Tag: 邓丽君唱的夜上海

Ancient drama makes modern connections

first_imgThe cultural extravaganza around the Games has included dance and drama performances in all sorts of ethnic languages from across the length and breadth of Commonwealth nations. So it was rather refreshing to watch Mahkavi Kalidasa’s Sakuntalam staged by Sopanam, Thiruvananthapuram the way the great poet and playwright intended it – in Sanskrit.Sakuntalam being staged at Shri Ram CentreWith a great deal of help from – the rather wonkily translated – English subtitles. The play, staged as part of the Natya Darshan section of Sangeet Natak Akademi’s Desh Parva at the Shri Ram Centre, was designed and directed by Kavalam Narayana Panikkar.The plot of the play is well-known, considering Kalidasa based it on an episode from the Mahabharata. But for the uninitiated, boy meets girl, marries her in secret, impregnates her, leaves her, forgets her and with a little help from a signet ring, remembers her.The character of Vidushaka, essayed by Sajikumar S.L. was intended as both the sutradhar, as well as to provide comic relief – and he did a great job of it, because the play progressed ever so slowly. The sets were sparse, forcing you to focus all you attention on the actors.That is not to say it was boring, not in the least. On the other hand, it turned out to be an exercise in subtlety. For instance, Sakuntala’s connection with nature was repeatedly emphasised by the director, which lead you to the central tension of the play – not between Dushyanta and Sakuntala or between urban and rural populations – but between the natural world and the human intervention that continues to blight it.advertisementThe cast had an able director to lead them – after all, Panikkar is the veteran of ancient Indian theatre.last_img read more

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