Sheejith Krishna’s mastery over many styles of dance and his multifaceted talent came to the fore.
The concluding day of Natyarangam’s ‘Bharatham Mahabhaaratham’ rightfully focussed on the most important character of the epic, Lord Krishna. It is difficult to quantify or define Krishna’s roles and leelas, but Sheejith Krishna elaborated on some landmark scenes that marked Krishna’s entry into the Mahabharata, taught a lesson or changed the course of history.
Sheejith’s was a masterful demonstration of skill and sophistication. His mastery over many styles of dance and his multifaceted talent came to the fore. The superb lighting and the wonderful orchestration were proof enough. The music (Jyothishmathi, Sheejith) too had class and the idea of a recurring signature tune (Behag, Revathy) for Krishna was a stylish master stroke. There was also a stunning Krishna frieze in shadow that was recurrent.
Kathakali and Bharatanatyam were presented side by side, the former for an agitated Duryodhana and the latter for a calm Krishna in a rare show of skill.
Sheejith as a fiery Duryodhana was a sight to behold — his gait, his mukha abhinaya, his footwork, his gestures, in short, his very attitude underwent a radical change. A Kathakali orchestra led by Sadanam Jyothi playing Sopana music and Malayalam lyric further authenticated the effort.
The Arjuna-Duryodhana meeting with Krishna on the eve of war was perhaps the warmest of scenes. Sheejith as Krishna offering them a choice of his army and himself and Sheejith as Duryodhana scoffing at Arjuna’s choice were both brilliant portrayals.
The only disappointment that evening was the Draupadi Vastraharan scene where a time lag between Draupadi’s plea and Krishna’s response seemed to mitigate the dramatic effect.
Over the week, one witnessed the Kurukshetra war from so many angles. This time Gitopadesa was given a detailed coverage as was the Viswaroopa.
Arjuna’s supplication was the take-home moment of goose bumps that evening. Sheejith further created a stunning recap with simple friezes of each episode highlighted by spots trained on different parts of the stage in quick succession.
What a brilliant way to end!