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A tribute to the mystic river through a dance performance

Kathak dancer Sanchita Abrol will stage the show Devika, a story of the struggle of a river, at India International Centre in Delhi, on March 11.

art and culture Updated: Mar 04, 2017 18:42 IST
Ruchika Garg
Ruchika Garg
Hindustan Times
Sanchita Abrol,IIC,Kathak
Kathak dancer Sanchita Abrol, a disciple of Padma Shri Shovana Narayan.

The struggle of a river could be symbolic to the struggle of a woman. And Kathak dancer Sanchita Abrol will narrate this comparison in thought and emotion through her dance performance around International Women’s Day in the Capital.

A disciple of Padma Shri Shovana Narayan, Abrol, will depict Uttar Behni, a poem based on the river Devika, that flows through the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). “The idea might not be new, but this is the first time when the story of Devika, which is part of the rich dogri literature will be presented through a dance act,” she says.

She further adds, “The river is known as the elder sister of river Ganga and symbolises the struggle of a woman, how despite the ups and downs it flows, she hides her pain within. This reflects a woman’s nature. The poem also speaks about the spiritual connect with lord Shiva.”

Born in J&K, she feels a close connect with the story of Devika. “While rehearsing for Kathak, we’e asked by our guru to learn more about our culture, history, and the verse, in order to give better peformance. I read about Uttar Behni but couldn’t get ample books. I requested the poem’s writer to lend me some. I explored the subject and read Upnishads and Vaidpuran,” she says.

To make the audience understand the concept better, a documentary will be screened before the act. “Devika is seen in some parts of Jammu but it’s hidden in most of the areas. It’s an independent river, who doesn’t follow the norms. People’re not aware about her story. I want to tell it through this dance act,” she says.


WHAT: Uttar Behni-Mystic River, Mystic Poetess, a Kathak performance

WHERE: C.D Deshmukh Auditorium, India International Centre, Lodi Road

WHEN: March 11

TIMINGS: 7:30 pm

NEAREST METRO STATION: Jor Bagh on Yellow Line

First Published: Mar 04, 2017 18:42 IST