HYDERABAD: The result of Pramod Kumar Reddy’s relentless hard work paid rich dividends on Saturday evening at Ravindra Bharathi: his ballet Maitrim Bhajathe took the audience on a pleasant journey into Hindu mythology, as the characters came alive from Ramayana, Bhagavatam and Mahabharata. Pramod donned all the three key roles of Rama, Krishna and Karna. The central theme is that of friendship and its values as portrayed in these epics. The 28-member team danced, swirling and swaying to the brilliant music.
Maitrim Bhajathe opens with an invocation to the pancha bhootas (the five elements). The first episode covers Rama-Sugriva’s friendship pact, Rama’s help in killing Vaali, Sugriva neglecting to honour his promise, but later rectifying his mistake and sending his troops to search for Sita.
In the second part, while the cowherds unknowingly enter the mouth of the demon Aghasura who took the form of a python, Krishna comes to the rescue and saves them along with their cows. The childhood games of Krishna with his friends were very well depicted, much to the amusement of the audience. The third and final segment shows Karna and Duryodhana and how the former failed as a true friend in correcting the latter when he was going on the wrong path.
The dramatic component and the magnificent music scored by Sweta Prasad enhanced the production. Sweta in her melodious voice brought out the emotions effortlessly: her rendering of the dramatic verse (padyalu) was admirable. Renuka Prasad’s jathis added fervour and his mridangam resonated, inspiring the dancers as they dazzled in Basava Raju’s lighting. Namadevan and Shabin, the two male dancers from Chennai especially for this production impressed with their agility and energy. All the dancers, right from the youngest, dressed in pretty costumes, danced with much enthusiasm and acted their roles convincingly.
The narrator duo, which appeared before each segment delivered the script given to them, but most of which was not comprehensible to the laity. Both speaking alternately in simple English and simple Telugu would have helped. For future presentations, the ballet can be crisply edited; the loose ends dealt with; taking more care while establishing characters, all of which will result in refining Maitrim Bhajathe.
A final bow by all the artists at the end of the programme should suffice. On the whole, Maitrim Bhajathe is a laudable attempt by Pramod Kumar Reddy. Nice to know that our home- grown talent is coming of age!