Analysis Of Dance By Saoli Mitra

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Saoli Mitra uses the tradition of kathakata for both her plays – NathabatiAnathabatand Katha Amrita Saman.Kathakata is an indigenous folk form of story-telling in Bengal. In the Bengali translation of ‘Narrative Theatre’ written by Saoli Mitra, Saoli says that the idea of performing the play, NathabatiAnathabatin the folk tradition of Kathakata came naturally to her. It is quite interesting to hear from Saoli that she never saw Kathakata before 1983(NathabatiAnathabat’sfirst performance). Saoli defines the Kathak as a narrator, a story-teller in pre-modern Bengal who would narrate the major Hindu scriptural texts with verbal and musical embellishment. Such performers were mostly males paid to perform at annual rituals or family rites of passage.…show more content…
Pandavani (about the Pandavas) is a narrative ballad form of Chattisgarh, sung primarily by the Pardhan and Devar castes, which is based on the stories from the Mahabharata. Since the epic was read by and was accessible only to upper castes, a body of folk poetry developed around it that became popular in villages and among lower castes in forms that are a little different from one another – Kapalik literally, from the forehead, and Vedamati, based onthe Vedas. The former uses the outline of the Mahabharata but has Bhim as its hero. It is highly improvisatory, freely bringing in local legends and myths stored in the head, which exist in the collective popular consciousness. The latter bases itself strictly on the epic. The Kapalik performer stands and moves around, incorporating song, dance, and acting to create a solo theatrical show. Vedamati consists of pure ballad- singing from a seated position. It features mostly a single performer who sings the couplets form the text, set to folk tunes. The singer uses a rural three- stringed tambura with bells tied at one end with castanets, symbols both as accompaniment and as props, the performer brings alive the characters, their traits, moods and situations while sitting on his knees. There are other instrumentalists also. The singer-actor also provides explanations of the couplets as he goes along. In some cases, there is the…show more content…
Her Kunti has her head covered with the palavso folded that its black covers part of her forehead. Gandhari has her fingers over her eyes. The large theme handled with greater assurance in the first half of the play somewhat slows down the second. The narrative follows chronology, but not strictly so. References to the result of act being described and the weave of character study with events make for an idiom that’s more inventive, more intricate. Characters are evoked with minimal gestures, like a look, the play of fingers, the postures of the body, a versatile use of the anchalof the sari. Counterpointed with intonations of the voice, these create a montage of fine images. A voice and eyes laden with desire creates Parashar. The narrator’s voice takes on the innocence of wonder for Gandhari as the wide-eyed bride discovering the beauty of the plains; a pained look and stifled cry for Kunti when Pandu asks her for heirs. There is a delicate shift in moods often set by the music. The tripping tune that announces the wedding preparation of Uttara and Abhimanyu changes in tempo and becomes strangely moving as it describes Shubhadra’s meeting with Arjuna after the long exile. And the light hearted tone describing the wedding takes on an

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