Dance ballet to unravel history of Xians, diocese

300 artistes to perform for 80 minutes tomorrow

Many are excited to celebrate the post centenary silver jubilee of Mangalore diocese on February 11 and 12.

However, not many are aware about the history of the diocese. ‘Chaithanyodaya,’ a multi-media presentation of dance, drama and visuals which will be performed by 300 artistes on February 12 at Nehru Maidan is all set to introduce the rich history of the diocese to its people.

The ballet ‘Chaithanyodaya’ depicts the birth, growth and future of Mangalore diocese. Speaking to Deccan Herald, Director of the Ballet Rev Fr Denis D’Sa says, “a suggestion  to present the history of Mangalore Diocese came up at the first centenary-jubilee celebrations committee meet. Hence, it was decided to have the multi-media format of dance, drama and visuals and I was given the responsibility by the core committee.”

“The planning for the play began eight months back. We conducted a series of meetings with eminent lyricist Sumukhananda Jalavally, historian Rev Fr Pius Pinto and others and after a research of 3 months, Jalavally came out with the lyrics of the ballet,” says Fr D’Sa and adds that the same was sent to the Cine Music Director Praveen D Rao in Bangalore in December. 

Rao composed the tune and the recording was done in Film Studio, Prabath in Bangalore in the last week of December. The total duration of the ballet was two and a half hours. The recording took place for two weeks.

“Since, we had time constraints and were given only one hour and 20 minutes, the same content was edited to the present size without disturbing the flow of the story,” says Fr D’Sa.

The Choreography was started in the first week of January by veteran Bharathanatyam dancer Marybini.

“We then started training 300 artistes from Alva’s College, Fr Mullers, St Joseph Seminary, St Antony’s ashram and White Doves on January 10. The video shooting for the visuals started in the last week of January and the visuals were mixed on February 10,” adds Fr D’Sa.
The play
Speaking about the highlights of the play, Fr D’Sa says that the play will begin with the history of creation, birth of Jesus, his preachings and disciples. More focus will be on St Thomas, disciple of Jesus who came to India. Then the important incidents that happened from the 1st to the 16th century will be shown briefly. Arrival of St Francis Xavier to India will be shown, followed by the migration of Christians from Goa to Canara. “The play will also emphasise on the integration of Catholics with the local culture with a dance on celebration of Monthi fest,” says Fr D’Sa.

Later, persecution of Christians in Srirangapatna by Tippu Sultan will be shown. “In this play, we will be portraying an incident that happened in Kirem Church in Kinnigoli. When Christians were persecuted and the church was attacked, the local Bunt community came to rescue,” says Fr D’Sa.Finally, the establishment of the Mangalore Diocese in 1887, the first Bishop Pagani and various milestones achieved by the diocese will be portrayed.

“We plan to end the play with various enlightenment, empowerment, educational, social service initiatives taken by the diocese,” concludes D’Sa.

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