From destroying demons to stealing young maidens’ curd and butter, the well-known and most-loved episodes from the life of Lord Krishna were retold here in the dance-drama.
Titled ‘Naatya-Katha: Krshna’, the solo performance by by Padma Vibhushan winning Odissi dancer Sonal Mansingh was staged as part of the 19th Bharat Rang Mahotsav at Kamani auditorium here.
Written and directed by Mansingh, the production dramatised the ancient form of story-telling, with the danseuse’s exemplary ‘Abhinaya’ and ‘Mudras’, complemented by her singing and narration skills.
“Storytelling or katha is an ancient art in every part of the world but in India it acquires extra dimensions by interlinking narrative stories, myths and legends,” Mansingh said.
The danseuse also incorporated different devotional songs written by poets like Narsi Mehta and Meera among others to add to the fervour of the performance.
Starting from Krishna’s early childhood, 72-year-old Mansingh enacted significant episodes from the Hindu God’s life including the killing of ‘Putana’ the witch, ‘Bakasur’ the demon, and evil serpent king ‘Kaaliya’, besides several tales narrating his playful behaviour with ‘gopis’, his relation with mother Yashoda and brother Balaram.
She also recreated effortlessly the intensity of the Krishna’s meeting with his poor childhood friend Sudama, using her expressive communicative style.
The performance was accompanied by music played on a variety of instruments like flute, pakhawaj, synthesizer, and tabla, besides miniature paintings in the background, that added to the “visual richness and delight” of the play.