A few days back, I got an opportunity to attend a very special dance program presented by a group from Delhi, named as Sadhya. The program was special because it was a mixture of Kathakali and Chhau styles, based on a very historical story and delivered with technical support of audio-visuals.
The presentation was based on the popular story from Mahabharata where Pandavas lose everything including submitting themselves as slaves to Duryodhna. At the end, Yudhishthra even loses Draupadi and from being a queen and daughter-in-law of a dynasty she becomes a servant. Not only this, she, in front of all the elders and countsmen of the kingdom, was supposed to be disrobed: an attempt that failed because of her striking devotion to Lord Krishna. Here two points were proved: one that when everybody, literally everybody, else leaves you, there is only God that you can resort to; second that Draupadi was of the highest character as a woman. She proved to the world that she could bank upon God for help.
There could not be a higher ignominy heaped on a married woman than this–so, another point that comes out is that God, when decides to take care of you as a whole, does let you suffer in worldly matters. He does make you suffer at the hands of people who does not have a heart or who does not like to consider a thing called God. By this, as they call it, he dusts you off from your worldly and often limiting qualities that mar the mergence (called सायुज्य in those terms).
To have a dance performance on this theme was itself a unique opportunity and combining so powerful forms of dance and displaying martial art so particular to Orissi dances was of course a thing to watch and enjoy. I would like to congratulate the whole team for such a fine performance and on even taking up this topic to such an artistic level.
Santosh Nair was the creative director of the whole presentation and to put it in simple words, the presentation was a sort of revelation for me. It was very powerful, elegant and riveting. The music was so fitting and enhancing the effect of moves of the dancers, who did possessed a lot of control.
One particular thing I liked was the Sanskrit Sloka that Bhima recited when Dushashna pulls Draupadi by her hair. It was so powerfully delivered that I could even move my body at that time.
Very sadly, I could not take pictures because camera uses flash and I should not have used that flash to destroy the visual effects and disturb the audience. But very fortunately, I was provided with a couple of photgraphs by the group itself. Many thanks to them.