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A different take on an epic

Last updated: 12 July, 2011
DHNS 16:58 IST

Engaging Portrayal

The plot of Mahabharat was given a whole new meaning at a dance-drama presentation

Trikon - The War Within, a unique interpretation of the great classical epic, the Mahabharat, was staged recently at Chowdiah Memorial Hall. The production, an amalgamation of dance, drama and music, was produced by the Mudrika Foundation and Gayatri Sriram of The Shruti Laya School of Dance in Singapore.

Trikon, staged by over 50 cast and crew members, shows the audience a different perception of Mahabharat. This production gives the audience the views and ideas from the point of the three main female figures – Draupadi, Kunti and Gandhari. Draupadi, being the main protagonist, is characterised by her energy and vitality while Kunti symbolises purity and Gandhari symbolises pain and dullness.

The plot revolves around the relationship between the Kauravas and the Pandavas and it starts with the scene in Hastinapur where the Kauravas and the Pandavas are at loggerheads with each other for occupying the throne after King Dhritrashtra. Following the death of King Pandu, Yudhishtra is named as heir to the throne which enrages Duryodhana and he plots to kill the brothers to ensure that he be the next in line.

Krishna a distant, but constant figure in the entire play, overlooks the happenings of the play as they proceed. The scenes progress from the marriage of Draupadi and Arjun to the dice scene between the Kauravas and the Pandavas which eventually leads to the infamous disrobing of Draupadi causing her to curse the Kauravas. The Pandavas are then sent to exile but come back to regain their rightful place at the throne.

Dance comprising Bharatnatyam and folk weaves itself into the production along with music. Gayatri Sriram has choreographed most of the show along with her guru Minal Prabhu. The audience was kept mesmerised by the colourful lighting and choreography.

The plot progresses with monologues by the protagonists, speech and dialogue, intercepted by dances by the junior members of the dance schools. The dialogue was in English with ragas and Hindustani classical music sung for the different scenes.

The play also had instances of comedy in the form of Bhima as he carried his portly form around the stage with bursts of comical dialogue that threw the audience into fits of laughter.

Krithika Menon, a dance student, said, “It was a good performance as there was a bit of everything in it, and the actors and dancers have played their parts well.” Dance performances by Gayatri Sriram and the two actors playing Bheema and the devil, evoked great applause from the audience for their captivating quality.

The chief guest at the show, B Jayashree said, “It was a very good effort from the troupes and the costumes were also well designed.”

The play ended with the portrayal of the three female protagonists as the fundamental elements of the Trikon with their actions being an integral part of the Battle of
Kurukshetra.

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