LIPSTICK Series 1 : Spectrum of Estrogenic Love
LIPSTICK...an icon of womanhood!
Like the varied colors and textures of a lipstick, be it shimmery, matte, glossy or sheer- every woman is unique and special in her very own way.
Spectrum of Estrogenic Love is the theme of LIPSTICK Series 1, displaying the various dimensions of a woman’s love. This production was premiered on the 1st & 2nd of March 2014 at Pentas 1, The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre. Highlighting the alarming issue of domestic violence in Malaysia, this programme was a first of its kind in applying the concepts of Bharathanatyam to express modern day issues. LIPSTICK was held in conjunction with International Women’s Day 2014 and featured a real survivor of domestic violence on stage alongside multicultural dance and music performances.
Amongst the creative pieces exclusively composed and choreographed for LIPSTICK, the ‘Epitaph of Broken Vows’ stood out as an exceptional item, emotionally influencing the audience who were moved to tears by the presence of a survivor, who had broken free from an abusive marriage after 10 years. She was backed by Kamini Manikam, who re-enacted scenarios of her suffering on stage.
Unlike an ordinary dance concert, the audience of LIPSTICK Series 1 were given the opportunity to voice out their support towards violence against women by signing their initials with lipstick at the foyer. Besides that, they were given free souvenir magazine containing designed for the concert. Apart from concert details, the booklet contained important information on domestic violence in Malaysia and on what a victim should do to seek help. Pamphlets on sexual abuse and children safety were handed out by the LIPSTICK team to educate the audience on the issue. Numerous books published by the Women Centre for Change regarding child sexual abuse, teen relationship issues, and handling harmful marriages, were also sold during the event.
The entire production was a new experience both for the artistes and the audience. A new breakthrough in the Malaysia performing arts scene, LIPSTICK Series 1 paved a platform for the unexpected. Concept, choreography, dance, costume design and direction by Kamini Manikam.
- Woman Thou Art Beautiful
This invocatory item describes the beauty of woman by relating her physical attributes to inner values. This dance has been choreographed innovatively in which, bodily movements as per the Bharathanatyam doctrines are suited accordingly to each stanza describing the beauty of the face, limbs and figure, respectively.
- Two Becomes One
Romantic love…every woman expresses her love towards her hero uniquely. The profound emotion of love, known as the Shringara Rasa, encompasses three major components of romantic love- Attraction, Attachment, and Attunement. Incorporating Western and Malay genres of music, this piece explores the heart of a woman deeply in love.
- Epitaph of Broken Vows
A serious and highly emotional monologue featuring the sufferings and sorrows of a Domestic Violence victim, this engaging dialogue challenges the very core principles of relationship and marriage. Here, the concept of Abhinaya is applied to express the various phases of a woman who is lamenting her life that is now in ruins.
- Lullaby from the Womb
This item illustrates the emotions of a woman from the moment she becomes pregnant, her pregnancy stint, birth, nursing, nurturing, right until the stage of her child graduating and getting married. Dedicated to single mothers, this composition features few lines from the famous lullabies of Malay, Chinese, Indian and Western culture; making it a novelty Malaysian lullaby.
- Intimacy with God
A woman’s prayer is believed to make miracles, as her heart is true and pure. For the very first time in the history of Bharathanatyam, the Thillana will be presented in praise of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Sikhism and Islam as practiced in Malaysia. This piece brings across the message that Love is the essence of every religion, hence “All are One, One is All”. Seek God by doing good deeds to humanity; serving with love, compassion and mercy. God is Love; Love is God!
LIPSTICK Series 1 Promo:
LIPSTICK Series 1_Show Snippet:
LIPSTICK Series 1_ Review by Hello on Two_TV2:
LIPSTICK Series 1_ Intimacy with God (full length item from the production):
Mix FM (24th Feb 2014- 2nd Mar 2014):
THR Raaga (24th Feb 2014- 2nd Mar 2014):
For more information about this production, check out #lipstick4humanity
LIPSTICK Series 2 : sHE,feMALE,woMAN
LIPSTICK Series 2 is a brew of dance and music revolving around the equality of the genders. With the previous series showcasing varied spectrums of love enveloping a woman, this second series introduces her counterpart, the male. The Series 2 conception involves the many aspects of impartiality amongst man and woman in their journey, rejoicing in the splendour of unison in life as they traverse its course. The production further dwells into the subject of sexual assault, a dark shady crisis in Malaysia. With added focus on the alarming rates of rape in Malaysia, LIPSTICK Series 2 showcases what it is to be a victim of sexual abuse and its resulting discriminations.
