17 Nov 2023, Fri, 8pm
18 Nov 2023, Sat, 8pm
19 Nov 2023, Sun, 3pm
Esplanade Theatre Studio
Adapted from the folk tale Naga mandala by Girish Karnad, this dance production uses the gigi pada where artists become narrators, actors and storytellers.
In depicting chauvinism of rural India where women still lack a voice, the story revolves around a newlywed couple. The protagonist Rani is sad and lonely because of her husband’s disinterest in her. One day she is led into a mystic forest where she finds a flower to create a love potion. However, this potion is eventually thrown onto an ant hill and unbeknownst to Rani, a shape-shifting snake lives in this ant hill. The snake falls in love with Rani and treats her like a queen.
The audience are left with the questions on Rani’s mind—does she make a choice or let society decide for her? Is the snake now part of her husband, like two sides of the same coin? The essence of the choreography unfolds in four sections: Suruli (the loop), Hanati (the inner desires), Aakasmika (there are no accidents) and Dwanda (the duality), revealing the emotions of Rani, her husband and the shape-shifting snake.
Gigi pada is a prominent form of folk music from North Karnataka. Here, the female singer plays the drum along with two other male artists, one of whom plays a string instrument while the other plays the cymbals. The topics they sing about vary from folklore to social issues to create awareness.
The choreography of this work adopts the storytelling quality of the gigi pada, where narrators use the phrases gigi/gagiya gi to connect the points of the narrative.
Concept and lyrics
Aravind studio, Bangalore
Chandana Bala Kalyan
Rohith Bhat Uppoor
Sri Lakshmi Belmannu
Kanjeera and pads
Stills and video
Aj Dance photography
Punyah Dance Company
Punyah Dance Company is a Bangalore based dynamic dance company headed by Parshwanath Upadhye. The company is co-headed by Adithya PV and Shruti Gopal. This team of classically trained artists present unique, impactful choreography with perfect execution, passion and grace.
Approaching India's favourite epics with a fresh and young perspective, Punyah hopes to entertain as well as spark a love for one of the world's oldest heritage. Punyah has produced and successfully presented four works in the last five years, namely Hara, Sadgathi, Partha and Abha.
17 Nov 2023, Fri
18 Nov 2023, Sat
19 Nov 2023, Sun
Students, NSFs, Seniors & PWDs
Early Bird (19 Sep – 2 Oct 2023, limited tickets)
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From 3 Oct 2023
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