When the epic tale of Mahabharata is brought to life on stage with the nuances of a musical, it is bound to be a production to remember. Titled 18 Days: Dusk Of An Era, the dance drama retelling of the battle of Kurukshetra aims to leave viewers in the Capital entranced with its magnificent display on stage.

Directed and choreographed by theatre personalities Bharat and Sharat Prabhath, the show has 60 artists and 20 technicians working on it. Bharat, a dancer theatre exponent and artistic director, who portrays Arjun in the play, says, “This show is about the battle of Mahabharata which happened for 18 days. We have tried to showcase a larger-than-life presentation. For instance, the Ghatotkacha sequence looks magical with all the aerial techniques.”

The show boasts of unique percussion instruments, authentic war cries, and even original tribal syllables from Africa.

Explaining what sets this show apart from other stage adaptations of the story, he elaborates, “We have used multiple dance forms — from Bharatanatyam and Kathak to martial arts like Kalaripayattu. Even the music in the form of symphonies. So, you can call it a Broadway style of production of India for Mahabharata.”

Sharat, a Kathak danseuse, Karnatic vocalist and Harikatha exponent, who composed the music for the show and wrote the script, opines, “Generally, a musical show has 400 tracks, but the production for this is such that it has crossed 1,500! For instance, I have created harmony using six tracks of violins then I have also used a viola into the sounding of it and have also incorporated double bass. We have also used unique percussion instruments and authentic war cries, even original tribal syllables from Africa for the production.”

Chandana Ananthakrishna, an actor and dancer, says, “I’m playing Amba, Subhadra and also a part of the soldier group. The role is close to my heart as when her son Abhimanyu dies, she feels helpless. But the way she faces the situation makes me relate to her.”

Bharatanatyam dancer and choreographer Rupesh KC, who plays Shakuni, adds, “I am in awe of the play. I hope it creates the same impact and moves the audience in Delhi as it had in other cities.”

Catch It Live

What: 18 Days: Dusk of an era

Where: Kamani Auditorium, Mandi House

When: December 2 to 4

Timing: 5pm and 7:30pm

Nearest Metro Station: Mandi House on the Blue Line

Author tweets Anu_95m

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