When Pandit Vishnu Sharma pondered over the ideas for his famed composition Panchatantra, he must have seldom realised the repercussions and influence of his work on future generations. Over time, creative adaptations of the literary masterpiece have been witnessed at various avenues, highlighting newer and evolving forms of storytelling.
Last week, the charming animal stories of Panchatantra were subjected to an elegant adaptation of song, dance and drama alongside a session of visual storytelling at Suvachanam, a two-day dance ballet organised by Bharata Nritya Kalaniketan at Mahati auditorium in the temple city of Tirupati.
Organisers of the event chose to narrate the stories in a simple but elegant manner, intermingled with lively action of the artistes and mellifluous rendition of songs tailor-made for the situation. The concert hall filled with boisterous youngsters fell silent as the stories were unravelled one after another.
The performances centred on varied topics like philosophy, politics and human relationships, which were first told through a narration and paintings later by songs and dance. The maiden performance was on ‘Satyam Vada, Dharmam Chara’, touted as a formula for a happy and peaceful life. The phrase when roughly translated becomes ‘Speak the truth and lead a righteous life’. To emphasise on the statement, the story of two friends Ramadoutya and Somachita was enacted. Initiated by a traditional dance, even the minute aspects of the story were recreated with artistes donning several avatars. For example, the elements like trees, rocks and animals, during a journey embarked by two lead characters through a forest, were represented by wide-eyed performers.
The programme was a treat for denizens in the temple city, especially for the children who were relieved from their daily chores and rigours of the current education system.