is a brand new piece of dance theatre and a contemporary vision
of the epic ancient Indian poem. This powerful production features
an international ensemble of 26 dancers, singers and musicians,
and a specially composed score by celebrated musician, Nitin Sawhney.
The productions has its world premiere at Sadler's Wells on Wednesday
25 April 2007 and tours the UK until July 2007.
ensemble cast creates the story of the Mahabharata as seen through
the eyes of Draupadi; a woman who defies her destiny to become wife
to five brothers and who, lost in a game of dice, becomes the catalyst
for the world's most terrible war.
by Stuart Wood and written by Olivier Award-winning lyricist Stephen
Clark, the story inhabits a mythic world created through dance,
song, spoken verse, Sanskrit prayer, chant and choric storytelling,
reflecting the classic Indian tradition with a contemporary sensibility.
Stuart Wood says "it is more than 20 years since Peter Brooks'
seminal version of the Mahabharata. It's now time that this extraordinary
story can be seen again in a new light."
winning Nitin Sawhney returns to Sadler's Wells after creating the
score for Akram Khan's critically acclaimed zero degrees. Alistair
Spalding says "Nitin Sawhney's renowned ability to create a
contemporary sound combining Western and Indian traditions makes
it absolutely fitting for him to take on the music score for a modern-day
Mahabharata. I'm sure that this, his first major score for dance
theatre will re-affirm his place as one of today's most prolific,
influential and diverse music makers."
Sharma Tripathi, one of the country's leading kathak exponents and
choreographer for Akram Khan, has created a new dance language for
the piece, using a kathak vocabulary seen through a contemporary
dance perspective. This language is enriched through puppetry work
created by Sue Buckmaster Artistic Director of Theatre Rites.
OF THE MAHABHARATA
written in more than one hundred and ten thousand stanzas the Mahabharata
is considered the cornerstone of ancient Indian legend. The central
story is a family feud between two groups of rival cousins, the
five Pandavas and the hundred Kauravas.
second of the Pandava brothers wins the hand of the beautiful princess
Draupadi at an archery contest. Taking his prize home, his mother
unwittingly tells him to share it with his brothers. No word, once
uttered in Mahabharata can be undone, and she is married to all
five brothers. Duryodhana, eldest of the Kauravas is born to the
sound of wolves and jackals. He is consumed by greed and hate of
the Panadavas. Knowing Yudhistira, head of the Pandavas, and his
weakness for gambling, he challenges him to a game of dice.
by the game, Yudishtira loses everything; lands, kingdom, his brothers,
himself, even Draupadi. She is about to be stripped naked in front
of the court when Krishna intervenes and performs a miracle to protect
her modesty. Finally the Pandavas are condemned to thirteen years
in exile. Draupadi swears revenge on the Kauravas. She shames her
reluctant husbands to fight.
the verge of the battle, Arjuna surveys all the kin who will be
slain and cannot face his part in it. Krishna, his charioteer, stops
the wheel of time and delivers the Bhagavad Gita. He reveals he
is the Lord of the Universe and imbues Arjuna with a deeper understanding
of his dharma.
battle begins. It is the start of an apocalyptic war which sees
mass destruction and bloody atrocity. When the war is finally over,
and almost all soldiers on both sides are dead, one of the few survivors
of Durydhan's camp kills Draupadi's children in their sleep. Hate
and revenge never seem to end. Yet Draupadi unexpectedly turns the
wheel of fate in a new direction.
is the story-telling dance tradition of Northern India. It combines
virtuosic physical dexterity, energy and passion (Flamenco derives
from Kathak) with a narrative sensibility. It combines sculptural
beauty with a dance idiom that directly explores the themes and
events in the world of the Mahabharata and the cosmos of the Hindu
- 28 April
London EC1R 4TN
Tickets £10 - £35
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- 19 May
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- 26 May
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- 23 June
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- 30 June
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- 8 July
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