Download PDF Version. Much has been said about the way Tagore views his women in his poems, essays, novels and drama. Among the dance dramas of Tagore, Chandalika has a special place as it foregrounds the theme of female desire in an untouchable girl, a tabooed subject in his times, indeed even now in Bengali writings. This paper tries to show how Tagore uses the nuances of the dance form to showcase the intersections of caste, class and gender as well as the evolution of selfhood in Prakriti, the Chandal girl. O nce a highly respected and revered art form, Indian dance had fallen into disrepute under British colonialism.
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Chant of Buddhist prayers floating with the rhythm of the smoke-filled air had started to ebb away. She is a rebel who questions societal norms that relegated her to an existence of a lesser being, an untouchable. Through her dance movements Chandalika her stage name being Prakriti articulates her anger and love. Anger, against a social status imposed upon her to which she finds herself shackled for life.
And love, for a monk who respects and acknowledges her as a human being. He wanted to convey that dance is an expression of emotions in spiritual ecstasy. Chandalika realises her true identity: Director Biwas Vishnu Chaudhuri successfully wove a tapestry on which he stitched the myriad emotions of a woman leading a life of an outcast who so far never realized her self-worth.
All this while when Prakriti had internalized herself as a victim of social stigma and negated her selfhood suddenly elevates to a moment of recognition. In satisfying his thirst I feel baptised. I now know what freedom tastes like. Only in the penultimate scene does she realise her guilt at making a person suffer against his wishes.
When she sees him standing in front of her in almost a mutilated state she repents and surrenders in shame. In a battle of magical chants and spiritual power, Prakriti comes to a conclusion that love can never be forced or possessed. Atmospherics: Poetic speeches, mellifluous songs and artistic dance postures coupled with the fragrance of incense sticks placed at occasional junctures created an atmosphere that had the audience completely mesmerised. Tagore is immortal: Chandalika has been performed and staged in many languages with multiple interpretations across the country and overseas only to prove one thing - Tagore shall never die.
He continues to live in his literary works and music that will never cease to have relevance across decades. Now playing. Reminder Successfully Set! Next Story: Jaipur all set to host a royal wedding. Select a City Close. Your current city: Mumbai Mumbai search close.
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Chandalika is a story of a girl from the untouchable caste of India. Her life as a women and then as an untouchable women is full of rejections and ridicule. The dance pieces will consist of Kathak and folk dances. Chandalika is choreographed by Shreyashee Nag. She is a Kathak dancer a dance from the North of India and a choreographer who is based in Barcelona but works between India, Spain and rest of the Europe. She is also associated with the contemporary dance world through her collaboration in production like We Women of Sol Pico Company. The piece will be performed by dancers from the Barcelona Kathak Project team, a multinational group who are trained in Kathak dance.
Chandalika, Dr. Rabindranath Tagore
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