Well-rehearsed execution

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Interesting choreography and, intelligent planning marked Sreelatha Vinod’s ‘Draupadi’.

Punctuated with interesting choreographic detailing, Sreelatha Vinod’s production on Draupadi reflected intelligent planning and well-rehearsed execution.

The dramatic storytelling included frequent dress changes, specially written rhetorical passages (Prof. Raghuraman), mood enhancing melody (Rajkumar Bharathi) and props (yardage of tissue). The merit lay in their deployment; they did not disturb the plot or the sanctity of the rendering and so remained effective mood highlighters.

‘Pashya, paar!’ urges Krishna as the tired Draupadi falls to the ground. She is climbing the Himalayas with her husbands, after having left the Pandav kingdom for good, when Krishna calls out and urges her to let go of the ‘fire burning inside.’ Egged on by Him, she relives her past, her hopes and her dreams.

Different format

A kavuthuvam-like passage in Adi talam heralded the introduction, with a quick recap of Draupadi’s life. It was a visually exciting way to set the tone for things to come. Descriptive passages set to talam, this time in the pancha nadai format, enhanced Draupadi’s depiction of each her husbands and her marriage to them. The alankara segment in the swayamvara scene set to rhythm in a Kalyani swaram was enjoyable.

There was a twist in the format of presentation as well. Krishna’s persistent questions served as triggers for Draupadi’s recollection, and each episode was preceded by this ritual.

The brief conversation both in Sanskrit and Tamizh, were intoned with good timing and voice modulation by Vanathy Raghuraman (vocal) and Venkatakrishnan (nattuvangam). At times the dark stage presented a dreary effect but one suspects it was a deliberate ploy to reflect the dark mood.

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