Dance

The message of peace

Dancers at the show.  

Kathak dancer Shovana Narayan and her disciples along with a few Buddhist monks made a unique combination to present a ballet at Ravindra Bharati last week. This was organised by World Buddhist Culture Trust and supported by Department of Culture and language and Tourism of Telangana government.

These half a dozen Buddhist monks belong to Tibetan Buddhist tradition, now settled in Karnataka. The dance group consisted of Shovana’s students — eight dancers from Delhi. The intention behind this is to spread the message of Buddhism..

The focus of the ballet was Emperor Ashoka. The dancers group first arrived on the stage and presented what they called ‘Dance of Harmony’. It details the inherent qualities of human being segregated into three sections — ‘Satvika’ (peaceful), ‘Rajasa’ (dignified) and ‘Tamasa’ a bit self aggrandisement. It was Satvika that the Buddhists inherit, while the other two were experienced by us in day to day life. These aspects were revealed in the dance part. With entry of the character of Ashoka, donned by main dancer Shovna, the dance moves forward to show the futility of war and the eventual search for peace. In between there was a story of a woman named ‘Kisa’, a happy mother with child. While the mother was narrating the story of a bird to her sick child, the child suddenly dies. She asks Buddha to bring her child back to life. To convince her and also to earn solace for her, Buddha exemplifies the impossibility of getting one back to life. The mother Kisa is convinced with the wisdom in Buddha’s words. This part was the best in interpretation of the theme in dances.

There was another story narrating how Buddha moved to Gaya, to find solace from suffering to the mankind.This part had the Buddhist monks participating in the action.

While the girls were dancing on the stage, the monks were seen moving on a raised platform chanting mantras. An interesting blend of dance and spiritual message.

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Printable version | Jan 9, 2021 2:17:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/dance/the-message-of-peace/article8446525.ece

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