Bahrain-based dance drama Kamala: A Ballad of Celestial Love mesmerised the Indian audience when it was staged at the Tagore Theatre, Trivandrum in the Indian state of Kerala, as part of the 111 days long Soorya Festival on Sunday. Directed and choreographed by Vidya Sreekumar, ‘Kamala’, which takes its story thread from Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha, was a huge success and made a signature in the festival.
“I was struck by the character Kamala after reading Hesse’s Siddhartha. Although Siddhartha is the protagonist of the story, he remains in search of enlightenment at the end, while Kamala, a courtesan, finds peace with herself and the world,” says Vidya . Vidya has also taken threads of thoughts from Deepak Chopra’s ‘I Am The Universe’. Her draft was later polished by Sreekumar Ramakrishnan. A theatre artiste, Sreekumar says the duo took a bird, a passing reference in Hesse’s Siddhartha, and turned it into the narrator.
“The bird, played by Nithin Janardhanan, introduces the characters on stage, provides tid-bits and so on.” They also introduced a Buddha bhikshu to the tale. Achu Arun Raj, creative designer in the Daily Tribune who plays the bhikshu says, “My character, though small, is significant as he helps Kamala in changing her perspective towards life.” Kamala may look simple as it appears to tell the story of her love for Siddhartha, their pairing and eventual understanding of the transitory nature of life and its myriad emotions. However, this art form has multifaceted dimensions as it portrays the loneliness of woman and her sufferings in a male dominated society.
The music was composed by Palakkad Sreeram and the Sanskrit lyrics by the famous poet Dr L Sampath. Sneha Ajith who had elevated KAMALA with her dedicated artistic talent and proficiency in dance forms displayed her immense talent. Over the years, Soorya, by presenting prolific and authentic art forms of highest eminence, has secured the undisputed place as the best cultural society in India, the largest in Asia. An opportunity to perform in a Soorya stage is considered the rarest of the opportunity for renowned artists even.
“Soorya Krishnamurthy; who was the chief guest for the Inaugural show of Kamala, which was staged on June 30th 2018 at Cultural hall, Bahrain, was overwhelmed to see the talent, dedication and skill of Sneha and rest of the “Kamala” crew. By selecting Kamala for further stage shows in India, Soorya is appreciating the excellence of Bahrain Artists; Sneha and Vidya in particular” Soorya Bahrain chapter secretary Varghese Karakkal added. “Art forms are means to inculcate powerful messages to the society.
Kamala; by its theme and its multifaceted dimensions, is unique, relevant and deals with the loneliness of woman in a man centric society. Research and preparation in streamlining and developing the story to a dance drama form has been fruitful with the success of Kamala. It is indeed a proud moment for me too as my directorial venture has been selected by Soorya,” Says Vidya. “We consider the success of Kamala as the success of the rich heritage of Indian Art.
We are proud to note the passion of the younger generation to carry the elegance of Indian Art and Culture to the generations to come, by their dedicated committed performances. Kamala will be remembered as the example of such commitment and we are proud to organize events like Kamala,” she added.