Sakhi: Exploring Friendship Between Sita and Draupadi

Performing Arts
Friday, 5th April 2024
From 7:00pm to 8:30pm (IST)
Rs. 499/- onwards


We have all heard about the abduction of Sita, but how many have seen the Ramayana from Sita’s point of view?

Have you ever wondered how Draupadi would describe the turmoil she faced in the Mahabharata?

They are the two most powerful female figures in Hindu mythology, yet their perspective is often overlooked. This dance-theatre production brings Sita and Draupadi face-to-face in a conversation about their lives, told through their voices. A unique amalgamation of Bharatanatyam, contemporary dance, and theatre, this performance will take you on an extraordinary journey as the two goddesses relive their stories through dance.

Read Press Release



Royal Opera House, Mumbai
Royal Opera House, Mumbai


Rasa - Emotional Power in Dance and Drama

In Sanskrit literature, particularly emphasized in the Natyashastra by Bharata, Rasa, translating to "essence," holds significant importance in drama, dance, and poetry. Bharata delineates eight primary rasas or sentiments forming the emotional nucleus of artistic expression. These encompass Sringara (love), Vira (heroism), Karuna (pathos), Hasya (comedy), Raudra (anger), Bhayanaka (fearful), Bibhatsa (disgust), and Adbhuta (wonder), along with Shanti (peace). The paramount objective of crafting, presenting, and experiencing a play or depicting a narrative through drama or dance is to evoke these rasas within the audience. Each rasa denotes a distinct emotional encounter, enriching the overall aesthetic impact of the performance or literary creation.


Abhinaya - Storytelling Through Movement

Abhinaya, a term derived from Sanskrit with the root 'ni' meaning 'take' or 'carry' and the preposition 'Abhi' meaning 'towards', is a crucial aspect in the art of drama and dance. It refers to the various ways in which an actor conveys the essence, emotions, and meanings of a play to the audience. Abhinaya plays a significant role in complementing Rasa, which is the aesthetic essence experienced by spectators. There are four types of Abhinaya:

1. Angika: This involves physical expressions such as movements of limbs, postures, and gestures known as mudras.

2. Vacika: Verbal expressions through recitation or singing.

3. Sattvika: Emotional expressions that convey inner feelings and sentiments.

4. Aharya: Focuses on makeup, costumes, and props that enhance the visual appeal.

Abhinaya in Bharatanatyam encompasses a holistic approach to storytelling through physical movements, verbal expressions, emotional portrayals, and visual aesthetics like makeup and costumes. The use of mudras adds depth and richness to Angika Abhinaya by enabling dancers to communicate complex emotions with grace and precision on stage.

Sita - Daughter of the Mother Earth

The Hindu Goddess Sita is acknowledged for her courage, purity, dedication, loyalty, and sacrifice. Her birth in the story of the epic Ramayana was a miracle, as she appeared in a furrow when King Janaka was ploughing the field as part of a Vedic ritual in the kingdom of Videhas, also known as Mithila, considered an ancient kingdom in late Vedic India. The name Sita in Sanskrit means 'furrow'. She was also known by other names like Vaidehi, Janaki, or Janaknandini (daughter of King Janak), Maithili (princess of Mithila), and in local Hindi dialects like Braj/Awadhi Sia and Bhoomija (daughter of Bhoomi (earth)). She became the wife of Lord Rama, the king of Ayodhya. They had to go into exile in a forest for 14 years where she was abducted by Ravana. She had to live in another exile where she took refuge in the hermitage of Rishi Valmiki, where she delivered twin boys Luv and Kusha. Sita is worshipped today at festivals like Sita Navami and Vivha Panchami.


Draupadi - The heroic Princess of Mahabharata

Draupadi, the daughter of King Drupad and the wife of the Pandava brothers is a central figure in Indian mythology and the epic Mahabharata known for her exceptional beauty, intelligence, and virtue. Draupadi's personality was often likened to lightning and thunder - powerful and striking. She was also known by various names such as Panchali (princess of Panchal) and Yagnyaseni (born of fire), reflecting her complex identity. One of Draupadi's most notable traits was her outspoken nature. She fearlessly spoke her mind among men in a society where women were often expected to remain silent. This quality has led many to consider Draupadi as the first feminist in Indian mythology. Draupadi's marriage ceremony, known as Swayamvar, where Arjuna emerged victorious by showcasing his archery skills, is a well-known episode. However, due to a misunderstanding, all five Pandava brothers ended up marrying Draupadi, leading to a unique marital arrangement where she became the wife of all five brothers.


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