LIPSTICK Series 2 continues the efforts to make Bharathanatyam stand relevant and functional to its time in creating necessary change towards the betterment of the society. Musically, the score of LIPSTICK Series 2 is based on a Carnatic music construct with a smart incorporation of contemporary music. Lyrically, this production exhibits poetic work in various Malaysian languages, further stressing the indispensability of unity among Malaysians in a bid to curb sexual assault and gender inequality in Malaysia. The production also infuses various technical supports such as creative Multimedia projections & innovative stage lighting to enhance the viewing experience and to provide the audience with a firsthand view of the issue and its related facets.
Not forgetting the survivors of rape and sexual assault in Malaysia, LIPSTICK served as a platform to raise funds for All Women Action Society (AWAM) in their efforts to protect these victims and to prevent further victimization of women in Malaysia. LIPSTICK is not just a cosmetic…it has the power to change humanity! Concept, choreography, dance, costume design and direction by Kamini Manikam.
- Homosapien Retold (Dance)
Lipstick Series 2 kicks off with a traditional Bharathanatyam invocatory item, Pushpanjali with a musical twist. Lyrically this item introduces the human being; stewards of nature, entrusted to protect all beings to ensure peace. This Pushpanjali is followed by an Allarippu, a cycle of beats set to rhythmic patterns and combination. Composed in a nine beat cycle known as Sangkeernam, this complex Allarippu signifies the awakening of the human body.
- Masculine & Feminine (Music)
Masculine and feminine are not two separate principles or two opposing energies, but two indivisible aspects of the same consciousness before one identifies themselves as a man or woman. Ancient mythology speaks of Ardhanarishwara, a form half man- half woman, which is one of the first artistic depictions of gender equality among both the sexes. This composition, dating some 600 years old, is a depiction of the masculine and feminine energy. As men and women, we celebrate the differences of our mysterious bodies, we love our diversity, but we always remember deeply our inseparability.
- The 21st century Adam & Eve (Dance)
Varnam, meaning color is the central & most elaborate & difficult item of Bharathanatyam. The underlying predominant themes are usually centered on Gods & Goddesses. However, the Varnam showcased in Lipstick Series 2 revolves uniquely around the concept of gender equality. Lyrically, the Varnam first exposes the predominant aspects of each gender before exploring into the equality amongst these sexes as the Varnam progresses.
- Rise Above & Beyond (Music)
When disharmony happens between the genders, there are some individuals who come together to express their indignation towards gender-based violence and discrimination. This musical piece is a dedication to our beneficiary partner, All Women Action Society (AWAM), who has been striving hard over the last 30 years in advocating an equitable society free from all forms of violence and discrimination.
- Mortal bliss of victimization (Dance & Theatre)
What happens when one decides to find bliss in victimizing another? This is a theatrical story telling of a young girl, who falls prey to the charms of a rapist. Dwelling into this dark issue, Lipstick Series 2 serves as a reminder to the high rising numbers of cases dealing with sexual assault. Including new trends in sexual assault such as via social media and online predatory, this re-enactment intends to create an emotional impact on the audience to make way for a progressive change in Malaysia.
- Bonding with love (Dance)
Our lives are tied by bonds from the start, be it with our parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, relatives, teachers, soulmate and many more acquaintances that shape who we are and who we become. Lipstick Series 2 comes up with an interactive item, discussing the various bonds such as parent-child, teacher-student, man-woman and friendship. It is interesting to note that the languages Malay, Mandarin and English have been used in putting together this medley of bonds.
- Human vs Human (Music)
War has been long the conflict between the human race, occurring ever so often in the history of mankind, creating damage, loss and destruction. This age old culture is still practiced and strongly reflects the survival instincts of human beings, but with devastating effects that continue to grow every year. This instrumental piece is a musical representation of war, be it on the battle fields or in the corners of our hearts.
- Borderless world (Dance)
Although we see various types of love surrounding the lives of man and woman in every stage of their lives, we fail to see universal love that binds us all together, throwing aside creed, gender, ethnicity, social status, religion, and political beliefs. In depicting this, Thillana, the final item of the repertoire, concludes with a message- “We are all ONE; there is only ONE religion called Love and ONE race called Human!”
LIPSTICK Series 2_Promo:
LIPSTICK Series 2_Borderless World:
LIPSTICK Series 2_ Homosapien Retold:
For more information about this production, check out #lipstick4humanity