Love divine of yashoda krishna

With elaborate storytelling, vibrant costumes, and synchronised movements, Natya Mayura troupe brought to life various episodes from Krishna’s childhood, creating a memorable and spiritually enriching experience
Soundarya Kaushik and baby Aadhya Maheshwari played the role of Yashoda and Krishna.
Soundarya Kaushik and baby Aadhya Maheshwari played the role of Yashoda and Krishna. (Photo | Special arrangement)

HYDERABAD : It is great to watch a dance recital during a festival, and it is even better when dance becomes a celebration that we enjoy to the fullest. The recently conducted musical dance ballet, ‘Yashoda Krishna with Gopikas of Vrindavan’, was surely a mesmerising event. Soundarya Kaushik and baby Aadhya Maheshwari played the role of Yashoda and Krishna. CE got in touch with Soundarya, a member of the Natya Mayura troupe, who explained the performance that took place at the Hare Krishna Golden Temple in Banjara Hills recently.

Soundarya explained, “Our troupe, Natya Mayura, had the incredible opportunity to perform at the Hare Krishna Golden Temple. We had 16 dedicated performing artists who came together to offer Nitya Seva to Lord Sri Krishna. The performances were deeply spiritual and a true labour of love for everyone involved. This is the second time we have performed this production, directed by our guru, SNA Awardee Dr Maddali Usha Gayatri. We ensured that every detail, from the choreography to the costumes, was perfect and befitting the sacred occasion. The atmosphere at the temple was divine, filled with a sense of devoutness and reverence. Performing in such a sacred space was an honour. This experience was not just a performance but a heartfelt offering and a way for us to connect more deeply with our cultural and spiritual roots. It was a memorable event that reaffirmed our commitment to preserving and promoting the art of Kuchipudi dance as a form of devotion. While I played the role of Yashoda, the character of Krishna was played by baby Aadhya Maheshwari, who brought an incredible amount of energy and authenticity to the role.”

Describing the musical dance ballet and the dancers’ involvement, she said, “As the title suggests, our performance at the Hare Krishna Golden Temple centred around the theme of Yashoda’s never-ending love for her son, Sri Krishna. We aimed to capture the essence of the divine mother-son relationship, filled with boundless affection, care, and devotion. Through our dance, we portrayed various episodes from Krishna’s childhood, highlighting Yashoda’s unconditional love and the joy and challenges of raising the mischievous yet divine child. Scenes included Yashoda’s attempts to discipline Krishna, her awe at his miraculous deeds, and the deep bond they shared.”

Speaking about the performers and the script, Soundarya said, “The narrative was brought to life with the script written by Kakutoori Padmavathi, music direction by Vempati Srivalli Sarma, and choreography by my gurumaa, Central SNA Awardee Dr Maddali Usha Gayatri. The ballet was performed by the students of Natyacharya Maddali Soundarya Kaushik.”

Regarding the time spent practising the recital and how they managed to pull off the performance gracefully, the Kuchipudi dancer mentioned, “We dedicated a substantial amount of time and effort to prepare for this performance. Our troupe practiced rigorously for about two months, meeting several times a week. Each practice session focused on perfecting the choreography, synchronising our movements, and ensuring that every aspect of the performance was executed flawlessly. In addition to the group practice, each participant also spent significant time rehearsing individually to master their parts. We had a few intensive practice sessions closer to the event to ensure that everything came together seamlessly. The dedication and hard work of all 16 participants were truly remarkable, and it was this collective effort that made the performance a success.”

On the evolution of these dance ballets and how they have been picking up, she opined, “Dance ballets, particularly in the Kuchipudi tradition, have seen significant evolution over the centuries. Historically, Kuchipudi has always been a dance drama style of presentation known for its elaborate storytelling and theatrical elements. With time and changing audience tastes, solo performances began to gain popularity and found their niche. However, the true essence and grandeur of Kuchipudi are best experienced in its traditional elaborate format. At Natya Mayura, we follow the guru-shishya parampara, which means we adhere to the traditional teacher-student lineage and training methods. This ensures that the authenticity and core principles of the dance form are preserved in our performances. However, we also strive to bring out our uniqueness in each of our performances, blending traditional elements with contemporary ideas to resonate with modern audiences.”

Discussing the special elements in the performance and the role of the Gopikas, she said, “The Gopikas played a pivotal role in the performance. They were not only colourful and vibrant but also perfectly synchronised in their movements, adding a mesmerising visual appeal to the ballet. Inspired by the aesthetics of the Radha Krishna, the Gopikas glittered with floral jewellery that became an instant hit with the audience. The artists who portrayed the Gopis were C Manvitha, A Lakshya, B Dhrithi Reddy, G Shraddha, K Aarushi, K Pravardha, K Shubhagi, Laasya, P Lakshyaa Shree, AR Sahasra, R Nithyakshar, V Shresta, V Vennela, and Y Sumana. Thanmai gracefully portrayed the role of Rohini.”

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