Bharatanatyam danseuse Savitha Sastry’s latest dance drama, The Prophet, is based on a story written by her husband AK Srikanth. It narrates the story of Devaduta, who lives in the slums of a nondescript town. Following altercations with her abusive father, she starts to hear a voice that spells out the ‘path’ to her. She runs away and starts working in a dance academy and eventually discovers her talent for dancing. She goes on to help the downtrodden with her wealth and as she kept hearing a Voice, which gets her to be known as The Prophet. Post the premiere in Bengaluru, The Prophet is being showcased in Mumbai, and will move on to Hyderabad, Chennai and New Delhi.
Sastry explains the vision behind the production, “This is not a story about shams or fake godmen. In a world created without hierarchies by God, what is the role of an exalted being, such as a Prophet? It was this thought that led to the production.” She adds that the highlight of the production is the story, music by Rajkumar Bharati and choreography in Bharatanatyam. “And yet, this is a production that would be understood by all regardless of their unfamiliarity with the dance form,” says Sastry, admitting that it has been their fastest production to date and was completed in six months. While there is no explicit message to the drama, Sastry is out to prove that classical dance drama can be an edge-of-the-seat experience. For Sastry, the major challenges were to depict the layers to the character and adapt the story to Bharatanatyam.
The dance drama will be performed at the Experimental Theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point. on November 9; time
7 pm, call 22824567. Admission passes will be available at the venue on the day of the show at 6 pm on a first-come-first-served basis.