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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

First-ever Digital Compilation of entire Gita Govinda

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Thiruvananthapuram: Five years of meticulous research have churned out a new-age artistic creation: the first-ever portrayal of the entire Gita Govinda in authentic Kathak.

This is the first such endeavour for any dance.

All the 24 songs in Jayadeva’s celebrated 12th-century Sanskrit poem find the pioneering presentation in the north Indian form, thanks to exponent Guru Dr Pali Chandra and her team backed by Kerala-based Natyasutra-Invis team — overall involving 200 people across 1,000 days.

The feat by Natyasutraonline.com features the choreography of the full text of the 24-prabandh masterpiece featuring the romance between Lord Krishna and Radha besides the sakhis along the banks of the Yamuna.

As the digitised content is set for worldwide distribution, the program will be open to subscribers for different periods ranging from one to five years, according to Natyasutra, a heritage-preserving flagship project of leading content developer Invis Multimedia.

The beneficiaries will be professional dancers, students and culture enthusiasts, points out Switzerland-settled Guru Dr Pali Chandra, a frontline disciple of the illustrious Guru Vikrama Singhe and Guru Kapila Raj. “The videos will be of use also to culture researchers, performing artistes and choreographers across genres,” adds the Lucknow-born maestro, a global ambassador of Kathak.

The programme has been designed based on Natya Shastra and Abhinaya Darpana so that the students of all dance forms can make use of this content in their respective forms.

The learner comprehends every aspect of the original, with the help of Guru Dr Pali Chandra’s 21st-century interpretation. Jayadeva used the Ashtapadi or set of eight couplets to make a song.

The class follows the same blueprint in teaching. Each class has Explanations and Choreography tips, Teaching and Demonstrations, Poem in Action and Performances.

Here, Guru Dr Pali Chandra guides the students in performing the items on stage and for the new media. What’s more, the teacher explains the meaning and nuances of the choreography, while also detailing the music compositions and dance vocabularies.

As the composition was originally written in Sanskrit, subtitles are provided in the performance for a holistic understanding of the text. The literal meaning of the Sanskrit verse is also provided as a separate ‘Poem in Action’ segment so as to help the student understand the core text further.

In this section, Guru Dr Pali Chandra presents the essence of the Gita Govinda through abhinaya with the support of an audio version of the English translation of the classical text.

While all performances have English subtitles, this global language is used for explanations, teaching and demonstrations. The meanings of the Sanskrit verses, too, are provided as English texts.

Natyasutra is also planning to soon bring a set of collaterals related to the Gita Govinda. These include an e-book in coffee-table format, mural paintings, wall decors and curios with indigenous crafts.

The world Jayadeva lived in has changed drastically in the eight centuries since his time, yet his tale of yearning, pain and eventual fulfilment rings true to this day, notes Guru Dr Pali Chandra.

“Lord Krishna and Radha’s tale epitomise the ethos of ancient India’s deeply self-aware approach to love, faith and life itself,” she adds. “The influence of the Gita Govinda on arts beyond dance and music of the subcontinent makes the documentation an invaluable reference material for future generations.”

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