Sound of stories
A classical treat is ready to be served in the city as Sai Shree Arts is set to present its next production The Prophet – Destiny, Divinity, Doubt, performed by Savitha Sastry, co-founder of the production house.
The traditional dance form, Bharatnatyam will be used to convey some rarely heard stories to the audience of all races, cultures, nationalities, religious denominations or age.
The story is written by A K Srikanth, Sastry's husband and partner in her company and the music is composed by Rajkumar Bharati.
The Prophet is the story of Devaduta, a woman who came as a saviour in the darkness that enveloped a materialistic and fearful world. She danced to the music of the Gods, and lived amongst the people as a beacon that would lead them to their salvation. But when the beacon burns to become a raging fire, who is the saviour, and who seeks deliverance? Leaving behind this questions the story bounds the audience to think about it.
The story can be followed on two levels. On the surface, it is the story of a woman who raised herself from the dregs only to start to doubt everything she had, once she had it all. On a deeper level, it questions the very sanctity of the concept of a ‘Prophet in a world of equals. The story raises very deep and disturbing questions on what we assume for granted.
Sastry says, 'These productions are far away from traditional classical Indian dance shows. In that they deliver narratives of universal relevance with the grace of Bharathanatyam.' Without ever deviating from the language of Bharathanatyam, Sastry manages to perform the life of Devaduta, with all its complexities and drama from her early childhood to her last days.
Advocating changes in Bharatnatyam, Sastry added, 'I have personally performed and followed Bharatanatyam in its purest form all over the world over. Outside of India it gets crowds - mostly Indian parents and their teenage children, who are being inculcated into the Indian cultural way of life. Whatever in India there isn't even that indulgence. And yet lovers of this art form, critics included, refuse to see this as a problem. It is on this note that my husband and I started to question the fundamental paradox. If the art form was beautiful enough to be considered a cultural treasure, why was it unable to sustain the interest of the audience?
When: 12 April
Where: Kamani Auditorium, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi
Timing: 7pm - 8:15pm