THE KARNAD NAYIKA

The performance

 

Six iconic scenes from Girish Karnad's plays performed in honour of Karnad himself as he received the 'Nataka Choodamani' in Chennai.

 

Each scene could have stood alone but these scenes were picked to connect and form a journey of their own.

 

The performance begins with two women confronting each other about a past incident. Then a mother finds out her daughter-in-law is in bed with someone else. The man finds out his paramour is with child and he begs her to not reveal the secret to her husband who inevitably finds out. The woman urges her lover to find sanctuary in his father's home because news of their illicit liaison has reached her father in law's ears. A servant informs her mistress that the prince is collateral damage for her father-in-law's desires. The lovers meet and it ends with the woman convincing the man to follow his hearts desire - to act in a play.

 

Scene 1 - Yayati (Act 1 Scene 1)

Sharmishta and Devayani: As Devayani arranges the nuptial bed for her step son Puru, Sharmishta enters to needle her about old slights.

 

Scene 2 - Bali

Mother and King: When the mother returns from her Puja she discovers that her daughter-in-law is with a lover at that exact moment.

 

Scene 3 - Nagamandala (Act 2)

Naga/Appanna and Rani: After a rousing lovemaking session, Rani tells Naga that she is pregnant, Naga urges her to keep it a secret from him. However her husband Appanna finds out the truth and Naga decides the only way to save Rani is to convince her to undertake the snake ordeal.

 

Scene 4 - Fire and the Rain (Act 1)

Vishaka and Yavakri: Vishaka comes to save Yavakri only to find out that she was used as a pawn in a game men play and she exacts her revenge by pouring out the consecrated water thus leaving Yavakri defenceless.

 

Scene 5 - Yayati (Act 4 Scene 1)

Chitralekha and Swarnalatha: Swarna tells Chitra on her nuptial night that her husband, Puru, the prince has agreed to take on his father's old age. The young bride's romantic notions of martyrdom are dashed when she sees the decrepit old man her husband has become.

 

Scene 6  - The Fire and The Rain (Act 3)

Nittilai and Aravasu: Aravasu is recuperating from the wounds received at the hands of soldiers when Nittilai runs away from her husband and comes to be with him. When they discover that they are being hunted, they both decide to throw their pursuers off the scent by Aravasu acting in the play and for them to meet after the play, to start a new life.

 

Directed by Sunandha Ragunathan

Cast: Sunandha Ragunathan & Shakthi Ramani

Lighting: Meera Sitaraman

Vocals: Swarna Rethas

Make up: Prateeksha Chandrasekaran & Chandini Tandon

 

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