A myth to break myths

LGBT dance drama about all-male love triangle hopes to push for queer visibility in Mumbai

In a first for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community in the city, the advocacy arm of Mumbai-based Humsafar Trust is set to stage a dance-drama inspired by the Greek tragedy of Hyacinth.

Pallav Patankar
Pallav Patankar

Hyacinth was the young lover of the sun god, Apollo, but was also desired by the god of wind, Zephyr. Once, Apollo and Hyacinth were playing with a discus. As Hyacinth ran to catch it and impress Apollo, he was struck by it and fell to the ground dead.

It is believed that Zephyr, in jealousy, caused the discus to go astray. Apollo made a flower, the hyacinth, from his lover's spilled blood.

The play told through dance will be staged on October 4 at the Gujarati Kelvani Mandal in Vile Parle East, says Humsafar's, director of programmes, Pallav Patankar.

A poster of Hyacinth
A poster of Hyacinth

It will be a ticketed event to help them raise funds for future projects. Rehearsals are underway, and its choreographer Sandip Soparrkar has already identified most protagonists. "I hope I can portray love between men as realistically as possible," he says.

When the community calls this a 'landmark' event, it is not a trite description. What it signifies is the opening up of new spaces, not just literally but metaphorically, for the community. "We expect response not just from the LGBT community but outside as well," Patankar hopes.

Sonal Giani, advocacy manager of Humsafar and executive producer of the play, says, "It's natural that the community furthers visibility using the performing arts because as a medium, they have been ahead of the times."

The community is raising money through crowdfunding towards venue rentals, sound and lighting. "We hope to raise a total about Rs 2 lakh," says Patankar.

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