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Play on Beethoven

HE MADE music from the sounds of silence. And, despite debilitating illnesses, painful losses and disappointments in love, this music was so magnificent that it kept him alive, even centuries after his death. Now, Stagefright is bringing the magic of Beethoven to Chennai with their latest production "Sounds of Silence: The lives, loves, passion and music of Ludwig Van Beethoven." The play, which is being presented by Kalyanmayee, the Airports Authority of India, Chennai Airport and the Women's Welfare Association, has been chosen simply because Beethoven, who produced some of his finest music after he turned deaf, proved that the impossible just takes a little extra effort.

Playwright Roshan Treasuryvalah, who is also the president of the Kalyanamayee, says she did intensive research on Beethoven's life before she wrote the play, which brings together music, theatre and dance. "The shows are being held to raise funds for the handicapped and HIV-affected persons, so we felt that Beethoven would be an inspiring, and apt, choice," she says, adding that his life proves that the "human spirit is capable of rising above illness, poverty and circumstances in which creation would ordinarily seem impossible to attempt."

A recent sneak peek at the play showcased snatches of Beethoven's life — his rather traumatic childhood, shadowed by a domineering, over-ambitious father who pushed his son relentlessly in an attempt to make him the world's greatest composer, and Beethoven as an adult, unlucky in love and hungry with ambition to prove himself. And, characteristic of every Stagefright production, there's some nifty dancing by The Nicholas Dance Academy. Only, this time, instead of rock and roll, it's a hybrid dance genre with jazzed up waltzing and touches of ballet.The play, produced by Roshni Menon and directed by Freddy Koikaran, will be staged on November 5 and 6 at the Music Academy at 7 p.m.

SHONALI MUTHALALY

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