Mangalore, Sept 15, 2014: Bharatanatyam and dance connoisseurs in the city are up-beat and gushing about the coming event which will break new ground in this discipline of dance set to create a new genre. ’Mangalore Today’ provides a preview of this exclusive programme, with highlights from the details provided by - Ms. Radhika Shetty, Artistic Director, Nrityaangan, Mangalore.
‘The Prophet - Destiny, Divinity, Doubt’, performed by Savitha Sastry and presented by Nrityaangan, Mangalore. This production premiered in Bangalore in Oct, 2013 and then embarked on a national and international tour, Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, as well as USA. This second phase of the year will see ‘The Prophet’ performing at Mumbai, Mangalore, Surat, Baroda, and South Africa. In the footsteps of her highly acclaimed productions ‘Soul Cages’ (2012) and ‘Yudh’ (2013). ‘The Prophet’ comes to Mangalore on Sep 21st - Canara High School Auditorium, Dongarkery at 6:30pm. So, mark this date as very special all you great folks in Mangalore.
‘The Prophet’ brief synopsis:
In the darkness that enveloped a materialistic and angst filled world, she came as a saviour. She danced to the music of the Gods, and lived amongst the people as a beacon that would lead them to their personal salvation. But when the beacon burns to become a raging fire, what is a ’saviour’, and who seeks deliverance? This is the story of a Prophet-of her destiny, her divinity and her doubt. ‘The Prophet’ is brought to you by the same team that presented ‘Soul Cages’ (2012) and ‘Yudh’ (2013). This is a production that carries within it an intensity that will leave the audience thinking and feeling about it for a very long time. The stunning audio visual accompaniments, the out–of–the–box musical score, and the achingly exquisite choreography and denouement of the presentation adds up to something far more than an evening of entertainment - it becomes an experience.
‘The Prophet’, a story written by AK Srikanth, follows the life of a woman named Devaduta as narrated by herself. Devaduta’s life started in the slums of a non-decrepit town where her beauty seemed out of place from the ordinary. Even as a young child she braved the worst that life had to offer, including a relationship with her abusive father. Always an introverted and withdrawn child, she starts to hear a Voice that spells out the ‘path’ to her.
Devaduta runs away from her town, finds employment in a dance academy and discovers her natural talent for dancing. The kindly Guru of this academy trains her and she blossoms into a dancer of such repute that audience and critics believe she reaches a divine plane through her exquisite art. Devaduta also goes on to help the downtrodden making use of her fame and wealth. This, coupled with the fact that she kept hearing a Voice make her known as the living Messiah, or the Prophet.
Savitha Sastry: “India’s foremost Bharatanatyam exponent who has changed the face of the art form with her modern productions” were the words of a critic from the Sunday Herald. This critic accurately describes the emotions of thousands of the audience world-wide, who have witnessed her productions ‘Music Within’, ‘Soul Cages’ and ‘Yudh’. Savitha has been affectionately labeled the ‘Dancing storyteller’ by critics and audience, and is widely credited to be the architect of the renaissance of Bharatanatyam in this age and time.
In a world where cinema and television have taken over the mantle of the top entertainment forums in the minds of the people, Savitha has left her audience stunned with her artistry, technique and the ability to communicate intelligent stories through the subtlety of Bharatanatyam forms. Never before has a classical dance presentation had this kind of effect on the wide audiences.
‘The Prophet’ is a production of the acclaimed production house – Sai Shree Arts. This organization is the brainchild of Savitha Sastry, the renowned Bharatanatyam artiste who is widely credited as having changed the ground rules of how this ancient art form is conceptualized, presented and perceived, and her husband AK Srikanth, a corporate executive by weekdays and a weekend author of stories outside that world. The husband-wife duo is recognized for bringing about a kind of renaissance in this ancient art form by marrying the aesthetics of Bharatanatyam with the power of an intelligent and novel storylines. The overwhelming success of their last three productions have validated their belief that Bharatanatyam can be completely appreciated by the uninitiated, without compromising on any aspect.
The performance is embellished with Rajkumar Bharati’s astounding background score – with the use of instruments as varied as the Shehnai, Zitar, Ghatam, Melodica, and the Oboe. The musicians in the orchestra read like a who’s-who of the music world such as Pandit Ballesh, of ‘Rockstar’ fame on the Shehnai, Kartik on the Ghatam, and Embar Kannan on the violin. It has been exquisitely mixed in Sai Shravanam’s Resound India studio, which was also the venue for the mixing of the Oscar nominated ‘Life of Pi’ soundtrack. Savitha Sastry’s choreography and artistry raise the bar.