Behind every great man stands a greater woman; this was true especially of Scheherezade, the heroine of One Thousand and One Nights. In order to save herself from the chopping block — her new husband, Shahryar, beheads all his wives after the wedding night — Scheherezade tells half a tale every night, so that Shahryar postpones her death to hear how each one ends. Scheherezade tells him of Aladdin, the guttersnipe who wins a throne through bravery and intelligence, and Ali Babba, a humble woodcutter whose honesty and integrity allows him to survive the predations of bandits, and noble Sinbad, a merchant whose humility and generosity grants him a long and prosperous life of adventure. In addition to saving herself, Scheherezade gives Shahryar a moral education — she molds him into a better person, one who learns to love his wives rather than kill them. Dances of India interprets these three tales through the beauty of classical Indian dance in the performance, Songs of Scheherezade, at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday (October 8 and 9) at the Edison Theatre (6445 Forsyth Boulevard; 314-935-6543 or www.dancesofindiastlouis.org). All performances are narrated for those who may be unfamiliar with some of the plots. Tickets are $15 to $20.
Fri., Oct. 8; Sat., Oct. 9, 2010