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Nauka Charitram

Ranjani Saigal

Suman Adisesh, founder of the Spanda school of dance presented her Guru Padmini Ravi’s choreography of Nauka Charitram along with her students on April 16, 2022 held at the Stony Brook Middle School in Westford, MA.

The Nauka Charitram can be considered as an Opera (though it has its own Indian form) written by Saint Tyagaraja. The pieces consists of 20 Krithis set in 13 Ragas in Telugu. The story is as follows :
 The Gopis take along with them Lord Krishna for a play on a boat in river Yamuna.  They with pride refuse the help offered by Krishna to launch the boat. Then once the boat is launched, the Gopis start making merry with Krishna as their object of love. This does not last long. Krishna summons a storm and boat developed a hole and the boat was getting filled with water. Gopis are worried and turn to Krishna to save them . Krishna advises them to remove their cloths and seal the hole in the boat. Though they did it unwillingly  , this   did not help. Their cloths   are swept away  . Then the Gopis realize that  Only Krishna can help them. As soon as they lose their pride Krishna saves them .  This  Drama is considered as one of  the top gem like composition of Thyagaraja.  

Tyagaraja's composition is brilliant. I particularly enjoy the krthi that has stories that represent the grandeur of Krishna's avatars cleverly juxtaposed with the leelas with the Gopis. Padmini Ravi's choreography had had several intricate Jatis and beautiful group formations that made the presentation a visual treat. The difficult choreography was beautifully executed by Suman and her students. The props and the lighting were beautiful. 

The event was a fundraiser for Sumangali Sevaashram is dedicated to supporting downtrodden deserted women and orphaned children. To learn more about the organization please go to https://sumangalisevaashrama.org/

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