Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Paying respect to womanhood through ‘Draupadi’

Neha Saini
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 16

drauDraupadi, as most would agree is the most prominent and fancied character from Mahabharat. There have been many inspired writings and portrayals of the character considered a strong embodiment of Indian womanhood.

And so the dramatised and a contemporary version of the character was at the centre of things when Lokadharmi Theatre Group presented Draupadi at the National Theatre Festival here on Sunday.

The Kerala-based theatre group enthralled the audience with an impressive play which tried to analyse the modern womanhood through the epic character.

It searched the many layers of complexity by which the motif of Draupadi exists in the psyche of Indian women and the reality of her life.

“Draupadi is an archetype for women of all ages. She was married to five men with virtues, yet never given her due respect and acknowledgement for her individuality. She was a woman with great intelligence and remained aware of her circumstances,” says the director, Chandradasan.

“Even when she rebelled against all odds, she couldn’t break through her constraints and this is where she becomes a representative of the contemporary women, who is aware and also tied into the archetypes of family and morality fed deep into her,” he adds.

Inspired by the idea after reading Yajnaseni, a novel written by Pratibha Ray, Chandradasan decided to represent the character as a symbol of both, modern Indian women and the marginalised segment.

The play made use of several props like paintings of many known women like Sylvia Plath, Madhavi Kutti, Taslima Nasrin, Silk Smitha and more.

It also brought in some great set design and drama with masks, puppets and innovative lighting on stage. The artwork, which plays a central prop in the play, was by renowned artist Shobha Menon.

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