An NCPA Presentation
At the forefront of the new generation of Bharatanatyam dancers, Nadanamamani Dr. Janaki Rangarajan represents the future of the art form. Unravelled is a new solo production that explores the unseen layers of the iconic Draupadi.
What is it about this woman that has captured the imagination of poets and writers for so
many centuries? So much so that she is worshipped as a Goddess – Draupadi Amman.
Through Bharatanatyam and the spoken word in English, Unravelled is a dance-theater
production based on a contemporary script that draws inspiration from Vyaasa Mahabharata
and folk traditions.
Act One (Soul’s Monologue) opens with the introduction of Draupadi’s soul. Her soul looks back on her mortal life and relishes her freedom from bodily form and societal strictures. No one can claim
her, she is free.
Act Two (When Time Stopped) is a dramatic new reimagining of the thoughts and emotions coursing
through Draupadi during the famous court scene where she is disrobed. Does she really care that her
corporal nakedness will be revealed? There are more layers here than the yards of clothing that
keep spinning away from her body.
Act Three (Wild Flower) centers around the discovery of Draupadi’s frozen body at the foot of the Himalayas by a tribal girl. The girl is intrigued that Draupadi, who endured so many trials and tribulations, was left to die in frozen solitude as her husbands ascended to Heaven.
Act Four (The Politics of Draupadi) reflects on Draupadi as a Goddess. Why do we worship her? Are we elevating her to God status because it’s unsettling to us that she does not conform to society’s image of what a woman should be?
-UNRAVELLED is a thought provoking fresh look at this extraordinary woman-
Script by V. Balakrishnan and music (Carnatic, Hindustani, Folk and other non-traditional
musical genres) composed by Smt. Sudha Raghuraman. Artistic direction and choreography
is by Dr. Janaki Rangarajan.