, whatever other traditional-art-based conundrums haunt you, you've figured that one out. But you can see where this is going: Maybe you don't know after all. Imagine that a handsome twentysomething man, dressed in plain but stylish black trousers and a T-shirt appears on a bare stage. He moves to the spare beat of one drum, effortlessly and with a startlingly genuine joy. The Bharatanatyam dance he performs tells a story, but the plot escapes you. Doesn't matter. His beatific grace and the stark and ancient dance tell you everything – wait, is that an ironic gleam in his eye? No, probably not. Unless … nah. The man is Zavain Dar, whose long study of the Pandanallur style with teacher Arul Francis augments his studies at Stanford, and unless you've seen him perform, you don't know anything about Indian classical dance.
May 16-18, 8 p.m., 2008

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