Theatre

Kalidasa to be staged in Sanskrit

A scene from Sakuntalam, staged earlier.  

The Samskrita Ranga in Madras was founded by Sanskrit scholar Dr. V. Raghavan in 1958 to promote Sanskrit plays and has, over the decades, staged 50 plays. To mark its 57th anniversary, it will be presenting Kalidasa’s ‘Sakuntalam,’ produced and directed by Nandini Ramani tomorrow, Nov 21, at Sri Dakshinamurti Auditorium, PS Higher Secondary School.

Samskrita Ranga began its journey at the prestigious Kalidas Samaroh in Ujjain with ‘Malavikgnimitram’, which was appreciated by the audience. In 1962, it bagged the Swarna Kalasa Award at the Kalidas Festival with ‘Sakuntalam,’ directed by the founder.

The play’s lead musicians were Prof. B. Krishnamurthi and Prof. R. Vedavalli, who have been associated with Samskrita Ranga since its inception. Since then, it has presented a number of plays at various venues in Chennai including The Music Academy, Narada Gana Sabha and Sri Krishna Gana Sabha.

In 1994, ‘Sakuntalam’ was revived under the supervision of S. S. Janaki, and C. Sundaram assisted by Nandini Ramani. A noteworthy feature of the Ranga has been its annual research volume, which Dr. Raghavan published with a variety of his own articles on Sanskrit theatre and allied topics as well as contributions from scholars around the globe.

Ranga’s Golden Jubilee was in 2008, which coincided with the centenary of its founder, and a special volume of research was brought out on the occasion.

The production of ‘Sakuntalam’ tomorrow is to have minimal stage props; the actors are to enact their roles with gestures and expressions to convey the dialogue. Characters such as sages Kanva and Maricha will render the dialogues without any such gestures.

The hand gestures and dance movements used will follow closely the text of Kalidasa and the stage directions given to the play by commentator Raghava Bhatta. The play will be an abridged version, featuring five major scenes, accompanied by music, both vocal and instrumental.



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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 6:11:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/theatre/kalidasa-to-be-staged-in-sanskrit/article7896645.ece

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