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Asia
India
dance
body.city
Sakuntala
Gopal Venu
Admission 9 , reduced 7
together with “Ganapati”:
14 , reduced 10
26.09.2003 - 27.09.2003
20:00
modernity, tradition, transformation
body.city
Gopal Venu
Gopal Venu
Presented by: Natanakairali and Ammannur Chachu Chakyar Gurukulam


“Sakuntala and the Ring of Memory” is a more than 1600-year-old drama by the famous Indian court poet Kalidasa, to be performed here for the first time in the Kutiyattam Style. This millennia-old Sanskrit theatrical form is known for its great complexity of gestures and facial expressions, and has been honoured by UNESCO as a “masterpiece of humanity’s oral and immaterial heritage.” Counter to tradition, this radical Sakuntala adaptation has been created by a collective, developed jointly by a group of performers, musicians and makeup-artists centred around the director Gopal Venu.
Kalidasa’s play is about King Dushyanta’s love for Sakuntala, the adopted daughter of a wise hermit. A curse separates them and makes the king lose his memory. When Sakuntala comes to his kingdom to find him, he does not recognize her. The ring he gave her, the only thing that could stir his memory, is lost. Sakuntala leaves the court in disgrace. Ready to sink into the ground for shame, she is struck by lightning and transported into heaven.
In Gopal Venu’s version, Sakuntala is a wife who is abandoned by her husband. Thus the director not only innovates the form – with live percussion, narrative and dance – he also relates the story to the present.