Bharatanatyam virtuoso Bala Devi Chandrashekhar is all set to take her audience back to ancient times with her solo thematic production Padmavati - An Avatar; A Captivating Love Story that delves into the various nuances of the relationship between Krishna and Radha, through the ashtapadis of 12th century poet Jayadeva and his wife Padmavati.
In an interview to DC, Bala talked about the enduring love story from Shringara Mahakavya and the nitty-gritty of its portrayal on stage. She waxed eloquent about the ecstasy of Shringara and how love is portrayed as Madhurya Prema Bhava- when the individual is filled with love for the Divine. Shringarais the queen of the rasas. This performance is based on Vipralambha Shringara , which is anguish in separation, and the joy in the union of the divine couple Radha and Lord Krishna. The concept is of a soul becoming one with the Divine.
The danseuse emphasized that the lyrical dance-drama brings to life the Sringara Mahakavya from Gita Govindam, drawing the audience in imagination to Vrindavan and making them experience the same emotions that Radha did.
“There are a lot of transitory emotions. When Krishna does not come, Radha feels anger and she cries. The same love story was portrayed by Jayadeva and Padmavati. When Jayadeva wrote the text, he felt like Krishna while Padmavati experienced every emotion Radha must have gone through”, said the danseuse, explaining the juxtaposition of the two couples.
The performance comprises four Acts - Salokyam, Saroopyam, Sameepyam and Sayujyam - taking the audience through the stages of being in His world, taking His form, approaching Him and becoming one with Him.
About its relevance to modern times, Bala said people still look for messages in ancient Indian texts. “Indian classical dance will always stand the test of time and be enjoyed from various perspectives. Values of life are like the sun and the moon. As long as the universe is alive, the universal messages will be alive,” she asserted.
Bala will be performing at the Kartik Fine Arts sabha on December 30.