Dominique Delorme, virtuoso in embodying movement & expression 
by Malathi Iyengar and Lakshmi Iyengar, Los Angeles 
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April 30, 2003 

Dominique Delorme, a native of France and a Bharata Natyam artiste delivered a commanding performance on April 5, 2003 at the Electric Lodge in Venice, California organized by the Arpana Foundation. A series of dances billed as 'Shiva Karanas' dominantly included his own choreographic works in addition to pieces choreographed by Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam. It was a rare opportunity to see someone with so much fervor, knowledge and passion for movement. 

In his choreography, 'Adem Ayem' (The Carnival of Animals), passions were intensified by a display of physical energies and restless weaving of images. For example, he embodied animals that were weak, cowardly, false, and treacherous. There were moments of transformation in which his eyelids would morph into a thin, immovable state when displaying notions of dislike. His display of humor was undoubtedly convincing in his usage of whimsical gestures and facial expressions. When the depicted animal became furious, his eyes opened staring wide. His body extensions revealed an animalistic force through the use of his strong shoulder against the side of his face, his clavicle against the neck, with his pectoral muscles and ribs extended to their fullest. He coupled this forceful depiction with a completely animated face to match the movement.  

'Adem Ayem' revealed Dominique's remarkable dexterity, fluidity, and sheer power. His dance emerged with powerful body language and feelings that were physical, robust, witty, and raw. Every limb showed the nuances of an animal be it an elephant, a bird, a slithering reptile, or a ferocious feline. This dance was enough to capture the imagination of the uninitiated as well as a dance connoisseur. His leaps and jumps inspired by 'Karanas' gave a context that communicated numerous messages in his work. He glided, swayed, and held the audience captive in his ability to use his body intelligently and creatively.  

As a part of post performance discussion, he also shared how he chose to pursue dance instead of medicine which was his parents' wish. This spoke volumes for his exemplification of movement and understanding of the human anatomy. 

Dominique Delorme has studied with teachers: Malavika (France), V. S. Muthuswamy Pillai, Dr Padma Subrahmanyam, Kalanidhi Narayanan, Anuradha Jagannathan, Nattuvangam from Kamala Rani, and music from Sulochana Pattabhiraman. 

Malathi Iyengar has an MFA in choreography from UCLA and is the artistic director of Rangoli Foundation, Los Angeles. Lakshmi Iyengar is a lead dancer and designer for the Rangoli Dance Company.