A special performance of the ballet Gandhari, written by well-known feminist Vasanth Kannabiran was performed by Rajeshwari Sainath and troupe (with music composed by flute maestro B V Balasai) at the auditorium of the Telugu University, Public Gardens.
Glimpse of the ballet Gandhari performed at Telugu University
A new book Menaka & other ballets, a compilation of five ballets written by Vasanth Kannabiran, was released by Rajeshwari Sainath before the performance.
The ballet Gandhari looks at silence and speech, greed for power and dharma, through the tales of gods and heroes fighting battles in the name of justice and truth. Through the battle of Mahabharata, the tone of the ballet is set by transforming the power of hate to the healing power of compassion and love. A mother of a hundred sons, Gandhari is the central figure in this ballet. Despite her allegiance to her sons – collectively called the Kauravas – who are considered the villains of the story, the epic attributes high moral standards to Gandhari. She was praised and respected for blindfolding herself so that she could not see the world that her blind husband, Dhritarashtra, could not. Her austere life gave her the spiritual powers that enabled her to see the battlefield even though she was not present there. Her insistence on abiding by principles even in battle was, unfortunately, dismissed and disobeyed. The ballet focuses on her anger and pain at the death of not just her sons but the destruction of men, women and children through war. It touches upon the stripping of the dignity of human beings through acts of deception both on and off the battlefield.
Dinner on the rooftop of Telugu University was a sumptuous spread of varieties of dosa, vada, puri, pongal, piping hot badam milk and jilebis.