The love that dares to dance

Pictures from practice of a dance-drama called Hyacinth based on a Greek myth, which celebrates same sex love.

If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one, and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.
— Mosleh Eddin Saadi

Mithun Purandare plays Apollo in the 80 minute minute epic. From a man in love to a man with a broken heart after the death of Hyacinth, Purandare says he has to portray diverse emotions in the dance-drama.  Photographs/Nimesh Dave
Mithun Purandare plays Apollo in the 80 minute minute epic. From a man in love to a man with a broken heart after the death of Hyacinth, Purandare says he has to portray diverse emotions in the dance-drama.  Photographs/Nimesh Dave

It is yet another first ever for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community. The advocacy arm of Mumbai-based Humsafar Trust, a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) promoting LGBT rights, is to stage a dance drama based on Greek tragedy based The Hyacinth. Rehearsals are on for the show.

The main characters practice the floral formation, the part of the play that explains how Apollo made Hyacinth immortal. Soparrkar, the choreographer of the dance-drama says he will have effects, sounds and dubbed dialogues in the actors’ voices
The main characters practice the floral formation, the part of the play that explains how Apollo made Hyacinth immortal. Soparrkar, the choreographer of the dance-drama says he will have effects, sounds and dubbed dialogues in the actors’ voices

This dance drama, Hyacinth, which is different from a play in the sense that it is a drama told through dance, will be on October 4 at the Gujarati Kelvani Mandal in Vile Parle (E). Says Humsafar Trust director programmes, Pallav Patankar, “The Hyacinth, in the Greek myth is about same sex love and we are going to enact this through dance.

Yuvraaj Parashar enacts a scene from the dance-drama as Zephyr, the West Wind. The actor has played a gay man in the film Dunno Y... Na Jaane Kyon and will reprise his role in the sequel. He says he is now used to playing gay characters
Yuvraaj Parashar enacts a scene from the dance-drama as Zephyr, the West Wind. The actor has played a gay man in the film Dunno Y... Na Jaane Kyon and will reprise his role in the sequel. He says he is now used to playing gay characters

It is going to be a ticketed performance, as we are going to raise money from the tickets for more shows and performances.” Sonal Giani, advocacy manager of the Humsafar Trust and executive producer of the play, states “This is a landmark event for Mumbai.”

Purandare and Kumar enact a love scene. It has been days of practice every evening for the actors and dancers, to get into the skin of their respective characters
Purandare and Kumar enact a love scene. It has been days of practice every evening for the actors and dancers, to get into the skin of their respective characters

Interestingly, the performing arts are becoming the mode of expression for the queer community in the city. On Saturday, September 12 evening, Mumbai hosted a first ever public drag king performance at a Lower Parel venue, with two women dressed in all male drag. The 80-minute production called Tape.

Standing: Yuvraaj Parashar (second l), Raj Kumar (third l), Pallav Patankar (c), Sandip Soparrkar (third r) and Mithun Purandare (second r) with the background dancers of The Hyacinth
Yuvraaj Parashar (second l), Raj Kumar (third l), Pallav Patankar (c), Sandip Soparrkar (third r) and Mithun Purandare (second r) with the background dancers of The Hyacinth

A moving scene of the demise of Hyacinth enacted by the actors and dancers
A moving scene of the demise of Hyacinth enacted by the actors and dancers

Raj Kumar as the title character in the play is looking to do something different. He finds playing Hyacinth a welcome challenge
Raj Kumar as the title character in the play is looking to do something different. He finds playing Hyacinth a welcome challenge

Greek myth: What is The Hyacinth
In Greek mythology, Hyacinth was a beautiful youth and lover of the Sun god Apollo, though he was also coveted by the god of Wind, Zephyr. Once, Apollo and Hyacinth were playing with the discus. Hyacinth ran to catch it to impress Apollo. He was struck by the discus and he fell to the ground and died.

It is believed that Zephyr, the wind God in a bout of jealousy, caused the discus to go astray and it killed Hyacinth. Zephyr was then filled with regret at what he had done. When he died, Apollo made a flower, the hyacinth, from his lover’s spilled blood.

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