Bringing Radha-Krishna's love alive on stage

To mark the Krishnashtami, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts organised a two day 'Gita Govinda' festival in the Capital, at IGNCA. With the nation soaked in colors of Janmashtami celebrations, it was an enthralling experience for Delhiites to enjoy and celebrate the occasion with performances dedicated to Lord Krishna. The festival commenced with a dance production by Centre for Mohiniyattam (CFM), titled 'Deva-Gita', which transported the audience to the magical era of Lord Krishna and his divine love saga.

Inspired from the temple traditions of Kerala, Deva-Gita, was performed in Mohiniyattam and sung reminiscent of the Sopana musical tradition. Keeping the tradition alive and depicting it through the presentation was the main attraction of the show.

The presentation began with an invocation to Lord Krishna of Guruvayur temple, followed by Radha and her sakhi discovering Krishna in the company of Gopis, leaving Radha peeved. The next segment depicts Radha waiting anxiously for Krishna. After a night's futile wait, Radha, initially ecstatic, to receive him, is shocked to find him in a state of disarray. She is upset, hurt and angry. Krishna tries to convince her by professing his love for her, but Radha is unconvinced. When he finally places her head at her feet she is taken aback. She is shocked and expresses remorse. They embrace in love. The performance concludes with the gopis joining them in celebration.

Padmashri Bharti Shivaji has molded her research and unique ideas into Mohiniyattam. The presentation saw the wonderful synergy of Mohiniattam dance with sopanam songs sung in temples in Kerala, which was the highlight of the performance.

On the occasion, Bharati Shivaji said that the essence of this entire presentation is the love of Radha-Krishna. This essence of divine love is unique and formed an integral part of Indian culture through centuries, presenting it on the auspicious occasion of Janmashtami only seemed to enhance its ethos further.

The evening also had performances by Ustad Wasifuddin Dagar, and noted dancer Ranjana Gauhar, and Ranjana Dance Academy on day one. The second day, which was held on August 25, witnessed Manipuri presentation by Guru Singh Ajit Singh, Charu Sija Mathur and Manipuri Nrityasram, followed by Carnatic Vocal of Sudha Raghuraman and concludes with Kathak presentation by Shovana Narayan and Asavari Repertory.

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