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article imageNew Delhi Ballet Festival recreates Indian myth and history

By Sravanth Verma     May 13, 2014 in Entertainment
New Delhi - The Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra (SBKK) will host the eleventh edition of its annual Summer Ballet Festival from May 9 to May 17 at the Kamani Auditorium in New Delhi.
The festival features four dance dramas. The show opened on May 9, with a play on the life of Meera Bai, one of the most famous women poets in India. A devotee of the god Krishna, she lived in the 1500s and her devotion is still celebrated in India today. "Meera was able to express through her poetry. We went to Mewar to get the poems in the original text to be able to use it in our music," says Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra Director Shobha Deepak Singh.
May 10 featured a performance on the legends and lore of the goddess Durga, and looked at how feminine power takes over the mindless demons of society.
On May 15, the festival will showcase "Karna." The drama is a retelling of the life of Karna, a tragic hero in the Indian epic Mahabharata. The organizers said it is a tribute to all the Karnas who stand denied their rightful place in the social milieu. The final day May 17 will showcase the life of Karthikeya, the warrior son of Lord Shiva who is born to slay the demon Tarak.
"We chronicle their life and use mythology to extend the meaning of these episodes. A lot of research goes into this and we also have to keep in mind that mythologies offer a space which comes with certain boundaries that shouldn`t be crossed," said the 70-year-old Singh. Singh has been associated with the Kendra since 1968 and is a recipient of the Padma Shri, one of India's highest civilian honors.
Speaking of her motivation to stage the dance dramas, Singh says of the general public, "They don`t know the subject at all. Our duty is to inform people what lies below the subject and dance is a vibrant medium to connect with the old and young generations." She hopes people will see that these stories are still relevant in today's world. Her Durga, she says, is not some “far gone goddess,” but is present in the brave acts of women today.
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