Just as Mr.Bee and I were returning home from the Vada Pav stall at the Charlotte Indian Festival,I heard the familiar Hindi number..’Baby Doll…’, which topped the charts not only because Sunny Leone was the lead dancer in it, but also because of the peppy tune.(That’s my guess!)
I pulled Mr.Bee as I wanted to see the performers on the temporary stage which had been set up.
By the time I reached the stage area, the song was over.
As we were returning home again,(we had seen everything in the stalls, eaten what all could be eaten by us), I caught an Image of Krishna on a stall, a very tiny image, I now wonder how I could possibly see it of all the stalls.
Anyway, I stopped to check it out and turns out the Krishna pic belongs to none other than Shobana, playing Krishna in a dance drama.
Mr.Bee knew how much I appreciate all kinds of dances, so before I knew, we bought tickets to Shobana’s Krishna Dance, to be performed at Charlotte,almost 2 weeks after the Indian Festival. (I was ecstatic!)
That was the pic which caught my attention.
After waiting two weeks for the day, we reached the theater, with wet feet as it had been raining all day!
Since taking photos and videos in the theater was not encouraged, I have no pics what so ever…but I searched the net for some stuff and came up with this trailer. Check this one out.
The dance troupe had been travelling across US and had been performing at different places. They had given 19 performances already and 6 more were to be given.
The main set back was that the Krishna’s costume luggage bag had been lost at the airport in Charlotte and Shobana didn’t wear the regular costumes. If the announcement about losing the luggage was not made, I wouldn’t have guessed the costumes were not the regular ones. So far ,so good.
Krishna, as a child who forces Yashoda to tie Him to a stone, was played by Shobana’s daughter, who received huge round of applause.
The teenaged Krishna was played by a very talented girl, who suited the role of Krishna so much , I couldn’t picture her as anyone else in the drama. (Each person played more than one character in the drama. After each scene there was a change of costumes as well)
Enter the middle aged Krishna, Shobana and she had Radha, Arjuna, Rukmini and others running after her.
Few Bollywood songs found a place in the drama. The background voices were given by Shabana Azmi – Gandhari; Milind Soman – Duryodhana; Konkana Sen Sharma – Radha; Nanditha Das – Draupadi ; Prabhu – Bheema etc
As the music and conversations played in the background, dancers emoted with expressions. (The lighting on the stage also varied with scenes. When Krishna was showing His true powers there was Blue lights, when showing evil Kauravas a red; when showing Pandavas an off-white light and during important scenes spotlight was given to individual character, which made the drama look very stunning)
The drama starts with Krishna’s childhood, His birth, His love for Radha, saving Brindavan from the serpent king Kali, marrying Rukmini, marrying off Draupadi to Arjuna, Mahabharata war where Krishna leads Arjuna to kill Karna, Bheema killing Duryodhana and finally the death of Krishna due to the heart broken Kaurava mother Gandhari’s curse.
I loved the scene of Gandhari cursing Krishna for not standing by her sons Kauravas and that not one of the 100 sons were alive. Shabana Azmi voice was an added advantage and the dancer performing it made me emotional too!
The performances I loved are of Arjuna, Duryodhana, Gandhari and Shobana as Krishna and as the director of the play.
I loved the scenes where Shobana is flying the Garuda vahana and when she shows her ViswaRupam during Geeta Upadesa to Arjuna in the battle field.
Overall a well spent evening.
- 15-odd dancers changing the costumes to play so many characters and performing with their heart and soul was clearly visible and for that the team got a standing ovation from us. (Don’t know how the troupe was selected, but it sure was a bunch of talented dancers)
- Teen Krishna performed to Dhoom Machale when He was playing with His friends; ‘Radha Kaise na jale’ was performed by Shobana after He got married to Rukmini, SatyaBhama and had others drooling over Him.
3. I liked the last dance after fighting scene where Shobana gave a good performance. Seemed like she was saving it all till this dance to do it well. Loved it.