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Shovana Narayan's kathak - Yudhishthir and Draupadi

Yudhisthar and Draupadi

The dance-theatre 'Yudhishtir and Draupadi' has been performed several times, not only in Delhi but also in Nepal, Punjab and Kerala. It has won raving reviews all over. This production, even though based on an event in one of our great epics, 'The Mahabharata', yet is so contemporary, as it explores various facets of human nature. It could be the story of any person; it could be articulating the innate unsaid feelings of a person. It makes a person think, laugh, sympathize, enjoy but above all …..  it talks about relationships which are eternal  ….  traditional yet so very modern!

Shovana Narayan, perhaps India's most renowned Kathak danseuse, and Sunit Tandon, well-known theatre personality, combine to produce a most riveting enactment of Pavan K. Varma's critically acclaimed book: 'Yudhishtar and Draupadi'.

The broad story of Mahabharata is well-known. Draupadi, the Princess of Panchala, is won by Arjun, the archer par excellence among the five Pandava brothers. But Draupadi, against her will has to marry all five Pandava brothers, because Kunti, her  mother-in-law, not knowing that her sons had brought Draupadi with them, pronounced the words written in stone: 'All of you enjoy what has been obtained'.

Yudhishtar, the eldest of the five brothers, was the first to be with Draupadi, even  though Arjun had won her and she was prepared only to marry him.

Pavan K.Varma's book explores the fascinating relationship between Yudhishtar and Draupadi. Draupadi was not like most of the other women of her time – submissive and yielding. How did she react to Yudhishtar , and why did Yudhishtar, sober and reticent by personality and inclination, fanatically gamble away all his Kingdom and wealth, and, last of all, his own wife, Draupadi?

Excerpts from some reviews

"..Draupadi's passion in Kathak and verse….Divided in space, not separated in light, Shovana with a superb control over the medium of Kathak ex-pression and rhythm, gesture and body depiction, evoked Draupadi's inner turmoil, responding to Sunit Tandon's measured speech…"
                  (Kavita Nagpal, The Times of India)

" Yudhisthir and Draupadi is the story of the relationship between a man and woman, which vary individually and is a world opaque to the outsiders' written by Pawan K.Varma. This extraordinary sensitive work fittingly brought to life by Shovana Narayan as well as the narrator Sunit Tandon, delves deep in the recesses of mind to explore with how emotions evolve in a singularly peculiar relationship between a man and woman…..The performance of the danseuse, the narrator and the accompanying musicians – all summed up, can only be described in superlatives!"
                                      (The Rising Nepal)

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