Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi
Holi is famous for its revelry of colour in celebration of the love between the divine Krishna and Radha. In northern India, Bhargava filmed the ravishing images of an eight-day Holi festival held in the city of Mathura, mythic birthplace of Krishna. Iyer then composed his score as the musical complement to Bhargava's beautiful visual ballet, drawing at times on the rhythms and chants of the Holi festival; the result is one of Iyer's warmest, most colourful creations to date, as rich melodically as it is texturally, a kaleidoscopic experience.
With cinematography by Bhargava and Craig Marsden, 'RADHE RADHE' explores not only the "festival of colours" aspect of Holi - where celebrants throw vividly hued powders on each other - but also its overturning of social norms: during Holi, everyone enters a state of uninhibited freedom.
More audio-visual poem than documentary, the film aims to convey a sense of the Holi experience. Adding another layer, it incorporates images of Radha, portrayed by Indian-American actress Anna George. Venerated during Holi, Radha's relationship with the god Krishna "personifies our interactions with the forces of nature," Iyer points out. With Bhargava's eye for telling detail even amid the riot of colour and crowds, the film captures not only the euphoric aspects of Holi but also the primal, including a more volatile element in the throng.
Personnel: Vijay Iyer (composer/piano/electronics), International Contemporary Ensemble
- PART I ADORATION, Dawn
- Spring Fever
- PART II TRANSCENDENCE, Thirst
- Purging Rites
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