Published On: Tue, Feb 21st, 2017

Delineating the nine Rasas through ballet

BHOPAL : An experimental ballet ‘Rasa Swaroopa’ and ‘Maa’ were staged on Saturday- the second day of three-day-long ‘3rd Rang Utsav Swayam Siddha-2017. Based on Bharat Munis’s Natyashastra, the ballet highlights nine rasas related to love and eroticism (Shringar), Humorous and comic (H?sya). Pathetic and disgust (B?bhatsa), fury and anger (Raudra), compassion and sympathy (Karuna), heroic (Viram), Terrible, horrifying (Bhay?nak), marvellous and amazing (Adbhut).

A Sanskrit word ‘rasa’ means essence or taste. It also connotes an ancient concept in Indian arts about the aesthetic flavour of any visual, literary or musical work, that evokes an emotion or feeling in the reader or audience but that cannot be described. The rasa theory is mentioned in the sixth chapter of the Natyashastra  but its most complete exposition in drama, songs and other performance arts is found in the works of the Kashmiri Shaivite philosopher Abhinavagupta (1000 CE). According to the Rasa theory of the Natya Shastra, entertainment is a desired effect of performance arts but not the primary goal, and that the primary goal is to transport the individual in the audience into another parallel reality, full of wonder and bliss, where he experiences the essence of his own consciousness, and reflects on spiritual and moral questions.

Although the concept of rasa is fundamental to many forms of Indian arts including dance, music, theatre, painting, sculpture, and literature, the interpretation and implementation of a particular rasa differs between different styles and schools. The Indian theory of rasa is also found in the Hindu arts and Ramayana musical productions in Bali and Java (Indonesia), but with regional creative evolution. The programmed concluded with ballet ‘Maa’ which talks about the agony of women.

Choreographed by Chandra Madhav Barik, the ballet was presented by Kriti Ballet and Performing Arts beautifully.  The fest is being organised by Chaitanya Socio-Cultural Society in memory of noted ballet choreographer Gul Bardahan.

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