Reflections on Sutra

Several weeks ago a colleague introduced me to the group Sutra. She had attended a performance of the group in Plymouth and suggested I learn about it. Several days later, I googled the group only to find they were performing at the Lowry, in the Salford Quays when we sould be staying at our time share in nearby  Ambleside.  A dance group of young Buddhist monks, ranging in age from 10-26 would perform ancient and ritualist martial arts movements accompanied by musicians.

The name Sutra literally means a rope or a thread that binds things together. It also refers to the sermons of Buddha. A third interpretation could refer to a set of rules that add coherence.

Contrast, simplicity, ritual and discipline dominated.  The set, a series of wooden boxes, became places of constraint and confinement as well as platforms for liberated acrobatics. Paradoxes fascinated and perplexed us even as we we enjoyed and were amazed by the sheer physicality of the staging.