Majuli

Majuli is a gentle piece, beguiling in its simplicity in which the dancer and choreographer, Shilpikda Bordoloi evokes the world’s largest river island, Majuli in Assam’s Brahmaputra river and the islanders’ way of life, dependent on the river, its fertility and at the mercy of its destructive flooding when the villagers lose their homes and must learn to start again.

Movement, visual and sound effects unite in a pleasing whole

Dance and movement resulting from improvisation mingle with fragments of formal Indian dance and Bihu folk dance in fluid changing moods reflecting the river, accompanied by an atmospheric soundscape of deep water drops and a mesmerizing musical score, played on traditional instruments of the Assamese, the Deori and the Mising communities, and at times, a film backdrop showing shots of the river.

Shilpika is a skilled Indian classical dancer, having studied Manipuri from the age of three and later Bharatanatyam. In this piece she incorporates Sattriya classical dance and one can only wish there had been more of this in the show, since where this occurred it was superb. Her story-telling through mime such as agricultural activities and rowing on the river are strong and since she has purposely not trained in contemporary dance, these sections are refreshingly naïve and unsophisticated expressing her individuality.

A large stone head of Garuda, the eagle-beaked god, a medium of transport for Vishnu, faces the audience at the side of the stage and for Shilpika this connects with a parallel means of transport for her island: a boat. Some paper boat models also remind us of the hazardous life by the river. Many costume changes, white or yellow floating fabrics, also add to the pleasing visual effects and in particular, her opening costume of broad white trousers where blue/green stains rise from the hem, as if soaked by the river. The film shots of the river are particularly effective: the fast-flowing current mid-stream, choked by weeds nearer the river bank suggests the danger that always awaits and later the sun-splashes on the waves is a beautiful, peaceful end to the show.

Overall, movement, visual and sound effects unite in a pleasing whole but the evocative traditional music is to be singled out for its sheer beauty and range of emotional and acoustic effects. 

Reviews by Stephanie Green

Scottish Ballet

The Secret Theatre

★★★★
Traverse Theatre

Antigone, Interrupted

★★★★
Festival Theatre

Scottish Ballet: The Snow Queen

★★★★
Royal Lyceum Theatre

An Edinburgh Christmas Carol

★★★★★
Festival Theatre

Rite of Spring

★★★
Dance Base

Juliet & Romeo

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Majuli, a picturesque island in Assam’s mighty Brahmaputra river, is also the world’s biggest river island. This performance tells Majuli’s tale and that of its people through an intense and evocative solo of dance and theatre. Inspired by the mystique of the Brahmaputra, it weaves together a story of the intricate bond between people and their land, set to music by instruments indigenous to the region. As the performer meanders in the rhythm of a river expressing pleasure, pain, love, and spiritualism, the motif of the boat dominates. The mesmeric narrative is a celebration of Majuli’s spirit.

Most Popular See More

Les Miserables

From £22.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Hairspray

From £22.00

More Info

Find Tickets