Sunday 17 March 2024

"The sacred bride" - presentation of verses of Janabai, Surdas, St. Theresa of Avila and Rumi performed in Bandra (Mumbai) on 10.3.2024

 Love makes life beautiful but for how long?

( हिंदी में समीक्षा के लिए -   यहाँ क्लिक करके क्रम सं. 44 देखिए )

In the forests of Tulasi,
Jani unravels her plaits
Butter in hand,
Chakrapani massages her head

Life is like an acrobat who is moving on a rope balancing himself with a rod having mysticism and existentialism as it's two ends.  Dr. Omkar Bhatkar at SAPP Bandra (Mumbai) was making a point. The natural penchant of soul for mysticism is consistently moderated by existentialism. The progress of life  is inanimate if only determined by the mundane acts of will. The inner longing for reunion with God is the ultimate driving force that draws a man to mysticism. 

Some selected verses of Surdas, Rumi, St. Theresa of Avila and Janabai were presented in an evocative manner by Prasant Nalaskar and Omkar Bhatkar. The poems were first read soulfully by an artist in it's original language say Marathi (in case of Janabai) which was followed by the rendition of it's English translation by the other artist. The rendition of poems touched the sentimental chords of the listeners. The viewers were left awestruck on the signature Sufi dance presented in the end bereft of music and song.

"In the quest for self-transcendence mystics like Janabai (13th Cen), Rumi (12th Cen), St. Theresa of Avila (15th Cen) and Surdas (16th Cen) composed poems of pain and ecstasy. Pain that came from longing and ecstasy that came from union, led to the creation of some of the finest mystical writings. In the journey of merging with the divine, one becomes the lover and the divine becomes the beloved. The poet often becomes the bride and the divine- the bridegroom. Such Poems of love and longing use erotic metaphors to depict the deep yearning for the mystical union.

The Sacred Bride is a collection of poems of four divine brides: Janabai, Rumi, St. Theresa of Avila and Surdas- yearning to meet their beloved to eternally emulsify and become one with the divine. These sacred poems are woven like flowers in a prayerful garland using music and movement to be offered at the altar of Love."

After the poem recital a public conversation was held in which the viewer's queries were answered by the artists.

The people questioned on his way of theatrical progress delivering new plays back to back. He is always up to the next play every next month. Dr. Bhatkar replied that his aim is to deliver more and more theatre and other performance artworks in this short life. There is no greater ambition. The ambition is to be a better human being day by day with the help of learnings achieved in the process of original artworks and reproducing the plays, poems and other art pieces in a new style. He further clarified that he is more inclined to theatre and works of live performance because the direct public interaction of performer is possible only in live mode. Theatre with particular emphasis on spirituality is comfort zone and he wants to excel in it rather than diluting by venturing into cinema or other art.

No camera can capture the performance. Each performance is a new creation notwithstanding the fact it might be based on a fixed written script. The way you present a play, the way you act a character every time and the way you comprehend the poem in each reading is different. 

Performance was made by Omkar Bhatkar and Prasant Nalaskar. It was designed and directed by Dr. Omkar Bhatkar. Technical assistance was provided by mayuresh, Radhika Mhatre, Nipun Pandey and Anosh. Art and aesthetics were by Omkar Bhatkar. 

Report by- Hemant Das 'Him'
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