Having been a student of Rishi Valley School, Dega Dev Reddy’s association with the teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurti go back to his childhood. Deeply inspired by his writings, Reddy took up to the medium of films to promote what impacted him the most. The logical progression being his latest non-commercial film production – Essence of Life.
Made in a unique format of combining multimedia with philosophy and classical dance forms, the films aims to explain human nature through Jiddu Krishnamurti’s (JK) principles and teachings. “People feel that JK’s teachings are very difficult to comprehend. But in reality, they are extremely simple to understand and follow. I want to convey this fact through my movies”, says Dega Deva Reddy.
His stint with a few Telugu commercial films like Ammai Bagundi and Manasu Palike Mauna Ragam were well received, but Dega however returned to follow his dream of promoting JK through visual media. And hence, Essence of Life was made.
In an endeavour to enlighten people about the same, Dega chose this concept of combining three different forms of communication to give a facelift to JK’s philosphy and make it appealing.
And how? The team at Centre for Classical Arts, his brainchild (based at Hosur, Karntaka) adapts these ideologies from JK’s published works, translates them into Sanskrit, gives the content a musical support and conveys it through dance. “The film has a perfect blend of five different classical dance forms, including Kathak, Odissi, Mohiniattam, Kuchipudi and Bharathnatyam, which mesmerises its audience and evokes the idea of the art of living and explores their significance in our modern day-to-day life. This mixture of dance, music, film and philosophy makes Essence of Life peerless,” Dega explains.
The team behind the film consists of Tamil actor and dancer Sukanya Ramesh, musician B Sivaramakrishna Rao, singers Sanjeev Abhyankar and Padmashree Hariharan among many others. Some renowned artists including Kathak dancer Pali Chandra and Odissi exponent Masako Ono from Japan have also contributed to the film. So, taking JK’s principles to the next level, the team wishes to extend them to other art forms like music and contemporary dance. Not limiting it just to JK, Dega and his team are now working on their future project, which includes giving a new meaning to Krishnamurti’s teachings by integrating them with Kabir’s philosophy, to explore new facets of both philosophies.
The Essence of Life will be staged live on May 11 at Ravindra Bharati, from 6 pm onwards.