‘Bharat Kalachar’ – Rupa Srikanth

Story of Amrapali
‘Amprapali’‚ a solo dance ballet based on the tragic story of the beautiful ‘ganika’ in the republic of Vaishali who turns to spiritualism and becomes a Buddhist monk when confronted with the hopelessness of a love that comes swathed in the blood of innocent people‚ was performed by Neena Prasad as the final piece in her Mohiniyattam recital. Many versions of this fifth century tale exist. The powerful story came alive with Neena’s clear‚ expressive and well– edited adaptation‚ whether in the compassion Amrapali shows towards King Ajatasatru‚ who is disguised as a wounded soldier‚ or in her anguish when she realises that he is an enemy‚ or her horror at the death and destruction wrought by Ajatasatru‚ who conquers Vaishali to release her from prison and make her his queen. Neena’s portrayals flowed seamlessly and effortlessly. Scripted in both Sanskrit and Manipravalam‚ the music composed by Changanassery Madhavan Nampoothiri in the Carnatic style also brimmed with emotion and pathos‚ supported tunefully by M S Kannan on the violin‚ Muthukumar on the flute‚ and Soundararajan on the veena.