Tales from history

Scintillating show

Tales from history
One often finds sons and daughters of eminent personalities paying a tribute to their late parents. But rarely do you come across grandchildren doing that with the same enthusiasm and dedication.

Marking the centenary celebration of T V Jaisimhadas, the founding member of Prabhath Kalavidaru, Ravindra Kalakshetra dazzled with mesmerising performances presented by his grandchildren.

“My grandfather Jaisimhadas was a musician, mridanga player, sportsperson and an educationist. He started the school ‘Prabhath Shishuvihara’ and was a ‘harikatha’ (one-man theatre) vidwan. All of us feel blessed and proud to commemorate this occasion and pay our rich tributes to him,” said his grandson Bharat R Prabath, who put up the show along with his brother Sharat and cousins Ashwin and Nandini Rao.

The first performance for the evening was a beautiful kathak recital titled ‘Harihara’ presented by Ashwin and choreographed by Nirupama and Rajendra. It depicted the integration of lord Vishnu and Shiva. This was followed by a short playback theatre documentary on Jaisimhadas and his life, ‘Simha Gatha’, by Nandini Rao and her team Yours Truly Theatre.

On the occasion, Kannada actor Srinath also spoke about how his career as an artiste started and how the guidance given by Jaisimhadas led him to attain great heights.

The last performance for the evening was the mega production ‘Kathaastra’, a dance drama musical, conceptualised, directed and choreographed by Bharat and Sharat. The story was taken from an episode of the Mahabharatha written by Kumara Vyasa. Arjuna goes to the Himalayas for penance of lord Shiva to get Pashupathastra. Shiva comes as a hunter to test him. Both shoot an arrow to kill a boar, each claiming to have killed it. Arjuna can’t win over the hunter and prays to the ‘Shivalinga’ by offering flowers. The flowers fall on the hunter’s head which is when Arjuna realises that he has fought Shiva himself. Shiva is pleased with Arjuna’s valour and gifts him Pashupathastra.

The tale, presented through seven forms of world dance, music and 3D animations, enchanted spectators and spoke volumes about the magnitude of effort put in.

“No one has attempted something like this in classical dance before, be it bharathanatyam, kathak or yakshagana. We have tried to present a 360 degree coverage with poems as well, in ‘Kathaastra’,” said Bharat.

“We wanted to present it especially for today’s youth who has lost connect with their roots like the Mahabharatha and Kannada literature. There is a different flavour to the performance, with both virtual and real settings and the play of shadow and light. We used the hologram technique to depict the Himalayas. It took us three months to put this novel production together and the experience has been nothing short of enriching,” he added.

Freedom fighter H S Doreswamy was the guest of honour on the occasion.
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