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Samavesha: A Mesmerizing Dance Journey Through the Mahabharata

April 20th, Austin, Tx ~ Austin audiences were fortunate to witness a remarkable event recently, "Samavesha - A Dance Interpretation of a Mahabharatha Story." This evening-length work delved into the lives of two intriguing characters from the Mahabharata, Shikhandi and Brihannala, with the artistry of N. Srikanth and Aswathy Nair at its helm.

a dance journey through mahabharata
a dance journey through mahabharata

This dance journey through Mahabharata reflected the dancers' years of experience and extensive research into the complexities of gender identity as portrayed in the ancient texts. Srikanth, known for his mastery of female roles in the all-male Bhagavata Mela of Melattur, and Aswathy, whose work as a film director reflects her deep commitment to telling diverse stories, brought their unique perspectives to the stage.

a dance journey through mahabharata

Audience members were spellbound by the dancers' portrayal of Shikhandi and Brihannala, as they moved gracefully through the narrative, weaving together elements of tradition and contemporary interpretation. But what truly captivated the audience were the moments of sheer emotion and vulnerability depicted by the dancers, which resonated deeply with everyone present. Shubha Parolkar. A patron of the Indian Fine Arts Organization said she loved the program. “It got over too quickly.  I was totally immersed in the experience as the dancer artists narrated the two through their mesmerizing moves.” Parolkar added.


a dance journey through mahabharat

Throughout the performance, there was a sense of connection between the dancers and the audience, particularly those who identified as dancers themselves. Many were heard whispering about the precision of each movement, the expressiveness of the choreography, and the sheer beauty of the storytelling through dance. Some even admitted to being moved to tears by the sheer power of the performance. Saha, who identifies as queer themselves, expressed the need for more artists to portray the queer emptions. “It was heartwarming to see this presentation which was depicted with deep respect and skill. I could relate to so many scenes here and felt extremely moved by the stories that were performed,” Saha added. "Samavesha" served not only as a mesmerizing dance production but also as a reflection on the fluidity of gender, the complexities of identity, and the timeless themes of the Mahabharata. It was a night that left a lasting impression on all who were fortunate enough to be in attendance. For more picture from the show, follow us on our Facebook page.

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