MARA is a high-octane dance and musical theatre production that brings to life the diabolical character Mara from Buddhist lore, in a visually entrancing exploration of the human mind and all of its intricacies. Moving away from traditional plot structures, MARA explores the journey of the individual (Jeeva), as she negotiates the dangerous, dazzling maze that is the human mind (Mara). Mara, the demon who infamously attempted to entice Buddha, continues to disract humans from discovering what lies beyond worldly pleasures, the pursuit of true inner freedom. Can Jeeva break free from the chains hat bind her to this world?
Stunning synchrony of movement by fourteen Indian classical dancers and boldly innovative live music– a powerful, heady mix of Indian ragas, brass band jazz, modern funk, and global rhythms – intersects with experimental staging, and multimedia projection by Emmy Award-winning Kate Johnson. The production blends original poetry with dance choreography by Mythili Prakash and music composed and performed by the 9-member Aditya Prakash Ensemble. MARA premiered at the Ford Amphitheatre’s summer series to a sold-out house of 1,200.
MARA brings together the depth of Eastern philosophy, aestheticss of Indian Classical arts, and dynamism of Western stagecraft and music. On a deeper level, MARA carries a message whose relevance traverses boundaries of culture, age, geography, and time. MARA is about life, perception, transformation, and Self-discovery.