'Satyameva Jayate' thrills students

A scene from the dance ballet.

Recently I watched a dance drama performance based on the theme (the latest ballet produced by Vidushi Vidyashree Radhakrishna and her team) at the annual day of dance school Gana Nrithya Academy, Sullia and it was a scintillating performance by the artistes.

‘Satyameva Jayate’ is a recorded music specially tailored for this performance. Popular music director of international fame Praveen D Rao directed the music. Instead of traditional music, they have included Hindustani and light music, which added colour to the show.

The theme ‘Satyameva Jayate’ is highlighted in the Kannada song ‘Govina Geete,’ which is a story of a great cow ‘Punyakoti’. In this song, ‘Punyakoti,’ the cow which is the protagonist is considered as a metaphor for the truth by winning over a cruel tiger ‘Arbuda’. When Punyakoti gets herself ready to be sacrificed to keep up her promise, the tiger Arbuda appreciates the truth and honesty of the cow and repents for its thought of killing her and jumps from the top of the hill and dies, which is the original story. Based on this story, the ballet ‘Satyameva Jayate’ was performed by making some slight changes in the original story.

In the 45-minute long ballet, there are three tigers instead of one. The cruelty of the tigers is seriously shown in the bols (Konnakol) of Praveen D Rao. In the ballet’s one of the scenes, Punyakoti takes permission of the tiger to return to the cattleshed, to bid farewell to her calf. The tiger ‘Arbuda’ thinks that the cow will not come back and orders the other tigers to attack the cattleshed. In another scene Punyakoti gets herself ready to sacrifice herself and appears in front of the tiger. The tiger respects the values of Punyakoti and takes back its order, which is the main attraction of the ballet.

The director of Gana Nritya troupe, Vidushi Vidyashree herself acted as the Punyakoti and added life to the character. Her performance in the middle of the cows, alone and along with her calf was marvellous. She succeeded in creating the real effect of Punyakoti and brought justice to the role. About 10 to 12 students who acted as cows, calves, cowherds and  tigers too have done a good job.

Interestingly, the tiger does not die in this story because Vidyashree feels that the children should not get hurt by killing of animals. “When tiger is an endangered species, killing of tiger has been purposely avoided,” she said and added that the tiger repents a lot and appreciates the values of cow.

When the cow goes to sacrifice herself, Vidyashree makes the audience emotional by her superb acting. At the end of the ballet, everyone feels happy as truth alone wins. The glory of the truth is  beautifully shown in the splendid performance.

The cave with a wide mouth of tiger was well set by expert Jeevanram Sullia. Academy Correspondent Radhakrishna was the person behind the total arrangements of the play. Ballet director and costumes designer was none other than Vidyashree.

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