Capturing feminine voices in spiritual poetry

Madly Divine

Capturing feminine voices  in spiritual poetry

Noticing the unnoticed, eminent Bharatanatyam dancer Rama Vaidya­n­athan will present a performance based on the work of two female spiritual poets from the medieval period.

Organised by Kri Foundation’s Dasham Dakshinam series, the recital will capture the feminine voice in the spiritual poetry by 13th century Marathi poet Janabai and 14th century Kashmiri poetess Lalleshwari, better known as Lal Ded. The recital is part of the Foundation’s Dasham Dakshinam Series as it celebrates its 10th anniversary. Dasham means 10 and Dakshinam means offering.

“One of our aims is to promote performing arts. We chose Bhara­ta­n­a­t­y­am for it. But we wanted to showcase the dance form’s association with some unconventional languages. So apart from Marathi, a Kashmiri po­et’s work will be danced up­on,” Arshiya Sethi, the managing trustee of Kri Foundation, tells Metrolife.    

Both Janabai and Lal Ded were female mystic poets, who went through tremendous hardships before they were recognised for their inspiring thoughts, as their writing kindled spiritual awa­kenings.

The event is also a salute to woman power as both poets in their journeys as savants, crossed barriers of social no­rms to fearlessly express their love for the Supreme Being. As they were castigated and praised at the same time, they were known both as ‘mad’ and ‘divine’, accounting for the title ‘Mad and Divine.’

“They fought against the regressive customs of society. They won and talked about peace and love. We still need to talk about it, why? Maybe its time to hear them,” she says. 

The recital based on Janabai’s Abhangs and Lal Ded’s Vakhs aims at recognising these women as strong opponents of a society based on regressive customs. 

This programme is dedicated to another fearless woman of contemporary era, veteran freedom fighter Capt. Lakshmi Sehgal, who passed away in recently. “The poets are wo­m­en, the presenter is a wom­an and it is a dedication to strong women,” says Arshiya.
The recital will be held at IHC on 13 August, 7 pm
onwards. Entry is free.

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