photo: Rachel Dickstein
Rachel Dickstein's Betrothed adapts three texts about women and marriage - Jhumpa Lahiri's Indian tale The Treatment of Bibi Haldar, Anton Chekhov's Betrothed and S. Ansky's play The Dybbuk - and succesively tells each story in highly theatrical, impressionistic terms. Choreography is integral to the stoytelling here, as is the haunting original music which underscores throughout, and the stage pictures are always visually rich and evocative. However, only the first of the three segments - Lahiri's story of a young modern-day Indian girl (sensitively played by Mahiri Kakkar) whose crushed hopes for marriage drive her to neurotic fits - struck me as wholly satisfying storytelling, partly because it is narrated by the ensemble. The other two parts of the triptych, adapted from more familiar works, are abundant in imagery and expressive movement but the price for that is muted dramatic impact. I appreciated their beauty and invention, but as if from a remove.