Rangayana's performance of Apsare was pale
Rangayana's performance of Apsare as part of the Bharath Rang Mahotsav appeared somewhat pale and ineffective. One could not but recall the energy and élan with which Rangayana had enacted Maya Sita in the Koodiattam style at the Rangashankara theatre festival only a year ago.
A translation of Kalidasa's famous romance Vikramorvasheeya, (by Dr. J. Shrinivasa Murthy), Apsare is perhaps the first production of the play in Kannada. Directed by Chidambara Rao Jambe, who also happens to be the directo r of Rangayana at the moment, the play was rather eclectic in style and contained elements of many traditional Indian forms. What the play lacked most was energy and freshness. Though the language was closer to modern Kannada, there was no obvious attemp t to bring the interpretation closer to our times. The artistes too appeared to lack the physical form and elegance the roles demanded. The costumes did not improve matters either. In fact, when the romantic hero, Pururava, made his first entry, followin g the demonic laughter, he was himself mistaken for the demon chasing the apsaras. The classical tunes, though competently rendered by Srinivasa Bhat, grew a little monotonous after a while. Though there were some brighter moments in the play, one could not help feeling a little let down. LAXMI CHADRASHEKHAR