Raasavrinda brings alive Gita in dance form

Raasavrinda brings alive Gita in dance form

This sacred work dates back to 3,137 BC (5000 years ago). It  is composed of  700 Sanskrit verses that are divided into 18 chapters. There are three sections Karma yoga- the yoga of actions, Bhakthi Yoga-Yoga of devotion and Jnana yoga- yoga of Knowledge. It speaks of the goal of human existence, eternal soul, its liberation, birth, death and gives the accurate knowledge of God. Bhagavad Gita contains the essence of spiritual knowledge which inspires the reader by its timeless wisdom.

As inseparable part of Mahabharatha, Bhagavad Gita is in the form of dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. When Arjuna after seeing all his relatives and Guru keeps his weapons down, unable to bring himself for killing them, Lord Krishna, also his charioteer speaks to him and advices which is known as Bhagavad Gita.
This part, heavily loaded with philosophy of life is good to listen or read. But to present it in the form of dance is a real challenge.

One requires a deep insight of Gita to visualise a theme like Bhagavad Gita which has Drama, ambiguity, mystery, and less scope for dance.

Above all, the philosophy of life which is a very tough task to present in a dance drama.
The abstract themes like atma, moksha, karmabandhana, aatmoddhara , its avanathi is difficult for a common man to comprehend.

A subject that does not encourage a dancer to choose this subject for a dance drama. But Raasavrinda seems to be obsessed by this theme and they did take up the challenge and succeeded too. The way they decided to bring this high intellectual mind and thoughts of Lord Krishna by introducing five dancers at the back who were translating these concepts through dance was commendable.

At the very beginning, a glossary for the play like what is athma, panchabhootha, presence of athma in the body, exit of athma after the body becomes decrepit, karma bandhana, karma sanyasa,  athmoddhara etc. were enacted by a group of dancers which was very helpful as the Bhagavadgeetha talks about it frequently.

   After the entry of Dhrutharashtra (Nandini Eshwar) along with Sanjaya (Swathi) the drama at the  kurukshetra unravels with Arjuna keeping down his weapons, refusing to kill his kiths and kin. The task of condensing 700 verses to 70 or 80 and still convey the message of Krishna itself is a hard task that was done excellently.

The music by Vanraj Bhatia was very absorbing. The attractive voice of Ravindra Sathe and Hriday Merchant held the attention of the rasikas throughout.

Krishna (Revathi Sekar) and Arjuna (Ranjini M A) breathed life in to their roles.
A simple and meaningful costume and an effective presentation that reached  the packed audience were the distinguished features of this dance drama by Raasavrinda. All the hard work of each and every one deserves an appreciation.

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