Press Release: The Bharati
On December 18th to Prague are coming artists from India to play The Bharati, the greatest show from Bollywood.
Derived from ancient Sanskrit theatrical and narrative traditions wherein the Sutradhar (narrator), 'holds' the threads of the tale, the audience is guided through a simple but contemporary tale of love and wonder, punctuated by a mix of 14 songs and dances. While the dances serve to induce a state of enchantment, the Sutradhar interweaves the distinct episodes of the plot that culminate in a single question of contemporary relevance. Along with the hero, the audience confronts the dilemma about balancing tradition and modernity. Evocative of the best story-telling traditions of the East, where stories and anecdotes are framed within other overarching ones, the frames encompass a world in which the magical is normal and the normal is magical. Heroes and heroines of Indian tales usually undergo trials and tribulations before being reunited with each other. Tantalising glimpses of the eternal are seen in the rapidly changing face of India, displayed on the screens. These reflect the country's cultural diversity and the myriad influences that have been absorbed and internalized within the fabric of Indian society. Bharati is synonymous with the spirit of India.
Songs from Bollywood films serve as anchor for the show. They are not random but establish the mood, set the tone, and offer insights into the mental states of the protagonists, thus moving the plot forward. The sound-track has been prepared by 50 musicians and a vast array of instruments. There are 20 violin players, 10 different percussionists, one male and one female choirs, four female singers and two male singers. A distinctive feature of the music of India is the proportional representation of Islamic, Hindu, Israelian and Western musical traditions. The western influences in this field of World Music, has meant connecting the western patterns and harmonies into non-western rhythms, melodies and ornaments.
Siddharth, an Indian-born engineer, raised and living in the U.S. arrives in Varanasi to work on the Ganga Cleaning Project. Cynical and contemptuous of things Indian and every inch a westerner, he is nevertheless attracted to the mysterious and elusive Bharati. Orphaned at an early age and raised by the Domraja, king of Varanasi's cremation grounds, Bharati's appeal for Siddharth is instantaneous. He feels her presence everywhere but is unable to get close to her and know her. Domraja, Bharati's foster father, patriarchal and over-protective, also hinders the development of proximity between the two youngsters. For Siddharth, the process of falling in love with Bharati is one of inner transformation. Through her, he falls in love with India, the traditional and the modern; India where all the centuries seem to coexist together in time, yet one that is constantly changing and evolving; an India enthusiastically embracing the latest the world has to offer, but without losing its cherished ancient values, India where organised disorder seems to be celebrated.
Bharati awakens in Siddharth a yearning to connect with his own roots. Siddharth's is a powerful story of homecoming and likely to strike an emotional chord across the world, in all cultures.
The Bharati show: Prague, December 18th, 8 p. m., Congress Centre.
More information: www.makroconcert.com
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