Stage craft at Santiniketan

animikhRabindranath

Stage craft at Santiniketan is still an experience for the senses. These are photos from a recent production of Chandalika, the dance drama by Rabindranath Tagore. Based on a Buddhist tale ‘Chandalika’ was published in the form of a dance drama in 1938 and was for the first time staged in Calcutta in the same year.

The story of ‘Chandalika’ centers round Prokiti (Chandalika or daughter of the Chandals), a low caste girl, who is despised by her neighbors. Even hawkers in the street do not sell their goods to her. She broods over her destiny and curses her mother for bringing her into the world. While in this mood, she goes to fetch water from the well where she meets Ananda, a disciple of Buddha. Ananda begs her for a drink of water. Prokriti informs him that she is an untouchable and as such it is decreed that water from her well is to be…

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