This year, we journey towards hasya. In the world of communication, hasya is the magic key. It is a powerful tool to put a difficult point across, to break the ice in a conversation or to simply be happy. We celebrate this rasa with a series of performances by acclaimed artists.
Bharatanatyam by Sonal Mansingh & Mohiniattam by Mandakini Trivedi
Sonal Mansingh’s dancing career started in 1962 when she founded the Centre for Indian Classical Dances (CICD) in New Delhi. Over the years, dance has taken her all over the world and brought her many awards, including the Padma Bhushan in 1992, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1987 and the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian award, in 2003; making her the second female dancer in India to receive such an honour after Balasaraswati.
SUSMITA BY Sonal Mansingh & Group
Uddhav - GopiSanvaad:
“Gopis of Gokul-Vrindavan are still crying, weeping, lamenting, screaming your name the dear friend. You are no longer that cowherd. You are the royalty of Mathura Krishna! People are laughing behind your back. Stop them from such public display of passion.”, said Uddhav to Krishna. Krishna grabs this opportunity to bring out the significant distinction between ‘Neeras-Knowledge of Cosmos’ vizBrahm-gyaan and ‘Saras-Bhakti’ that celebrates loving passionate unconditional devotion. Krishna suggests a visit by Uddhav to Vrindavan, to passifyGopis, giving a lesson on meditation on Formless (Nirguna) Brahman which would naturally stop their loud public lamentations. The ensuing dialogue between the simple Gopis and Brahm-GyaaniUddhav is hilarious. Uddhav is humbled by the overwhelming power of true Bhakti.
Satyabhama – Krishna:
Mirth is something contained in sarcasm and repartees. Here is an apt example from Sanskrit SooktiSagarSangraha. Q & A between Satyabhama and Krishna carries new dimensions of same words and ideas which create hilarity laced with sharp intelligence.
Mohini - Bhasmasura:
How to destroy the EGO of those who want to destroy Creation (from Shiva Puran)
Great Emperors and Kings, even sages with deep Knowledge become tamasik or demonic when arrogance subdues their better sense. By doing terrific penance for many thousand years this Asura-King acquired desired boon from Shiva which would imbue him with the power of burning every-and-anything to ashes as soon as he would put his hand on the person, object, bird, beast, even gods. Pleased with his new-found power the Asura was ready to test its efficacy on Shiva himself. As he advanced, Shiva left the scene in great alarm but Asura chased him. Suddenly Asura’s attention was diverted by the entry of a peerless beauty who enticed him to a dance competition in which the victorious Asura could claim her in marriage! As Asura followed her, even the motion of hand being placed on his own head did not deter him. In a trice Asura burnt to ashes. Mohini revealed her true form as Vishnu. Over-indulgence and arrogance can lead to destruction, therefore purifying mind and thoughts are of supreme importance.
Mandakini Trivedi trained in Mohiniattam under Kanak Rele at the Nalanda Nritya Maha Vidyalaya, and later, under the guidance of Kalyanikuti Amma, Kalamandalam Satyabhama and Kalamandalam Leelamma. An outstanding exponent of Mohiniattam, she has performed extensively at prestigious dance festivals within the country and abroad. She has received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for her contribution to Mohiniattam.
Mandakini has chosen to dive into classical literature which affords many examples of humor. She has chosen verses from Adi Shankara’s Amaru ataka and Vidyakara’s Subhashita Ratna Kosha. The former is a secular love lyric, while the latter is a humorous look at the Gods.
An NCPA Presentation.