Yoko Ono’s solo, lone performance in Delhi, India, at the India Habitat Centre last night (15 January 2011) was a distinctly odd event.
The auditorium was packed to the gills, with an orderly and clearly enthusiastic audience, all seated a good half an hour before the performance began.
Because I suppose that’s what it was.
Ms Ono looks amazing for 78, absolutely fantastic, with her trim figure, snappy dressing, and sort-of-Michael-Jacksonesque hat. Oh, and the trademark dark glasses, of course.
Ms Ono moved around the staged with a mike, looking fit as a fiddle.
The 2 Indian musicians, a sitarist and a tabalchi, looked elegant and smiled and were models of the best kind of Indian elegance.
As for the rest…
…the best I can say is that it was rather like watching a sloshed relative at a party who grabs the mike and thinks she can sing. And dance.
Off-key careening is the word that comes to mind. Lots of shouting and panting and wailing and a few lines in English, and the 2 lovely Indian musicians valiantly accompanying her, while she tripped around the stage, wiggling her hips from time to time.
Ms Ono performed 2 songs (?) which lasted an ear-splitting 30 minutes. I swear I saw the musicians smiling at each other in a sort of “oh what the heck?” kind of way.
Interval = about 15% of the audience voted with its feet, including my husband and son.
They missed the best bit which was the Q & A.
All the inevitable questions about John Lennon – “Does he still live in your heart ?” – I ask you, what a daft question.
What is your favourite song ? I suppose the questioner meant a Beatles song, as opposed to her own, and I don’t think she really replied.
Do psychedelic drugs enhance creativity ? Ms Ono gave a not really specific answer, and then when the questioner persisted, turned away.
She was much more of an appealing figure answering/not answering questions, so I am glad I stayed. She made many of we ladies of a certain feminist generation cheer (and we were quite numerous, I was happy to see) with some of her answers to questions like “What is women power ?” (Obviously asked by a man)
Ms Ono talked a little about the Beatles and John Lennon and made a rather endearing comment about how much she was hated after the Beatles broke up, saying “I was not a very hateful person before.”
Glad I saw her in person. But sitting through another performance ?